Whoa-man: Sgt. Brody of ‘Homeland’ has the Worst Family

From Honey Boo Boo to the House of Commons, Whoa-man explores pop culture and politics from a woman’s perspective. Hey, there’s at least half of us — am I right, ladies?

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I need to talk to you guys about something that’s bothering me. Do you watch Homeland? You probably watch Homeland — everybody watches Homeland now. I used to enjoy the TV show, but now I just hate-watch it every week to confirm that it continues to feature the worst television family in the history of television.

If for some reason you haven’t been spending Sunday nights with Claire Danes’s erratic facial expressions and crazy eyes, let me catch you up real quick on the details so we can talk about what’s giving me an ulcer.

There’s a war on terror, and a bi-polar CIA agent named Carrie who loves jazz music and casual sex (played with aplomb by Claire Danes) holds herself personally responsible for 9/11. It’s a weird thing to blame yourself for, but I don’t know — she takes a lot of pills, so potato/potato.

In this post-Osama world, the new top terror maker is a bearded man named Abu Nazir. Carrie will say this name so many times in every episode and with so much fervour that you will kind of want him to succeed in his mission to blow up America, just so you never have to hear his dumb name ever again.  Nazir has been holding two U.S. marines hostage for eight years. At the beginning of the show, one of them — Sergeant Nicholas Brody, an impish ginger with no lips — is rescued and comes home after EIGHT long years as a prisoner of war. He’s obviously been tortured and starved and abused and all of the other cool things that happen to P.O.W.’s.

But it’s okay because Brody is going home to his loving wife and kids and everything is going to be okay — yay!

Wrong. Turns out his wife has been having really gross sex with his best friend, Mike, Brody’s son might have a learning disability and his daughter’s only emotion is sulk. Is his family happy to see him? Not really — kind of an inconvenience that he’s back, actually. Does anyone ask him about the terrible, terrible things he’s been through? Huh, no, they’ve been through hard times too, okay — remember that summer it rained for like a week straight? His wife is super bummed out that even though he’s been in a dark room by himself for EIGHT FUCKING YEARS, he is having trouble getting it hard for her. Sad face. Mike doesn’t have a problem with his penis. Brody’s son is upset that his shell-shocked father, who is suffering from a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder, can’t come to his karate match today. Oh well, Uncle Mike was gonna take him anyway.

“Why are you acting so weird?” everyone keeps saying to the guy who was held by violent terrorists for almost a decade while fighting a meaningless war!!!!!! He’s been back for two days and his wife is like, “Ummm… the kids are late for school, get out of your sweatpants!” And he’s like, “oh okay ha no problem, it’s just that I’ve been sinking deeper and deeper into this pool of jagged and overwhelming pressure because I’ve been emotionally blackmailed by my torturers into committing acts of aggression against my own country AND I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FEEL ABOUT THAT. LOLOLOLOL.”

There’s never any family therapy, no group sit-downs to just, like, hug and cry and tell each other how insane and mysterious life can be, but hey, we’ll try and figure it out together. There’s just a lot of eye rolls and temper tantrums and huffs and puffs. I have some thoughts: How about a vacation together? A journal where you all draw how this dramatic event has made you feel? Maybe Mike shouldn’t come over for a few days? I don’t know — these are just ideas. If my husband magically CAME BACK FROM THE DEAD I would be feeling a string of conflicting and complex human emotions, but I am sure one of those emotions would not be frustration that he didn’t take out the garbage this morning. But I don’t know, maybe that’s just me. HA HA WHO KNOWS, let’s ask Mike!

I just want to know if whoever is writing this show has ever interacted with humans before or if it’s like that scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin when the virgin tries to describe boobs without having ever felt them. I think a robot would have a more nuanced understanding of the human experience. It’s a spectrum, Homeland-bot, a spectrum!!!

In an effort to show the Brody family how to deal with trauma, I’m going to be holding weekly therapy sessions for people who are addicted to yelling at their computers every Sunday because WHAT THE FUCK IS THEIR PROBLEM THEY ARE LITERALLY CRYING OVER SPILLED MILK!!!!!!!!!!!

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Amil Niazi is a writer, producer, dreamer and schemer currently based in Toronto. Laugh with her on Tumblr and get to know her on Twitter.