Why ‘Homeland’ and ‘24: Legacy’ Ignore the Realities of Terrorism

It’s hard to recognize Showtime’s television drama, Homeland, from the show that first grabbed us by the collar back in 2011, and not only because fan favorite Brody checked out the hard way at the end of season three.

Political correctness has succeeded in taking over the critically-acclaimed show, with a resulting disconnection from reality.

In the new season, our complicated hero Carrie (Claire Danes) is now helping Muslims in the U.S. avoid the long arm of the law. Why would the police want to investigate, let alone bother, Muslim Americans? For one thing, the characters in question can’t stop dabbling in radical Islamic hate online.

Or worse.

One Muslim tried to bring down a U.S. bridge with a blow torch. And Carrie has his back. That Carrie? The same woman who risked everything to protect innocents from terror attacks is now rushing to the aid of potential terrorists?

She doesn’t see it that way.

“He’s doing twenty years essentially for being an idiot,” she says in the show’s season six premiere about the blowtorch culprit. Another terrorist sympathizer is just “an angry kid,” she complains.

Isn’t that an effective way of saving lives, investigating those who are actively cheering on terrorism and potentially networking with masterminds abroad?

Not to the new, “improved” Carrie.

“Law enforcement has to stop harassing and demonizing an entire community,” she says, channeling your average MSNBC host.

It’s the opposite of what we’re seeing from the Trump administration, which prefers “extreme vetting” over fuzzy immigration policies. The new season of Homeland began production before Trump’s improbable Election Day victory. Yet the show’s narrative hardly fits the nation’s current mood. Voters chose a leader ready to defend us against the possibility of sleeper cells and border-hopping terrorists.

Once again, Hollywood just doesn’t get it. And the show’s producer inadvertently explained why during the press push for the new season. Show co-creator Howard Gordon told the New York Times late last year how filming the show’s fifth season impacted him. During one location shoot in Berlin he saw graffiti slamming the series as racist.

“It was eye-opening. Part of it was just mischief, but part of it started a productive conversation that I think led to this year’s story. I think Alex [Gansa, the showrunner] was so stunned, because this was the last thing in the world he wanted to be a purveyor of.”

During that same New York Times conversation Quantico co-creator Joshua Safran vowed what he won’t bring to his ABC series: reality.

“For me, it was important to not ever put a Muslim terrorist on our show. There hasn’t been one. This year we have the appearance of one—which is a spoiler. But it’s not true,” Safran said.

It’s hard to miss those international headlines tied to radical Islamic terror these days. It’s been that way for some time. Yet Safran refused to even entertain such a narrative on his show.

Of course before Homeland there was 24, the FOX series that made Kiefer Sutherland a star. Sutherland’s Jack Bauer stopped terrorists by any means necessary. It often got ugly. He’d use torture in the proverbial ticking time bomb scenarios. And he’d save the day twnty-four hours at a time.

The new reboot of the show, 24: Legacy, begins with jihadists doing what they, unfortunately, do best: Kill.

But don’t be fooled, says the show’s creative team. As co-showrunner Manny Coto explained:

“The story of this season deliberately starts on an image that you might call jingoistic, expected and possibly inflammatory . . . What at first seems like a kind of straightforward jingoistic event unfolds like an onion into something much different and surprising and kind of sweeps aside the initial impressions that the season begins with . . . I like to say the series begins as if it was written by Trump, but it ends as if it were written by Hillary.”

Does Coto know who won the 2016 presidential election?

This is what happens when PC pressure is applied to storytelling. The result? Propaganda, not truth.

It’s one of countless reasons why an egomaniacal reality show star is now our Commander in Chief. For all of Trump’s flaws, he isn’t afraid to call radical Islamic terrorism by its rightful name.

The same, sadly, can’t be said of the two highest profile shows on television that take on terrorism in our modern age.



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