Oh. My. Gosh.
Go listen to Homecoming.
I have a beautiful knack for stumbling onto things just in the nick of time, like when I started listening to the Hadestown concept album literal days before the cast recording of the musical came out, even though I had no idea the musical was happening. That’s what just happened to me with Homecoming — it turns out Amazon is making a TV show out of it, which comes out November 2nd, and I am hyped.
The initially enticing part of Homecoming is the cast. Catherine Keener, David Schwimmer, and Oscar Isaac star, but the whole production is littered with stardust and familiar voices. It’s described as an “experimental fiction” podcast. It’s basically a radio play but without a narrator, so the listener has to rely on sound and context cues to identify settings and characters, which the podcast manages with incredible subtlety.
The plot is wonderfully twisty, turny, and surreal, and it’s almost impossible not to binge the half-hour episodes. It also touches on many relevant topics without being too on-the-nose: sexism in the workplace, the military industrial complex, and our country’s approach to mental health treatment are all brought to mind in the listening of this podcast.
The masterful vocal performances of the podcast have set an extremely high bar for the coming TV adaptation. David Schwimmer, in particular, inhabits his character with aplomb, and is delightful to listen to. Other than that, I don’t want to talk about this too much because I believe it’s best experienced with as little context as possible. Just go listen to it. It’s short, with just 12 half-hour episodes, and it’s best binged, if you have a road trip coming up.
Recommended Episode: Start at the beginning, ya dummy.
Listen if you like: Stranger Things, Oscar Isaac, The Black Tapes