When you look back and think about iconic movie stars, Julia Roberts is sure to cross your mind. However, the legendary actress is about to embark on something she's never done before: television. Roberts is primarily known for her work in film, so when word spread about her involvement in the new Amazon Prime series Homecoming, you knew it had to be something pretty special — even if it's a little unclear what exactly the show is about. For example, is Homecoming based on a true story, or is it meant to serve as a complete work of fiction? This is one of just many questions fans will be asking themselves throughout the first season.
The mystery drama is actually based on the popular Homecoming podcast of the same name created by Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg. And yes, that podcast is entirely fictional. so while you're sure to find yourself completely confused about what's going on at some point over the course of these 10 episodes, you can at least take comfort in knowing that these characters (and the overall story) are entirely made up. But don't worry, knowing that won't make watching the series any less enjoyable — far from it, in fact.
Homecoming follows Roberts' character Heidi Bergman, a caseworker for a mysterious facility where she helps veterans cope with PTSD and acclimate themselves back into their normal, everyday lives. It's here that Heidi meets her new patient, a soldier named Walter Cruz (played by Stephan James). But while Walter seems great and on his way to making a full recovery, a future timeline hints that perhaps this facility isn't what it appears to be.
The show's description, via The Wrap, provides a little more insight:
"Four years later, Heidi has started a new life, living with her mother (Sissy Spacek) and working as a small-town waitress, when a Department of Defense auditor (Shea Whigham) comes to her with questions about why she left the Homecoming facility."
Sounds pretty intriguing, right? So what happens to Walter and why did Heidi decide to leave her job and seemingly change her life so drastically? What is this facility's true motives? Viewers will just have to tune in to see how it all plays out — or you could listen to the podcast upon which the series is based in order to get a better sense of where all of this is leading. The podcast synopsis reads as follows:
"The first scripted series from Gimlet Media, starring Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer, Amy Sedaris, and David Cross. Homecoming centers on a caseworker at an experimental facility, her ambitious supervisor, and a soldier eager to rejoin civilian life — presented in an enigmatic collage of telephone calls, therapy sessions, and overheard conversations. The result is an innovative, immersive audio experience — a mystery unfolding across the twelve episodes of Seasons 1 and 2."
Suffice it to say, prepare to make Homecoming become your next new TV obsession. Bring. It. On.