The reality of ‘Homeland Security USA’
Is the new reality series propaganda, or an insightful look at the officers who police our borders?

ABC’s new reality series Homeland Security USA is more homage than reportage, said Alessandra Stanley in The New York Times. It “has the look and sound of a documentary without the pesky burden of responsibility," so it might boost the egos of the agents policing our borders, "but it doesn’t reveal much about the homeland’s actual security.”

The program “does occasionally feel like a commercial for the government agencies that helped produce it,” said Verne Gay in Newsday. But it’s “a competently produced show” from creator Arnold Shapiro (the man also responsible for Rescue 911), and it's at least “nominally instructive and engaging.”

The show starts out feeling like a recruitment video, said Carrie Kahn in “But within minutes, the feverish pitch slows slightly to show off the unprecedented access given to ABC's producers.” And although critics “charge that the show is propaganda, not all the footage portrays the agents in a positive light.”



Subscribe to the Week