Top 5 Shows Fans of “Homeland” Should Watch
We’ve put together a list of shows that will satisfy any “Homeland” fan.
1. Prisoners of War
Where to watch: Hulu
There would be no Homeland without the award-winning 2010 Israeli drama series Prisoners of War, a two-season series that was adapted into eight seasons of Homeland. Though Homeland would evolve to become its own thing, Prisoners of War gave Homeland creators Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, along with Prisoners of War creator Gideon Raff, the idea to build a show around prisoners of war returning home after years of captivity and trying to readjust to life back home as their families moved on without them. In Prisoners of War, two POWs return to Israel to find a world they barely recognize… and officials find out they may be hiding their own secrets, much like Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) did. Prisoners of War is different enough that it works more as a companion piece to Homeland rather than as its source material, and in some ways it’s a better show as it really focuses on the family drama rather than the CIA’s operations against terrorists. This one’s for fans of Homeland‘s early seasons.
2. Sleeper Cell
Where to watch: Hulu, Showtime
What if there was a drama featuring like half a dozen Nicholas Brodys’ Showtime’s Sleeper Cell, which debuted in 2005, ran for two seasons and was one of television’s first shows that was a direct response to the 9/11 attacks and America’s new world order. It followed a Muslim undercover FBI agent (Michael Ealy) who infiltrated a sleeper cell of terrorists, who all came from different racial and economic backgrounds, and had varying ideas of Islam and the cell’s purpose. Sleeper Cell was particularly adept at raising issues that had fractured the Muslim community, such as the violence used by radicals, as well as stirring up paranoia that anyone, no matter their skin color, could be an agent of domestic terrorism.
3. Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan
Where to watch: Amazon
Thanks to natural charisma and a few extra hours put in the gym, it takes John Krasinski only a few minutes to stop making a frumpy face into the camera, shed his Jim Halpert image, and become America’s newest version of the literary action hero Jack Ryan. Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan gives us the Jack Ryan origin story, showing the CIA agent in his early days as a desk jockey before he shot up the ranks to become one of the agency’s greatest assets. Like Homeland, Jack Ryan spent tons of cash to get on-location shots around the globe, making it TV’s best-looking spy thriller (thanks, Jeff Bezos!) with a crew that added in some impressive action sequences. It’s not quite the character study that Homeland is, Jack’s a little bland, especially in Season 1 – but it’s a solid interpretation of the books that made Clancy commonplace on the bedside tables of dads everywhere.
4. The Americans
Where to watch: Amazon
If you say you love spy shows but also say “I haven’t seen The Americans yet” then turn around and keep walking, pal. FX’s drama isn’t just one of the best spy shows ever made, it’s one of the best TV shows ever made, period. Stars Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell give career-best performances as a pair of Russian spies masquerading not only as plain Americans in the 1980s, but, with their two American-born children who don’t know their parents are spies, also as a regular American family. You’ll salivate over the low-tech spy games of the era and the complex political plotting, but the real drama of The Americans is within the family unit and their pesky CIA agent neighbor who suspects something might be up. You’ve been putting this off for too long, binge it now and thank me when you hear the first Fleetwood Mac song.
5. London Spy
Where to watch: Netflix
Homeland‘s early seasons were beloved because of the complicated love story between Carrie and Brody. She was a CIA agent, he was a prisoner of war and national hero who was secretly turned by his captors to spy on America. Love and spyjinx cross paths again in London Spy, a BBC drama starring Ben Whishaw as a man who discovers his boyfriend was a spy after he’s found dead. It’s a tight drama mixing romance and thrills, with less romance (he’s dead!) and more thrills. And at five episodes, it can be finished in an afternoon.