May 7, 2014
Some Methadone Treatment For Your ‘Homeland’ Withdrawal
We can see you, you Homeland fiend. We can see you huddled in your abandoned apartment building in Caracas. We can see you in your dodgy flat in Edinburgh, with your mushroom soup, eight tins of, for consumption cold. We can see you in the basement of a police station in Marseilles, screaming for Hershey bars. We can see you, starving hysterical naked, dragging yourselves through the cable spectrum at dawn, looking for an angry fix. We can feel your pain. We’re Happy Nice Time People, and we’re here to help.
Your methadone dose for the day is an episode of Intelligence. This brand new network show has a sort of Jason Bourne vibe to it — laboratory-created super spy Gabriel Vaughn (Josh Holloway) runs somewhat amok, must be restrained by smoking hot Secret Service babe Riley Neal (Meghan Ory). Marg Helgenberger is in the mix too, providing gravitas out the wazoo, as the “Saul” of the show.
Intelligence is a lot of fun if you don’t think about it too much. They’re definitely aiming for a formulaic will-they-or-won’t-they sexual tension thing between the leads, which is kind of a hack move at this point in TV history. Similarly, is it really necessary that ALL the baddies are Asian, and all the good guys white? On the other hand, the action scenes are top-notch, and Mr. Intelligence’s ability to play back events in 3D is a neat gimmick. This show won’t make you miss Homeland any less, but you might forget about it for an hour during one of the video-game style fight scenes. Airs Mondays at 10PM on CBS (If you missed the pilot, you can watch it online.)
Here’s a couple of valium. The Assets, an eight-part mini-series about the Aldrich Ames fiasco, began airing on ABC this year, but (SPOILER ALERT AND TRIGGER WARNING) the show has already been cancelled for low ratings. Would it kill them to show the other six episodes? Is Shark Tank really that important?
The Assets was sort of an odd duck of a show to begin with. It took place in 1985, and either because of budgetary constraints, or some kind of meta-commentary, it looked like it was made in 1985. The CIA set looked like a barely-dressed soundstage, the acting was right out of Falcon Crest or Dynasty, and the dialogue was fairly hack stuff too. But it had its moments. The Moscow exterior scenes were very grimy and Cold War. Paul Rhys as Aldrich Ames was delightfully weaselly and fairly reeked of VO5 and Hai Karate. Jodie Whittaker as the Carrie Mathison character showed promise — she was great in Attack the Block, a classic Guy Fawkes Day movie. It might be worth searching out the two already-aired episodes, and seeing what ABC plans to do with the rest.
Here is your last, best hope. It’s a new Jack Ryan movie, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, starring Captain Kirk as Jack Ryan, with the posh soccer girl as the love interest, and the dude from Waterworld as his mentor/frenemy. Kenneth Branagh seems to do a lovely Boris and Natasha-style Russki accent. We would mock him further, but we didn’t get invited to at any screenings because we forgot to endorse Chris Christie.
So that’s it – a veritable pharmaceutical cornucopia ideally suited for your purposes. You will come down gradually until Homeland season four starts in late September or early October.