On Nov. 2, Amazon Prime is releasing the first season of its new psychological thriller, Homecoming. It’s based on the podcast of the same name, created by Gimlet. The show is about a facility, called Homecoming, that helps soldiers adjust to their return to civilian life. However, the center might not be as honorable as it seems.
The podcast it’s based on is amazing
Podcasts are an extremely popular trend right now. There are so many great ones to listen to, from true crime to comedy. Then there are the really interesting ones, in a genre of experimental fiction, like Welcome to Night Vale. Homecoming falls in this category. Limited to audio, these shows have to be extra creative in order to really immerse the listeners in the story. In Homecoming, the story is told through therapy sessions, phone calls, and simple conversations.
As with the television show, it evolves around this experimental facility, with a caseworker, Heidi Bergman, at the forefront. There is an extremely star-studded cast, somewhat surprising to see on a podcast. Though it seems like more and more celebrities are exploring this new medium.
In the Homecoming podcast, Catherine Keener plays Heidi. Oscar Isaac plays Walter Cruz, a young vet and client of Heidi’s, and David Schwimmer plays Colin Belfast, Heidi’s supervisor. In addition, there’s David Cross, Alia Shawkat, Michael Cera, and Spike Jonze, among others. The podcast’s first season is only 6 episodes, all around 25 minutes long. A second season came out last July.
The ideas explored in the show are definitely relevant right now. So all of the tense and surprising moments are very realistic and thought-provoking. With any podcast, you have to always be paying attention, otherwise you’ll miss something key. Homecoming hinges on this, because all the important details and connections are revealed through short conversations. The show also plays around with the timeline of events. Listen intently, and you’ll find yourself completely absorbed by this gripping tale.
The new cast is just as talented
Julia Roberts plays the main character, Heidi Bergman, in her first main television role. The show’s Walter Cruz is played by Stephan James, who will also star in Barry Jenkins’ follow-up to Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk, which comes out Nov. 30. Colin Belfast is played by Bobby Cannavale, and Sissy Spacek, who was astounding recently in Castle Rock, is playing Heidi’s mother, Ellen.
Other supporting cast members are Dermot Mulroney, Shea Whigham, Hong Chau, Jeremy Allen White, Frankie Shaw, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste. Just like the podcast, the show is loaded with talent. Using the podcast’s rich story as the base for the show, they now have the freedom to expand those ideas in new and imaginative ways. It will be really interesting to see how it turns out.
It’s created by Sam Esmail
Sam Esmail’s name attached to a show pretty much ensures its success. As the creator of the hit show Mr. Robot, Esmail has established his personal style and shown his capabilities as a writer, director, and producer. He wrote more than half of the episodes himself and directed more. Mr. Robot earned a Golden Globe for Best Drama series, as well as one for Christian Slater. In 2016, Rami Malek got a well-deserved Emmy for playing the lead, Elliot Alderson.
Esmail has a clear vision, and the cinematography, with Tod Campbell as Director of Photography, is on the level of Jeff Cronenweth, who’s worked with David Fincher on a lot of his films. Campbell is also working on Homecoming, and even with just the trailers to go on, this series will certainly look just as visually captivating as Mr. Robot.
Esmail is directing all 10 episodes of Homecoming, and they will each be a half-hour long. Amazon gave the show a two-season, straight-to-series order way back in 2017, so they clearly believe in it. After we binge all of season 1 in two days, at least we’ll know for sure that there’s more to come!
Watch the psychological thriller Homecoming on Amazon Prime on Nov. 2.
(Featured Image: Amazon)