Category: by: cynthia

NOH was mentioned on the Afterbuzz Aftershow at around 37 minutes in.

There was indeed. Honestly, these guys (and I have watched for this and for other shows) are eye-needling stupid. It’s every reason LA has a rep for being dumb.

But thanks for the heads up!

How do you feel about the political agenda behind Homeland, not asking about your personal political wiews, but on the fact that Homeland is a comment on the political situation and as I understand it, supporting a side. Is Homeland part of a resistance now? Does Homeland serve a purpose in a political agenda more than ever before?

Is there a political agenda? I mean, we know that Gansa is a progressive based on comments he’s made and the charities he supports but I think he’d cringe if he thought the show was advocating a particular side. 

I mean, depending on your political perspective, the premiere had something for everyone, right? If you believe in the deep state there’s some fodder for you to believe it’s true via the General. If you believe the Alt Right and its peeps are being persecuted, you’ve got verification with O’Keefe on the run. If you’re left wing and feel like civil liberties are being trampled to death in the current political climate, you’ve got Carrie pontificating to her family. (And Carrie is hardly a reliable narrator so even if you don’t believe in her agenda, it’s hardly being portrayed as “correct.” To me, anyway.)

And then there’s Keane. She still seems more like Hillary–who has more than a little bit of paranoia in her character (justifiably)–than Trump to me. My point is that viewers of all political perspectives can project their angst and anger onto her. If her actions seem Trumpish, you hate her. If her actions seem Hillaryish, you hate her.

Does that make sense?

I love your idea of creating new fun content. Just an idea, but maybe you would like to add a “Scene of the Week” segment and analyze it with regards to performance, composition, cinematography, value for the storyline, score etc.

I LOVE this idea. 

The Director’s Chair feature contained elements of that but, to your point,  what’s excellent about Homeland  (yes, I still have good things to say!) is that there’s rarely an episode – even the horrible episodes – without at least one scene that becomes iconic.

Think about 6.12, even. Love the scene or hate it, but Quinn looking to his right, hauntingly, as he was going into a hail of bullets will stay with me forever and ever and ever.

Cynthia, why were you so disappointed with Claire’s interview responses? Was it because she didn’t mention Quinn’s death?

I’m not sure what to say. Sara was pretty mad at me after she read this post on FMRF.

Yes, to your question.

I think Claire lives in an elitist bubble to be honest. 

I’d draw the parallel with Crudup, actually. I mean, who can dispute that having an affair with a man who has a seven-month pregnant partner was not okay? She’s had ample opportunity to express some wisdom on that question and has only managed: “I was in love and needed to explore it.” 

And now a for a co-star of five years who told the story of a modern veteran BEAUTIFULLY,  and who’s character sacrificed for hers all the fucking time, she can’t give some remedial lipservice?

I’m not even sure she owned it with the Me Too questions, actually –she did not deny, but deflected the questions of personal experience because, God knows, gf knows how to deflect. 

I like to think she knows better but I’m not so sure. She’s been a celebrity since she was a child and has therefore been told that she’s extra special and possesses superhuman talent. Maybe she genuinely doesn’t understand how normal people perceive this sort of behavior. But, yeah, to me…

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PS This is the last I’ll say on the matter because, well, as Sara said to me, “If I talked about Rupert that way, you’d be livid.” My reply? “If Rupert displayed this much assholery, I hope you would.” Here’s the problem with my logic: we don’t really know everything that happened. We just don’t. Rupert himself may have inspired some of this silence. In fact, we know he wasn’t entirely blameless. Regardless, why SHO is okay with the weird-ass PR defies explanation. And why Claire, who is undisputedly the most powerful person at Homeland, wouldn’t understand the optics is just a huge disappointment.

It is what it is.

Cynthia, I agree with your 4 points about why people don’t like Carrie. I’m with you to some extent about the sexism but we’ve seen other women antagonists who have been much more well-received than Carrie. Cersei from GoT, Annalise from How to Get Away with Murder are a couple examples of “crazy,” powerful women that people love to watch and, weirdly, root for (as one would for Tony Soprano). Wonder of Carrie’s ambiguous, inconsistent empathy or redundant behaviors bother people?

I think you can safely say yes for your latter question!

Cersei is part on ensemble, and I think it’s easier to feature “love to hate” women in that context. I haven’t watched How To Get Away With Murder but my impression was always that Annalise Keating was portrayed as more of a heroine, no?

Just curious. Who will be answering most of the asks here during S7? Sara and Ashley? Or will the ladies from FMRF be pulling double duty? Cheers! (Yeah, drinking already. It’s gonna be another wild ride!)

You picked the right time to ask! I had a long-ass discussion with Sara yesterday about whether or not I can get my head into a positive head space about the show. If I can’t manage to do that I will go. 

Monday was tough. I was just so damn disappointed in Claire.

Ashley and Sara will probably be doing most of the asks, regardless. They have the best “blog voices” IMO anyway–maybe it’s a Millennial thing?

As for the FMRF crew, Frangi has always been the expert on fic and research-heavy questions, but those asks are less common.

My “core competency” is the raging/frustrated asks, along with (or often together with) Quinn-focused topics. Those will obviously slow as the show moves forward. Also, Rupert’s many new projects that we’ve been discussing over on FMRF are surprisingly interesting to cover–and they make me happy!

It’s ceazy that so-called fans who “love” Quinn and Rupert would be bullying others and sending in nasty asks 🤦🏻‍♀️ Q and Rupert would find this behavior repulsive and intolerable. Once i had a not so nice response from Cynthia when comparing Carrie to Aimee, but seriously we are all human, have bad days, get emotional, whine at times, complain, and bicker, but hopefully can continue to see the bigger picture and move on like the grown-up kick-ass, smart, passionate women we all are 😍😍😍

Oh, for sure, I’ll own my part of that. Thank you! 

Fandom is crazy, right?

If it was posted during the deluge of Quinn grief we were all drinking from a fire hose and I should apologize. And I do. (Btw, around here I’m the one who usually tries to get fellow blog members to be nicer. Really!)

Anyway, it sounds like me. I get pretty weirded out by fandom comparisons of fiction and non-fiction. It goes back to my TXF days. (SO many weird DD/GA fics.)

Well, sociopath that was RFs own words, but Carrie being a psycopath is maybe even worse. I dont care what she is, really, it all comes down to not being able to root for her character anymore. I wish I could but its just not possible. Sometimes characters this flawed, you sort of get an understanding, an empathy for them, I felt this for her for years, but Im so disappointed in Carrie. Guess I feel what Quinn felt, a great disappointment in her. I dont like her.

Here’s the quote from Rupert:

In terms of Carrie’s dark side, that’s absolutely exemplified in the penultimate episode of the season, when she seems to be unable to process that her selfishness and lack of accountability in waking up a man from a coma for answers that he may well not even have, endangering his life for answers he might not well even have. She doesn’t seem to be able to process her own responsibility in that. That strikes me bordering on sociopathic, if not psychopathic. (x)

Boy, on reread Rupes is one pissed off dude in that interview (justifiably, I’d say). (Apparently he also says the “sociopath” in his FB interview.)  Anyway, people use “sociopath” and “psychopath” interchangeably, but they’re actually very different conditions.

We needn’t like a lead character to watch. Some of the best shows in the past decade or two have been led by hatable, narcissistic characters. But the difference between those characters and Carrie is that they made sense. The showrunners of those shows never fucked around with the audience about how limited and detestable these guys were. Did any of us really ever expect to see real growth or evolution or true love for Walter White, Tony Soprano, Dexter Morgan, and Don Draper?

It’s all about expectation management… and that’s where Gansa has really, really face planted.

This effort, season after season, to try to make us empathize with Carrie just feels so dishonest and manipulative to the audience when you consider the entirety of her behavior. So why don’t they own it? Why the constant equivocation on showing her moral bankruptcy in blunt terms?

I suspect the issue comes down to one (or more) of the following:

  1. Claire Danes. Her acting style literally invites the audience to feel her pain.
  2. Fear of showing a CIA operative/defender of America being really hatable.
  3. Fear of featuring a person with bipolar also being hatable.
  4. Rote sexism. They just don’t believe a woman can pull off an antihero character.

I’m undecided. What do you all think?


Quick note from Sara: My guess is that it’s a combination of all four, but I’d also append the rote sexism note and say that either the writers don’t believe a woman can pull off an antihero character successfully and/or they don’t believe the audience would be as invested in a story about a narcissistic, psychopathic woman.

I agree with Cynthia that there has been poor expectations management around whether or not Carrie is a person we should love or hate, root for or against (and some of this is really complicated by the fact that Carrie has devoted her adult life to stopping terrorism, although the show examines the moral sacrifices inherent to that goal). Cynthia references better-told antihero stories above and I would not disagree that Breaking Bad and Mad Men were better-told stories about antiheroes. But they were also stories about men. As a society, we are infinitely more comfortable watching stories about “difficult men” who behave badly. We haven’t yet gotten there with women and I firmly believe any discussion about this must take that into account.  

Said Cynthia: “It’s just exhausting and almost impossible for me to root for her…” Exactly!! I mean seriously, if you can’t root for the main character, or any others, what is the point of watching anymore? I think the majority of the fandom is so exhausted at this point. And with so many other shows to watch, why bother? Great post, Cynthia.

Thanks! The post was a little tough for two reasons: 

  1. It caused Sara some serious pain. And y’all, please don’t roll your eyes. Whether you’re here out of loyalty/legacy or to watch the roadkill which is HL in it’s final two seasons, this girl loves, loves, loves Carrie Mathison and I’d argue anything that pure should be honored. 
  2. The best point was from Ashley (and I’m paraphrasing): “Cynthia, do you really think Gansa gives a flying fuck about Carrie’s mental state? It’s just bad writing.”

So… 

We’re all doing some serious soul searching around here about how to proceed at HYH. None of us really want to hang out here just to answer angry asks and none of us can really make sense of the show or Carrie any more. 

We invite your feedback on the topic. Constructive feedback, please.

To Cynthia. Thanks for answering my inquiry about the Dawson’s Creek article in Vanity Fair wrt AFG. I reblogged it with a thank you note for you, but it didn’t post with the notes. Also, I have tried to “like” several posts on HYH and FMRF, but they will rarely allow me to do so. I click on the heart several times and nothing happens. Still trying to figure out this whole Tumblr technology. Thank you to Sara also for your lengthy replies. No need to post this. Just a thank you, and bear w/ me.

@worriedduck, no worries! Tumblr can be testy with all of us. I saw your note on the post and appreciate it. I had posted a thing on the Dawson’s Creek craziness on LJ years ago. I was happy to revisit it.