Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Homeland as a Buddy Story

I watched season one of Homeland with Mrs. Buce over the past few weeks (we live on Netflix time).   I found myself diverted by Mandy Patinkin as Saul, the guy who plays mentor and counselor, best friend, rab--well, no, not exactly rabbi, but I gather Patinkin has a long career behind him in hooferhood, including klezmer, and everything about him cries out Second Avenue schtick.  Which is not a complaint: I have a soft spot for klezmer and I'm pretty sure I have some Patinkin around the house although I didn't at first connect Saul the CIA spook with Mandy the mamaloshen guy.

I see the producers give star billing to Claire Danes as the hyped-up high-maintenance CIA spook, along with Damian Lewis as her double-triple-whatever agent charge.  But I share a widely held view that there is a lot more chemistry between Danes and Patinkin than there is between Danes and her nominal co-star.  And it's a recognizable trope: the high-energy, perhaps somewhat unhinged, protagonist and the selfless sidekick who repeatedly saves his (her) bacon.  Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.  Jeeves and Bertie.  John Tanner and (what was the name of his chauffeur?--in Shaw's Man and Superman).  Mr. Pickwick and Sam Weller.  At a stretch, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.  Hey, Gilgamesh and Inkidu.  And my all-time favorite buddy story, here.

Here's Mandy in a turn that would probably cost Saul his security clearance:


Ebenezer Scrooge said...

I've seen some trends in recent posts. Klezmer? Clarinets? Isn't klezmer what happens when a bluegrass musician plays the clarinet? Or is bluegrass klezmer on strings?

Ken Houghton said...

Ebeneezer - last time I checked, Klezmer uses a fiddle. But, yeah, bluegrass as klezmer on strings is about right.

Mamaloshen is one of the sadly overlooked albums of the past decade. // Oops. Fifteen years, per Amazon.

Buce said...

Good news guys, it's here: