A piece of storytelling should be judged in its proper historical context. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a beautiful film in many ways. It also contains a grotesquely racist portrayal of an Asian neighbour by Mickey Rooney. I still enjoy the film on the whole, despite cringing with embarrassment at bits. Maybe the objectionable frames even add to its value as a cultural relic; as a reminder of progress. Lillian Hellman’s play The Children’s Hour was considered risqué, immoral and was banned. Today it seems, in some ways, banal. But there’s no doubt that it stretched its audience at the time.
In its proper context – of a US puffed up with righteousness and seized by Islamophobia – I think Homeland is a revolutionary piece of work, merely by having the courage to tell a story from the perspective of two characters who are questioning whether US policy in the Middle East is right. I believe that stretches its target audience in the right ways.