The Job: CIA Officer
HOMELAND: Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes)
WHAT THE SHOW NAILS: People skills. "Intelligence-gathering is human beings getting information from other human beings," says J.C. Carleson, a former officer with the CIA's Clandestine Service and author of the recently published Work Like a Spy (Penguin). "It's not about gadgets. It's labor-intensive and psychologically demanding."
WHAT'S PURE FICTION: The superhero agent. "Carrie's job is a combination of about four different jobs at the CIA. But Carrie does it all, and that doesn't happen." Another implausibility: the dynamic between Carrie and her supervisor Saul (Mandy Patinkin). "There's no way someone that senior would be as involved in her work."