Binge Guide

Everything You Need to Know Before You Binge-Watch Homeland

by | September 28, 2015 | Comments

With Showtime’s monster hit Homeland coming back for its much-anticipated fifth season this weekend, we know some of you still need to catch up. With that in mind, here’s a handy-dandy guide to help you in your effort to binge the past four seasons in anticipation for Sunday’s premiere, should you choose to attempt such an undertaking.


What’s the premise? A bipolar CIA officer determined to bring down a notorious terrorist suspects a returning war hero has been compromised.  As her investigation progresses, it takes a toll on her personal life and her career, putting the agency, her loved ones, and herself at considerable risk.

What’s it like? If the action in Homeland feels familiar, that’s because one of its creators, Howard Gordon, previously worked on 24. Gordon co-developed this government thriller with Alex Gansa, whose credits include The X-Files and the 1980s version of Beauty and the Beast. Take the political intrigue and action of 24, add the strong-yet-flawed female lead of Nurse Jackie, and shake well.

Where can I see it? Season five begins this Sunday, October 4 at 9:00 p.m. on Showtime. The next day, episodes are available on demand and on Showtime Anytime. Previous seasons are on Vudu, Amazon Instant Video, and iTunes, as well as DVD, Blu-Ray, and Showtime Anytime.

How long will it take? All four seasons consist of twelve episodes each, with a grand total of 48 episodes clocking in at about an hour apiece. In other words, if you’ve never seen an episode, there’s probably not a good chance you’ll be caught up by Sunday. But if you’re willing to give it a good three weeks to a month, you should be back on track before the midpoint of season five.

What do the critics think? The first four seasons are all Certified Fresh, with season one coming in at a perfect 100 percent, followed by season two at 97 percent, three at 84 percent, and four at 82 percent on the Tomatometer. Most of the critics are hooked: Dorothy Rabinowitz of the Wall Street Journal said, “Once you watch the first episode, it’s going to be hard standing the wait for the next,” while Mike Hale of the New York Times wrote in his season two review that “the combination of adult intelligence and crisp action is still pretty much unmatched on American television.”

Why should I watch this? If ever there was a series that consistently left you with your mouth agape in shock at the end — and sometimes, even in the middle — of each episode, this is it. The season one finale will leave you with a cliffhanger so huge that it’ll feel like Christmas morning to have season two readily available to watch. And for all of you My So-Called Life fans, if you felt Angela Chase disappeared from your screen much too soon 20 years ago, you’ll want to tune in to watch Claire Danes‘s Emmy-winning performance as Carrie Mathison.

What’s my next step? Homeland is based on the Israeli series Hatufim by Gideon Raff, whose inspiration came from moving back to Israel after living in Los Angeles for eight years. “Home” looked and felt different than he remembered, and he harnessed that sense of general apprehension to write a sharp government thriller. Although Raff didn’t draw from any specific films, if you enjoy political thrillers, you may also like State of Play, Body of Lies, Zero Dark Thirty, and Fair Game.

What do you like about Homeland? How would you explain it to a newbie? Any big predictions for season five? Get in on the conversation here.

Tag Cloud

VICE zombies GoT DC streaming service Masterpiece The Walking Dead streaming nature Paramount cars SundanceTV Calendar satire FOX Film christmas movies period drama 45 all-time twilight Opinion Election Music Super Bowl crime drama Marathons E3 WarnerMedia comiccon cults TCA 2017 best A24 comedies 21st Century Fox Reality TV Land Sci-Fi science fiction natural history television Crunchyroll Kids & Family Lifetime Superheroe batman Sundance Song of Ice and Fire supernatural sag awards discovery GLAAD rotten movies we love Disney Channel binge BBC America TCA true crime free movies spanish language Shondaland Summer blockbuster sequel Teen Amazon Studios comics Netflix Christmas movies indie CBS All Access Apple TV+ scary movies Nat Geo psychological thriller Comic Book Star Trek mission: impossible comic YouTube Brie Larson name the review 20th Century Fox Country breaking bad elevated horror A&E cartoon Grammys asian-american politics Food Network USA Apple PBS hispanic HBO Go blaxploitation Tomatazos BBC One Spectrum Originals 2017 Marvel Studios Britbox Television Academy dramedy Lucasfilm E! renewed TV shows Arrowverse directors concert New York Comic Con doctor who Paramount Network Peacock Cartoon Network technology 007 VOD Hallmark FX on Hulu Horror CNN Emmy Nominations RT21 Year in Review diversity anthology toy story talk show Nominations Turner Logo golden globes dceu Dark Horse Comics Walt Disney Pictures President RT History Awards Tour Toys Thanksgiving historical drama Spike movies latino San Diego Comic-Con HBO Max Winter TV children's TV Pet Sematary singing competition medical drama TruTV Countdown screen actors guild Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Trophy Talk NBC Baby Yoda Pixar Comics on TV Awards mutant History VH1 jamie lee curtis 2019 Cannes Classic Film WGN documentary foreign Adult Swim spider-man Musical robots SXSW USA Network crime TCA Winter 2020 TIFF DirecTV dc 71st Emmy Awards Trailer Rocky based on movie Tumblr cancelled TV shows BET Bravo Certified Fresh MCU harry potter Best and Worst Fox News strong female leads slashers Cosplay Writers Guild of America ABC Showtime tv talk Crackle cancelled television Turner Classic Movies films canceled series video on demand dragons FXX See It Skip It OneApp Stephen King Western Infographic Tarantino 2016 aliens Podcast parents Biopics critics IFC Musicals halloween APB Spring TV Vudu adventure Chernobyl Fall TV finale game show news Holidays serial killer dark Reality Competition thriller Heroines Martial Arts zombie Hulu BAFTA justice league 4/20 Ovation GIFs Discovery Channel docudrama OWN festivals miniseries Christmas facebook Women's History Month CBS a nightmare on elm street cops Valentine's Day Comedy Disney Plus First Reviews Warner Bros. chucky Mary Poppins Returns The Purge Lionsgate psycho PlayStation Rocketman NYCC crossover stand-up comedy Red Carpet war franchise Mystery Epix cinemax DGA theme song documentaries Travel Channel Mindy Kaling PaleyFest Elton John Pirates political drama teaser Sundance Now stoner Acorn TV criterion reboot canceled TV shows TV Mudbound AMC cancelled TV series Anna Paquin Binge Guide 2018 Mary poppins animated TLC Pop TCM Universal screenings ABC Family 24 frames Amazon Shudder Black History Month cats cancelled biography space LGBT First Look ITV romantic comedy what to watch Sony Pictures vampires LGBTQ Drama movie spinoff TBS BBC Star Wars Amazon Prime Interview witnail Lifetime Christmas movies MSNBC Creative Arts Emmys sports crime thriller Disney YouTube Red Oscars The Witch unscripted Animation YouTube Premium Set visit Avengers Marvel Emmys Fantasy cooking Hear Us Out Quiz child's play book reviews die hard National Geographic Winners romance Family Watching Series Film Festival Nickelodeon anime Polls and Games Chilling Adventures of Sabrina YA 2015 Premiere Dates Ghostbusters Sundance TV Hallmark Christmas movies award winner Black Mirror versus Pop TV green book Syfy DC Universe richard e. Grant video revenge HBO Amazon Prime Video MTV independent boxoffice disaster Esquire Funimation Action joker Comedy Central Disney+ Disney Plus CW Seed Photos Marvel Television Superheroes spy thriller The CW casting Ellie Kemper Pride Month quibi zero dark thirty Disney streaming service Holiday police drama El Rey Captain marvel X-Men dogs Box Office Apple TV Plus CMT Academy Awards hist ESPN ratings Rom-Com The Arrangement Trivia composers SDCC American Society of Cinematographers Mary Tyler Moore south america universal monsters IFC Films ghosts TNT Endgame BET Awards spain kids Sneak Peek DC Comics Freeform Extras TV renewals werewolf mockumentary Netflix Columbia Pictures Rock indiana jones transformers adaptation social media Schedule travel sitcom Tubi game of thrones FX Video Games Starz 2020 Character Guide