By TRILBY BERESFORD | Reporter
Even if you’re not a die-hard podcast enthusiast, the title “Homecoming” might still ring a bell, because everyone has a friend who was captivated by this Gimlet Media audio series in 2016-17 and who seized the spotlight at every social occasion to explain its nuanced brilliance.
Created by Micah Bloomberg and Eli Horowitz, the show followed Heidi Bergman, an employee at a facility called Homecoming that helps soldiers transition back into civilian life. When she abruptly leaves, the Department of Defense has some pointed questions that she has great difficulty answering.
Veteran film actress Catherine Keener voiced Bergman, supported by a plethora of equally impressive names in other roles: Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer, David Cross, Amy Sedaris and Alia Shawkat.
The show received wide attention for its plunge into narrative storytelling—something that was noticeably absent in the world of podcasts—and enjoyed a successful two-season run.
Now for the best news: “Homecoming” can soon be enjoyed in television form, as an adaptation from Amazon Video is nearing its premiere date of Nov. 2.
Palisadian Julia Roberts has taken on the enigmatic role of Bergman, which seems like a rather curious casting choice (the character is cagey and quiet and I feel like Roberts thrives in roles that allow her to reveal that big personality), though her versatility rarely disappoints. Bobby Cannavale, Sissy Spacek, Dermot Mulroney, Stephan James and Marianne Jean-Baptiste appear alongside her.
Included on the writing team with Bloomberg and Horowitz are Sam Esmail, the creator of “Mr. Robot,” and Eric Simonson, best known for writing credits on “The Man in the High Castle.” Esmail directs the entirety of season one.
The cinematographer is Tod Campbell, who recently won an Emmy for his work on “Mr. Robot.” He also photographed “Stranger Things” and “Sleepy Hollow,” so it’s safe to say he favors the challenge of shooting dark and mysterious content.
An early review of “Homecoming” in Variety praises the “understated performance” of Roberts, claiming that she gives Bergman an “intrinsic warmth” and “palpable protective streak” that serves the character and story components very well.
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