A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this political thriller takes advantage of its premium cable freedom with adult language ("f--k" "s--t"), sexual nudity, mature themes, and heavy, bloody violence. However, none of the adult content is gratuitous and is mostly germane to the story being told and the characters depicted. The show also depicts a complicated and morally questionable vision of government and the military that would only be understood by older, mature teens and adults.
What's the story?
HOMELAND follows the intertwining paths of two main characters. Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) is a CIA operations officer who has been exiled to a desk after a controversial operation in Iraq. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) is an American prisoner of war who has been rescued after being held captive in Iraq since 2003. As Carrie begins to suspect that Brody is actually a double agent for an Iraqi terror cell, her credibility and sanity begin to fray, even as forces move into place that suggest an impending terrorist attack on American soil.
Is it any good?
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks shows that utilize the seminal event as a plot point or character motivator have proliferated. It can often seem pandering or heavy-handed, but Homeland manages to sidestep any cheap exploitation, using the latent paranoia persistent in American culture to fuel a dark, intense political thriller that pits a fraying CIA agent against a POW who has been converted to terrorism.
Homeland is perhaps most reminiscent of 24, another series that utilized post-9/11 paranoia to fuel its season-to-season stories of evil forces at work on American soil. Howard Gordon served as an executive producer on 24 and is also producing Homeland; he brings a similar sensibility to the series. There's a constant suspense and forward motion to the plotting that effortlessly weaves in character detail and emotional conflict alongside the intelligence machinations and political posturing. That focus on constantly moving forward, propelling these characters toward their inevitable collisions with one another, makes Homeland a pulse-pounding hour of television.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the show's sexual content. Do the nudity and graphic sex help to advance the plot or reveal characters? Why is it included?
Are any of the characters in this series role models? Do characters have to be perfect to be considered role models or can they have flaws?
Do you think the series offers an accurate impression of how the CIA and covert operations are run? How would you find out?
For kids who love thrills
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.