Homecoming by Gimlet Media

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.

Homecoming’s premise is an intriguing one, grounded in reality and relevant in current times. The show follows a caseworker tasked with helping soldiers recover from PTSD at an experimental government facility.

The story is told in a nonlinear fashion, alternating between the present day and events that occurred at the facility. I really loved this delivery and the slow-build mystery of finally understanding what was going on.

Unfortunately, there were some significant issues with Homecoming.

The show feels like a TV pilot episode stretched across two seasons. Now that it has an Amazon Prime Original show starring Julia Roberts, I suspect that a TV show was the ultimate goal all along. And that’s not a bad thing, but it felt like the story was stretched out to deliver more ads and make more money. Entire episodes in season 2 might cover only a couple conversations that felt needlessly stretched out. The total commercial run time took up roughly 25% of each episode, nearly twice what I’ve encountered in other audio dramas.

There were also some “bonus” episodes that felt out of place, such as an interview between the show’s creator and lead voice actress where both people seemed to reach the startling conclusion that voice acting is actually acting.

Despite all this, I was engaged enough to finish both seasons. Gimlet Media can tell some compelling stories, but I wish the focus was more on the story and not on ads, celebrity voice actors, and attempts to grab TV show adaptations.

🌟🌟


Homecoming is a free audio drama available through iTunes or wherever you find podcasts. Find out more on its website or listen to the trailer here:

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