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'Homecoming'—Season 1 Review

An Intriguing Drama

Julia Roberts in Homecoming [Credit: Amazon Studios]

It becomes more and more apparent as the years progress that television is becoming more and more like long feature films. With countless A-List movie stars transferring over to the small screen simply because they’re impressed with the story being told, the way in which we tell stories is only going to continue evolving. Homecoming is one of the latest in the slew of new television programming to come from the countless channels and streaming services in 2018, but I really hope it doesn’t go unnoticed. This is easily one of the best shows out there right now (at least for a first season) and I can’t stress this enough: If you’re a fan of new television shows and have been longing to find a fantastic drama to sink your teeth into, here’s why I believe Homecoming may just be the show for you.

Released by Amazon Studios, this series follows Heidi Bergman in her past as she works for a centre who helps former military soldiers recover and settle back into normal life—while also flashing forward in time to show how different (in many ways) her life has become due to her past. The premise of this show would be quite simple if it relied on telling her past story, but it’s the way in which the two time periods clash with each other that makes this such an engaging story. I loved every second of this show, but that’s also due to the fact that Homecoming has an incredible cast from top to bottom.

It’s a very rare thing for Julia Roberts to feel like she’s phoning it in, so it should come as no surprise that she’s once again completely devoted to her character. With that said, I believe the real standout here is Stephan James. With Homecoming being up for a Golden Globe, and James being in the film If Beale Street Could Talk, which will more than likely garner a bunch of Oscar buzz in the coming months, he's truly someone to keep your eye on in the future. The way his character goes from confident to vulnerable, and even scared to anxious, I was enthralled by every second of his performance. I can’t wait to see more of him if this show does continue.

Although my one complaint would be the fact that flashing backwards and forwards can become a little tiresome to some viewers, there really isn’t a wasted moment here. A scene with two people talking may seem like it’s going on a little too long, but the reality is that each conversation moves the story along, whether you notice it right away or not. Each character is here for a reason and nothing felt poorly paced in my opinion. There were times when I questioned whether or not I was becoming slightly bored at times, but I was dead wrong, especially when you realize certain things throughout the final couple of episodes.

In the end, although it’s only one 10 episode season, I truly believe this show deserves every bit of praise it’s receiving. From terrific performances to very interesting editing choices (including the different aspect ratios), to the dialogue that hardly wastes a single word in telling the necessary story at hand, Homecoming is impressive on all levels. It’s an interesting story that has been made into an incredible story, simply due to the way it’s filmed, cut together, and performed. While many viewers may not connect with it as I did, I still think it’s worth your time. I highly recommend checking out the first season of Homecoming, which is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Rating for Season 1: 5/5

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'Homecoming'—Season 1 Review
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