iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Jamison Doran

GET UPDATES FROM Jamison Doran
 

Homeland, a Problem With Location

Posted: 12/12/2012 4:48 pm

Dear Homeland,

First, it has been a wild ride so far, hasn't it? Let's keep that up for the finale this Sunday.

Thank you for being awesome, and for contributing to my sleep depravation many a Sunday night when I stay up past midnight to watch you On Demand.

A lot of people have taken issue with some of the more, shall we say, ridiculous aspects of your show this season. There was that whole Skyping on a Blackberry silliness (though, by the way, please tell me how Abu Nazir was able to get an iPhone 5 so easily, my mother would like to chat with him about her own adventures in acquiring one). Or the crazy hit and run debacle. There was also the whole Gettysburg bomb maker insanity and the wife cheating on her husband five feet away from her kids in a CIA safe house bizareness. Keep it in your pants, Jess... at least while the CIA is watching... and listening.

While friends of mine have scoffed at some of these plot points, I've merely shaken my head. As a former fan of 24 and Alias, I understand the sense of suspended reality needed to enjoy shows of this nature. Do we really want to watch what a CIA agent actually does on a day-to-day basis? Probably not. I imagine it involves far less crying and jazz music. Which is not nearly as much fun.

However, I do have one kind of big gripe. You see, I'm a resident of the District of Columbia. I also happen to be a North Carolinian, who while growing up in the mountains, has spent a lot of time in Charlotte. I think you may know where this is going.

While I couldn't be happier that my home state is getting all sorts of love from the likes of you and The Hunger Games (though I am jealous North Carolina gets Mandy Patinkin), something has got to give or I'm going to go insane.

I realize North Carolina had a much better package to offer you than D.C. did. That's fine. I get it. However, have the show runners never even been to D.C.?

Farragut Square does not have a fountain. It is also not some large, green, lush, gathering place. The only real hustle and bustle there is from the 20-somethings grabbing a bite at a food truck during the week. Or, sadly, the homeless population who sleep on its benches. There are height restrictions in D.C., so standing on a balcony looking at 30-story buildings in downtown Charlotte while talking about the "capital city" are just silly. Our bus routes are not color coded, you're confusing that with our Metro train lines. If your timeline is to be believed, Finn and Dana would have never been able to be in the Washington Monument (regardless of who their parents are...it has been closed since August 2011). Scenes, from what I can only gather were supposed to be in Pentagon City Mall contain stores we don't have in the District or in Northern Virginia (you did make me long for the shopping at South Park Mall though). I live here and had no idea where Truxton Circle was and have still never heard someone use it as causally as it was used in your show. And Bryden University? What on earth is that? Other than something that also appeared in 24?

Yes, these gripes are small and probably silly. However, so many of them could have been changed or completely omitted given your locational restrictions. You chose to use Farragut Square for a reason, though I'm not sure what that reason was. If it is because you heard it was right downtown in a congested area, you'd be correct. A simple Wikipedia search though, would have yielded at least a couple of pictures. I'm sure somewhere in Charlotte could have been made to look similar. Also, could you also not have given a shout out to one of the actual universities in our fine city? Maybe "shout out" isn't the right terminology for a place a terrorist is working at, but you get the idea.

I realize the landscape of North Carolina is intoxicating and it must be tempting just to use what you have in every single scene. But Homeland is set in D.C. and some accuracy would be nice, even if it means having Dana and Finn go somewhere besides the Washington Monument.

I don't want you to think I write this as someone disappointed or angry with you. On the contrary. You're awesome and therefore I hold you to a higher level than I hold most of my TV programming. So pat yourselves on the back. Trust me, I never get this worked up over an episode of Ice Loves Coco... actually that may not be entirely accurate. Regardless, I know you can do better, and portray D.C., at least as far as scenery goes, a little more accurately.

However, if you find yourselves wanting to base a scene in Columbia Heights and Wikipedia turns out to be a bust, hit me up. I'd be more than happy to steer you in the right direction.

Sincerely,

Jamison Doran

P.S. Based on Sunday's episode I am concerned about Saul. If we don't have him next season there may be riots.

 

Follow Jamison Doran on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jamdizzle

FOLLOW TV