Homeland

In the season finale of the third season of "Homeland," Carrie Mathison, the bipolar CIA agent played by Claire Danes, is appointed as the Istanbul bureau chief to oversee the agency’s covert Iranian operation—the result of a season-long effort to place a double agent in the upper echelons of Iranian intelligence.

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America's least-favorite city is television's favorite backdrop.

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Homeland's plot may have jumped the shark this season. But its portrayal of Washington jumped the shark a long time ago.

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It’s as hard to keep a longform television narrative going as it is to raise a child. Sometimes shorter forms are tempting, with old-hat conventions like climax and closure. But these longform series now have a pressing ambition to be as good as the best modern novels. That raises an awkward question: Are we watching the predicament of the characters, or the cornered rat antics of the writers?

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The Veep Is More Popular Than the President

How the worst job in Washington became television's favorite role

If Joe Biden really wants to get the most out of his time as vice president, he should sign a development deal instead of forming an exploratory committee. On television, the Naval Observatory is the hottest real estate since Melrose Place—far more popular, even, than that mansion over on Pennsylvania Avenue.

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In their conversation about Episode 3 of Homeland, New Republic Senior Editor Isaac Chotiner and former CIA man Robert Baer discuss the way the Agency exerts psychological control over its agents, and whether the show is becoming more like "Breaking Bad."Isaac Chotiner: Did you notice that this episode had a lot of spy-movie clichés? The first was the guy waking up in bed not knowing where he is. I suppose I should ask whether that has ever happened to you.

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CIA directors don’t have time to roll up their sleeves and walk around the building says our Homeland expert, former CIA Agent Robert Baer.

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Robert Baer is a former CIA case officer who served everywhere from Iraq to the former Soviet Union. (The 2005 film Syriana, starring George Clooney, was an adaptation of several of his books about the intelligence world.) Who better, then, to discuss Season 3 of “Homeland,” which premiered last night on Showtime? Every Monday, Baer and New Republic Senior Editor Isaac Chotiner will chat about the previous night’s episode. The conversations contain spoilers. 

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The TV poster has evolved from marketing tool into artistic enterprise.

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The TV Shows That Prepared Us for the NSA Scandal

Assessing a decade of surveillance television

If the details of the NSA scandal have seemed eerily familiar, perhaps it’s because TV drama has been playing out similar scenarios for years. The past decade has seen a flood of national-security related TV shows that refract our anxieties du jour and offer different spins on the hazards of big data and the assorted ways we justify privacy invasion in the name of national security. In recent years technology has morphed from a snazzy instrument in the game of taking out enemies, as it was in most Cold-War-era spy shows, into a threat in and of itself. Elsewhere, PRISM-esque technology serves as a deus ex machina, a quick and justified way to solve crimes and thwart terrorism. If you want to fuel your paranoia about the national security apparatus, here’s what to watch—and how they stack up against the real thing.

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