‘Homecoming’ Episode One: Mandatory

Premiering on Amazon Video in November, Homecoming is a psychological thriller based on the podcast of the same name by Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg. The podcast is a magnet of Hollywood talent, boasting big names like Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer, David Cross, and Amy Sedaris. Scripted podcasts were once prime radio entertainment, but fell out of popularity with the rise of television in the 1950s. Taking inspiration from the 1943 radio play “Sorry, Wrong Number”, Horowitz and Bloomberg bring back this style of entertainment, creating an HBO worthy series in podcast form. This slow-burning, star-studded thriller was developed for the small screen by Sam Esmail, and stars Julia Roberts in her first full-length television role.

The show’s premiere episode shifts between secret government facility Julia Roberts and Fat Morgan waitress Julia Roberts. Her character, Heidi Bergman, it is revealed, once worked at a facility called the Homecoming Transitional Support Centre, but has since quit. The past she has tried to escape catches up with her when she waits on Thomas Carrasco (Shea Whigham) who works for the Department of Defence. He’s following up on allegations and complaints about the facility and the treatment of the soldiers living there, as questions arise about whether or not they were there voluntarily or held against their will. 

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