Monday, September 30, 2013

Homeland's Back

Had it been an option, TigerBlog would have selected the opportunity to watch the remaining 11 episodes of Season 3 of "Homeland" one after the other, for the 11 hours immediately following last night's first episode of the new season.

He could have done it too. Last night's episode ended at 10, so he would have been tied up watching "Homeland" until 9 a.m. this morning. He would have been fine with it, and he certainly wouldn't have fallen asleep.

Oh, and if you haven't seen the first two seasons, you can't start watching in Season 3. You must go back to Season 1, Episode 1, and go from there.

Also, TB promises not to give away any plot details here, for those who are watching on demand.

TB has heard people talk about "Homeland" in terms of "jumping the shark," something that makes him cringe. He handle it, having a show that has been this amazing for its first two seasons ever doing that to him.

Not to worry. Episode 1 did a great job of setting the stage for the rest of Season 3, and TB cannot wait for Sunday nights at 9 from now until Dec. 15.

"Homeland" is in a tough position, because it couldn't stay with what it was in Season 1 (is Brody a terrorist) or Season 2 (okay, he's sort of a terrorist but nobody really knows that). Instead, it established last night that the entire country views him as a terrorist and traitor, and now Season 3 sets up as being about how much Carrie will be able to prove that or disprove that, all while being fought at every turn by the Congress (expected) and CIA, especially Saul (very unexpected).

And then there is the overriding question - did Brody do it or not?

Then there is the subplot of Brody's family, especially his daughter. In almost any other show, this would be something of window dressing, and the family drama would be forced and overdone with stereotypical characters. Here? It's a perfect blend of very human people being tossed into something they never wanted any part of or expected.

As Mrs. Brody said last night, "he was only supposed to be in the Marines for two years, but then 9/11 happened." Imagine what their life would be had that not happened?

They'd be just another happy, well-adjusted suburban couple (albeit with a son who was such a bad actor that they actually replaced him with another actor in Season 3). On the other hand, Morgan Saylor, the 20-year-old who plays the Brody's daughter, is so off-the-charts good that she in many ways carries the show through the non-CIA parts the way Claire Danes does the rest of it.

The episode last night did a great job of catching everyone up on last season and setting up what's coming next. It did this, in a stroke of genius, without ever having Brody on camera.

TigerBlog gives Episode 1 an A. He gives the coming attractions of the rest of the season an A+.

And while the subject is "things that were set in Washington, D.C. this weekend," there was the Princeton football game.

The Tigers played at Georgetown Saturday in a game that TigerBlog was not at, though he was following it on Twitter closely. These were the scores in the first quarter:


Those are not exactly normal scores, but okay. Since Princeton had the 22 at the end of the quarter, the Tigers were fine with them.

Since that 22 grew to 50 by the time the game was over, it was even more acceptable.

Princeton put up 50 points in a game for the first time since the year 2000, when David Splithoff went off in a 55-28 win over Brown.

Princeton had some amazing numbers in the game, including rushing for 326 yards and six touchdowns while not having any player rush more than 11 times. Of course, that didn't stop Princeton from having a 100-yard rusher of the second straight week, this time Brian Mills, after DiAndre Atwater did so last week.

And then there's Quinn Epperly. You don't think this guy is fun to watch?

How about 3 for 6 for 19 yards, not to mention five carries for 69 yards - and four touchdowns. In other words only one of his five carries did not result in a touchdown.

Actually, what TB said about Epperly applies to the whole team. It's just a fun team to watch.

So through two games, the Tigers are 1-1, just a few tough breaks against nationally ranked Lehigh from being 2-0. Up next is Columbia, in the Ivy opener.

Harvard and Yale are both 1-0 in the league, off their wins last weekend over Brown and Cornell. The race has a long, long way to go to see how it's going to shape up, and Princeton needs a good showing against Columbia to vault itself into the conversation.

TB was optimistic after last week's game against Lehigh, even with the loss.

Now? He's excited to see the Tigers this Saturday.

And "Homeland" the next 11 Sundays.

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