"Homeland": Lots of Tick-Tick, Not Much Boom

| Mon Oct. 1, 2012 11:01 AM EDT

It’s hard to tell how clever Showtime's Homeland—whose second season started last Sunday—actually is. One early scene in the season premiere showcases the range of acceptable views for cable news pundits on bombing Iran: A leftist describes the logic of Israel bombing Iran to stop Iran from bombing Israel as "maddening"; a "centrist" opines that military action is sometimes necessary; a right-winger notes that "the Arab religion doesn't value human life the way we do." A fourth voice points out that Iranians are not Arabs.

The scene does not take place on cable news, however. It is an argument between children at a prestigious Quaker private school where prominent government officials send their children (a clear stand-in for Sidwell Friends). Is this setup mere exposition, or a biting satire of a glib media conversation about war that never rises above the level of an argument between children?

Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.