Amazon’s original series Homecoming starring Julia Roberts and Stephan James has premiered on Prime. The first episode titled “Mandatory” is only 26 minutes long but is loaded with hooks that might keep you binge-watching all weekend.
The background music that opens Homecoming might throw you for a loop, reminiscent of a classic Hollywood film rather than the dark thriller it turns out to be, but may be an indicator of the oddness of this series.
James plays the role military veteran Walter Cruz who is enrolled in a “re-integration” program with other vets that prepares them for life as civilians. But there is more to the business and executives that run it.
Roberts stars as Heidi Bergman, a counselor in the program that’s given more responsibilities in the company than she was prepared for. The relationship between Bergman and Cruz is what anchors this series, and through the first episode viewers are fed bits of meetings between the two that have historical significance to what’s to come.
Flash-forwards in the show depict Robert’s character as a waitress at a seafood restaurant, a far stretch from her past position in a corporate environment that’s riddled in mystery. She is tracked down by the Department of Defense investigating complaints about the program, and wrestles with what she knows, doesn’t know, and what she should reveal about her employment.
If Episode 2 is as good as the first, you won’t want to miss a second of the series.
Bobby Cannavale, Shea Whigham, and Oscar-winner Sissy Spacek (who plays the role of Ellen Bergman) are among other cast members appearing in the series.
A second season of Homecoming has already been slated, although episode count and release date not yet official.
Unfortunately, you have to be a Prime subscriber to watch Homecoming (content providers often allow viewing of a premiere episode of a series), but Amazon does offer a 30-day trial.