There are only three sleeps until Christmas Day, so we'll make the most of the festive spirit and find something positive to write about this week.
Let's see . . . Petra Bagust finished on Breakfast . . . seriously though, it was also the final of the second series of one of our favourite programmes this year, Homeland, on TV3. The first series was superb. The plot had twists and turns that were impossible to predict and it was well scripted, written and acted.
To be honest the second series was a bit less credible, there was a bit more about the loves and lays of the spy mistress and meister, but the big hits still kept coming. Mrs Brown missed most of the first series, but quickly became addicted to the second, with some persuasion from me. That didn't make a huge difference, but when her friend Gay came around one day for a nice cup of organic tea and said how wonderful it was, Homeland quickly became compulsory viewing.
I will briefly outlay some of the plots as they unfolded in this series and you can judge for yourself if it had become just a little far-fetched.
Carrie has undergone electro- shock therapy for being thought to be unstable. She is put on strong medication and is a bit zombie-like. Naturally the CIA, who had sacked her, rehire her to do an undercover mission to a hostile Arab country - it doesn't matter which though, they're all bad these days, aren't they? There she finds incriminating evidence against Brodie, who used to be her lover, but she thought he was a terrorist and no-one believed her, especially not him.
Brodie is a national hero and is now a Congressman. That prompts the vice- president, who is going to run for president, to ask Brodie to become his running mate. Brodie has sworn to kill him, so he agrees.
Around the same time, Brodie's daughter Dana has a new boyfriend who just happens to be the son of the vice-president. The fun-loving kids go for a drive, but after shaking off their Secret Service tail, whoops, they run over a woman who dies.
Dana is crestfallen, boyfriend isn't that concerned, he knows mom and dad will fix the problem. They do. The family is hushed with hush money. Dana feels bad so tells mom and dad. Brodie takes her to the police to confess her part, but Carrie turns up and stops it. The reason?
The evidence Carrie found in Arab land was a video admission explaining why he was a suicide bomber. The only trouble was he didn't go through with it. No matter. Carrie is vindicated by the info to expose Brodie as a terrorist.
Brodie is then interrogated and turned by the CIA, but curiously is allowed to stay on as a Congressman and potential VP running mate, as long as he promises the CIA to resign quietly in a few months.
Carrie and Brody get close again and resume their love affair. They have a night of passion recorded for all the CIA bods to watch and hear.
Brodie's wife Jess, who only ever calls her husband by his last name, Brodie, was sleeping with his best mate Mike while Brodie was presumed dead. She starts sleeping with him again, but it's more of a retaliatory strike because she knows Brodie is sleeping with Carrie.
Abu Nazir, the Arab boss, comes to US and takes Carrie hostage, but lets her go because Brodie provides the medical info that will kill the VP. Brodie then watches him die and tells him how much he hates him for killing a little Arab boy he liked. In Monday's final blockbuster episode, Brodie and Carrie are at the funeral of the VP, but sneak off for a . . . chat, upstairs. While they are pashing Brodie glances out the window and says "that's funny, someone's shifted my car".
Carrie looks out, utters a swear word, and next thing you know a massive bomb planted in his car goes off, killing most of the 200 funeral mourners.
Carrie regains consciousness from the blast and pulls a gun on Brodie because she thinks he did it. He convinces her he didn't, so she helps him escape to Canada in the hope they can meet up again. In the meantime the nasty Arabs have released the suicide tape, seemingly confessing to the bombing, and everyone hates him, except Carrie, who loves him.
On reflection, it does sound a bit far-fetched. Mind you, did you hear the story about the BBC pop show host who was a paedophile and everyone turned a blind eye . . ? Merry Christmas everyone. Next week, part one of the Brownie Awards for the best, and worst, of 2012's telly.
- Taranaki Daily News
Testing drugs on animals is:Related story: Animal tests 'key' to brain disease cures