Julia Roberts has finally come to television!
The romcom queen and long time A-lister stars in Homecoming, a somewhat mysterious show from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail. The entire first season is now streaming on Amazon Prime, and there are a lot of reasons you’re going to want to check it out.
The first one, obviously is that it stars Julia Roberts.
In her 30 year career in Hollywood, Roberts has only ever guest starred in TV shows like Friends and Murphy Brown, and has never before had a series regular role. She stars in Homecoming as a woman who works for a somewhat mysterious government program called Homecoming, which helps soldiers return to civilian life after leaving service. We learn pretty quickly that Homecoming was not entirely successful, and that Roberts’ character eventually left the job and became a waitress. Why she left and what exactly she was part of is part of the mystery.
Roberts didn’t really intentionally set out to do TV, because as she told E! News’ Jason Kennedy, “a script is a script is a script.”
“I just went with the good story, that it was ultimately going to put ultimately on television is the last thing that I really consider,” Roberts said, before joking, “I only just found out it was going to be on TV, just a couple weeks ago. I was like wait, what?”
It’s beautifully shot.
It’s to be expected from Sam Esmail after what we’ve seen on Mr. Robot, but the way this show is filmed is somehow extremely pleasing—both disorienting and strangely comforting at the same time. The show also plays with the size of the screen depending on the time period, making it occasionally feel like you’re watching a vertical video on a cell phone. That may not sound that fun, but it’s a cool effect that just adds to the ambiance of the show.
It’s a My Best Friend’s Wedding reunion!
21 years after playing BFFs in My Best Friend’s Wedding, real-life BFFs Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney reunited on screen to play boyfriend and girlfriend in Homecoming, though it’s not exactly a fun romcom this time around. Both are a little more jaded this time around, but their chemistry is still 100% there.
The entire cast is fantastic.
Roberts and Mulroney are obviously great, and they’re joined by Bobby Cannavale, Sissy Spacek, Alex Karpovsky, and Shea Whigham in the main cast. The breakout star of the series, however, might be 24 year-old Stephan James, who holds his own alongside Roberts as Walter Cruz, one of Roberts’ clients in the Homecoming program. He tells E! News that he’s already picked her brain on career advice, given that she’s had such success for so long.
“One day I remember talking to Julia and just saying, what do you think about just being a little bit more careful about your decisions and maybe not rushing into every single job,” James recalled. “Knowing that she was at her starting point where she was the “It Girl” when she was 20, 24, and I’m 24 now, and for me, just hearing that from her that it’s OK to take your time and do things you want to do, that was really reassuring for me.”
Episodes are blissfully short.
30 minutes?! For a drama?!?! It’s practically unheard of, but ever so welcome in these hard times of drama episodes that may range from 50 minutes to 75 to however damn many minutes a creator might want. Homecoming is perfectly compact, meaning it’s a very easy binge.
It’s likely a one-off.
There will most likely not be more, at least not with Roberts as the star.
“Honestly, this was, for me, a nearly perfect experience, just the whole thing,” Roberts said. “Working in Los Angeles, my castmates, Sam [Esmail], the crew that he assembled, and so many of them that I had worked with on movies before—just top shelf people. It was very unique in that way. I almost don’t want to do anything else because nothing could top it.”
So if you’re not ready to fully commit to a new TV show, just settle in for a few hours of this fascinating sensory and emotional experience and don’t worry about having to keep up in the future.
If we have somehow not yet convinced you to join us on this Homecoming journey, let us say again: MOST EPISODES ARE BARELY 30 MINUTES LONG. What a dream, TBH.
Homecoming is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.