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From the very start of Homecoming, you know something isn’t quite right. The pieces are all there for a conspiracy: a shadowy corporate-backed contractor, a Department of Defense investigation, and an insistent score that makes you feel like you’re in the middle of a 1940s radio play. That’s because, essentially, we are. Homecoming is Amazon’s adaptation of Gimlet media’s podcast of the same name, a throwback to radio dramas that have seen a growing success in recent years. In adapting the auditory story to TV, though, it kept its same writers (Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg) but gained a director — Mr. Robot’s Sam Esmail.
Whatever qualms one may have with the way USA’s Mr. Robot has continued to develop since its stellar first season, one thing that is undeniable is how much style Esmail brings to the production. He has pushed the boundaries of what we expect from modern TV drama, and elevated it with long-takes and edits that are more typically reserved for cinema. While sometimes it can felt like style over substance, stand-out episodes like “Runtime Error” did an entire episode in one take. It was enthralling. So matching up Esmail’s style with the solid narrative of Homecoming seems like it would be a perfect fit. How would Esmail’s visuals augment this already engrossing story?
Answer - Play - Episode - Homecoming - Ten
That answer doesn’t really come into play until about the eighth episode of Homecoming’s eventual ten, unfortunately. Until then, the series feels very much like listening to a podcast, one that is driven by its dialogue and relying heavily on a classic thriller score. Which is shame, because the series should be thrilling. It follows the story of a caseworker, Heidi Bergman (Julia Roberts) in two timelines: one, when she is in the middle of her work at the Homecoming facility, which treats soldiers...
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