NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!


Julie Moffet . Clare London . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A. Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson

Monday, October 6, 2014

Homeland's thoroughly dislikable heroine

I'm writing this in front of the TV, where I'm anxiously awaiting the first episode of the fourth season of Homeland, one of my all time favorite shows. I don't watch much television – I can't deal with sitcoms or shows that feel formulaic or predictable. I also dislike characters that are simply "too too:" too good, too bad, too beautiful, too ugly.

Now I'm the first to admit that the characters in my novels are very good-looking and sexy, but they're imperfect all the same. Most of them have a past they're not proud of (kinda like all of us, right?), but they evolve and do the right thing in the end. That's what romance readers expect, and it makes us feel good.

Enter Carrie Mathison, the bipolar CIA agent (played brilliantly by Claire Danes) on Homeland who spends at least half her time on screen behaving unpleasantly (read: acting like a total b--ch), alienating her coworkers, exploiting her family and sleeping with the enemy. She insults people, yells and curses a lot, drinks way too much and has sex with strangers. She looks ordinary most of the time and downright ugly when she cries. 


In other words, she's the real deal.

The most extraordinary thing about Carrie is her freakishly spot-on intuition. Lots of super intelligent, highly analytical people work for the CIA, but they don't have her gift for seeing what no one else is willing or able to see. She fully intends to save the world and will use any method—illegal or unethical if necessary—to do it. If Carrie were a real person I wouldn't want to put up with her snark or her craziness to be her friend, but I think she's an incredible woman.


If you're a Homeland fan I'd love to know what you think of Carrie. If you're not, is there a character from another TV show or movie you don't like but admire the hell out of?

-- Ana Barrons

7 comments:

Anne Marie Becker said...

Interesting post, Ana. I've heard about Homeland for years now, and I think I'll get to it eventually. (I love Claire Danes!) Carrie sounds like a fabulously interesting character, and those are the types of shows I've been sucked into lately. My recent binge was Justified, and I'm enjoying all of the characters there - good and bad. The other character that came to mind was Don Draper in Mad Men.

Ana Barrons said...

Ooh, I also love Justified, but I need to get caught up—there are a few rather lovable but unlikable characters on that show! I hope you get around to Homeland at some point, it's incredibly well written and acted, IMO.

Toni Anderson said...

I love Carrie! I've only watched the first 2 seasons. Homeland is brilliantly done.
Most of my heroines and heroes are pretty flawed and, yes, do the right thing in the end. It's that wonderful 'everyone is the hero of their own journey' moment. Carrie knows she is saving the world--or sometimes just saving someone she loves. It's a beautiful thing to watch her go through self destruct and still be smarter than some of the other people there. Fascinating.

Rita said...

Sigh. Soooooooooo much to say and so little time. I like Carrie because she is R E A L. Her private life is totally f’ed up. She is brilliant in her professional life. Everyone around her gives her grief. They all want her to be someone she isn’t. Except for maybe Saul. I never know what he wants. Carrie, while we may not like her decisions, is true to herself. Does her best.
I do my best to make the heroines I write exactly like this.

Ana Barrons said...

Okay, you guys are right, she's likable and maybe even lovable, once you get past the bristles. She is one amazing chick. But jeez, she's prickly..

Maureen A. Miller said...

Well until Anne Marie commented, I would have guessed that I was the only person in the entire world who hadn't seen HOMELAND. :) Ironically, it looks like something that would be right up my alley. I just don't get a lot of TV time. I'm so behind on shows.

Heck, I'm still catching up on 24. :)

Ana Barrons said...

Ah heck, Maureen, when I'm in a group I'm always the one who hasn't seen the show they're talking about. I still haven't seen Buffy...

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