I really like Homeland.
It’s surprising, morally dubious and confusing – just the way I like it. It also has a strong female character as the main protagonist. However, I can’t stop thinking that she is broken. She is emotionally unstable, has mental problems and her operations as a CIA agent make me feel uncomfortable all too often.
There are lots of strong male characters who have dark secrets, like losing their wife and children in car accidents (which they didn’t cause) or blaming themselves for the deaths of innocents (which they could not prevent), but somehow find it hard to imagine a male protagonist whose dark secret is emotional instability and mental illness. I do not recall a male agent having sex with a married suspect to acquire information. Also there are lots of renegade heroes out there, breaking the rules for the greater good, but I can’t see them saving lives by threatening the villain’s children.
I know it was intentional – blurring the line between the good and the bad guys, but I can’t stop thinking that the main protagonist is a woman only because this kind of flawed character is unacceptable as a man but “passable” as a woman.
Or maybe it’s an advantage, maybe the new hero, the one more suitable for the new wars fought not against nations or governments but on ideas and worldviews, is a woman.
But is it a good thing?