Homeland - Season Six:
Homeland is a show that at its very best was mediocre.
it was a thing when it first came out, though i didn't see what was so great about it.
now-a-days i don't think people care about Homeland anymore but, they keep making more of it so i have to keep watching it.

Homeland is a show about a lady with mental problems who somehow was allowed to become a CIA agent.
every seasons she would go off her meds to unlock her superpower bipolar disorder in order to fight crime.
after several seasons the lady with mental problems is no longer working for the CIA and in this season, they don't even play up her mental problems angle.
it doesn't matter.

Season Six of Homeland has the Formerly-Crazy-Former-CIA Lady working for a legal aid program in New York City that helps Muslims accused of being terrorists get back on the streets.
of course, the end result of her work is that a Nigerian who the NYPD had arrested for administering a website praising jihadis gets released and then detonates a van full of explosives in midtown.
the Formerly-Crazy-Former-CIA Lady decides that the Nigerian kid was innocent, though, and that there was a conspiracy afoot.
helping her to unravel the conspiracy is her buddy who became severely brain-damaged in Season Five.
as the season's twelve episodes progress we find out that the American intelligence community is conspiring with the military-industrial complex to sabotage the newly-elected lady-President who opposes foreign intervention.
also in on the conspiracy is an Alex Jones-type radio bloviator who also somehow runs a private intelligence facility that uses automated bots to create millions of fake online personas to influence public opinion.
all of this shit is what they call 'ripped from the headlines'
in the end, the Formerly-Crazy-Former-CIA Lady and her mentally retarded buddy are able to foil the conspiracy to try to assassinate the newly-elected lady-President but the season ends with it turning out that the newly-elected lady-President really is rotten with no respect for civil liberties or checks-and-balances and that the Deep State was right to try to get rid of her. the end.

Season Six of Homeland is just commentary on the first few months of the Trump Administration.
it wasn't its own story, it wasn't organic to the theme of the series and the characters, it was just cheep political commentary dressed up like a season of a show nobody cares about anymore.
don't get me wrong, i enjoy political commentary in my stories, i demand it, but commentary should be allegory, not a pastiche of newspaper clippings.
the whole season felt forced and improbable.
another criticism of Season Six of Homeland is that it is highly improbable that so many members of the Intelligence and Military communities would be willing to go along with acts of terrorism, murder and assassination, all on American soil, and just be cool with it.
individual people can be evil, but institutions are too cumbersome, too unwieldy to be that level of corrupt.
look at what's happening with the Trump Administration falling apart.
when any more then two or three people conspire to do some villainy, there is no way word of it won't get out.

the one thing Season Six of Homeland did right, i suppose, was telling the story of the unraveling of the Trump Administration from the point of Trump supporters.
what if there really is a deep-state conspiracy to undermine the President? what if everything we have been hearing about collusion with Russia is being orchestrated by the CIA?
that's not true, but invariably there will be a significant segment of the population who will believe it.
and some percentage of them will point to Season Six of Homeland and say “right there! like that!”

for being a show that wanted to be relevant so bad that they were willing to supplant their own narrative in exchange for something cheap they thought would sell, but, in the process, for helping a guy like me who has no tolerance for conspiracy see current events from the point of view of Trump supporters, Season Six of Homeland earns a 4.8/10.

Bates Motel - Season Five:
Bates Motel is a TV show about Normal Bates, from Psycho.
it is a 'reimagining' of the Psycho concept, set in present-day which bothered me at first because i guess i am easily bothered.
Psycho is one of the only old movies that is good and why fuck with it, was my thinking. but i gave the show a fair shot and it turned out okay.
not great, but pretty good.
Season Five was the fifth and final season.
i can't say that i am glad to see it go, but i don't think i will miss it, either.

Season Five takes place two years after Season Four which ended with Norman Bates poisoning his mother with carbon monoxide.
it was supposed to be a murder-suicide but ended up being a murder and now, to cope with the guilt and the loneliness, Norman Bates decided that his mother was just pretending to be dead, and carried on a relationship with her in his mind.
this gets complicated when Norman Bates notices a lady in town who looks a lot like his mom and he develops an attraction to her, but she is married and also Norman Bates's mom-in-his-head doesn't like him dating.
anyways, it turns out that Norman Bates' would-be love interest's husband was cheating on her with Rihana of all people at the Bates Motel and Norman Bates decided to murder him.
but, the guilt of murdering some dude as Norman Bates, rather then in his 'mother' persona got to him, and, in a conflict with 'mother' he eventually decided to call the cops and turn himself in.
but then, in the last few episodes Norman Bates' mother's boyfriend breaks out of prison with only a year left in his sentence because he just couldn't wait to kill Norman for killing his girlfriend.
Norman Bates' mother's boyfriend goes and busts Norman out of the local jail and tries to murder him, but Norman gets the better of him and brains him with a rock.
even though Norman Bates is a 130 pound kid with mental issues and his dead-mother's boyfriend is a former-sheriff and all around badass with no less then eighty pounds on him and a gun.
Norman escapes back to the Bates Motel where his older brother confronts him and ends up killing him for reasons that don't make a lot of sense.
the Older Brother was concerned about Norman and he could have just as easily called the police and had his kid brother sent off to a mental facility but instead he makes the choice to murder him, which seems really unnecessary. the end.

i've said it before, but the best thing about the Bates Motel series is the kid they have playing Norman Bates.
i don't often compliment actors because acting is silly, it's playing-pretend for a living, but, in rare occasions it can be impressive.
the kid they have playing Norman Bates is great casting. he's a real creep and really makes the series.
all of the problems with Season Five of Bates Motel seem to stem from characters that weren't necessary to the story.
like the series had the Mother's Boyfriend and Older Brother on the payroll and figured they ought to use them in some capacity, but couldn't figure out how.
the season would have been just fine without either character showing up and confusing things with unnecessary plot-holes, but, i guess they were on contract, so the writers had to think of something to do with them.

for being a pretty-good show with a delightful creep of a main character that just didn't know what to do with itself in the homestretch the fifth and final season of Bates Motel earns a 6.0/10.

//[ab irato ad astra]

October 2017

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