• 17 Nov - 23 Nov, 2018
  • Malaeka Amir


Sam Esmail is back in the game with Homecoming, inspired by a podcast of the same name. It stars Julia Roberts as Heidi a therapist who strives to get soldiers back to their ordinary life in the United State, this time her patient being Walter (Stephen James). Colin (Bobby Cannavale) her boss, could care less about what the clients had to say and instead, wanted Heidi to draw out more information from their time in the military. And then, it’s suddenly 2022 and Heidi’s a waitress at some cheap restaurant where Thomas (Shea Wingham) tracks her down and attempts to investigate what had happened back in 2018.

The way they turned this auditory concept into a full-fledged TV series still sounds impressive to me. Another thing that’s worthy of being mentioned is the fact that instead of showing 2022 as some hotshot, sci-fi year for the universe, it was shown through the good old boxy 4:3 ratio – a rather brutally honest time jump I’d say.

Homecoming has been directed splendidly, with how there’s something bubbling underneath the surface, just brewing, waiting to be revealed. That’s where the visuals come in, they help induce humor and various other themes to keep the watcher going. Music plays a big role too, the warm lo-fi beats turning into something flat and retro as the year progresses into 2022. All of this, plus the unshakable creepy feeling that something went terribly wrong at Homecoming Transitional Centre arouses the viewer’s interest.

Beware, though. Sam has this habit of catching people off-guard with his astonishing twists. If you’ve been a follower of the podcast, don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’ve got everything sorted out. You never know what the show might have upcoming. 

Rating: 4Stars


With an enticing storyline, Tell Me a Story delivers the story of Jordan (James Wolk) who witnesses a jewellery store robbery lead by three men in pig masks (Paul Wesley, in which his fiancé unfortunately gets shot dead. With revenge on his mind, he unintentionally reveals his true self. Kayla (Danielle Campbell), a distressed teenager who had just recently moved to live with her grandmother along with her dad, meets Nick (Billy Magnussen) at a club, and later at school as her teacher. Meanwhile, Gabe (Davi Santos) and Hannah (Dania Ramirez) grow closer to each other due to an unplanned crime. 

Before Disney introduced us to fairytales and whatnot, the rumours that would go around would usually be affiliated with violence and would be horrifying. Fairytales, however, provide more of an illusion to humans and attempt to help the young ones get through the problems of the real world. Tell Me a Story isn’t exactly extending fairytales, it’s rather constructing them in the real world – our world, the present where Donald Trump is president and mass shootings are frequent. 

The message is great, I admit, but the deliverance isn’t up to it. The series is simply mixing up its themes, going from revenge to thriller and shortly, horror. The only fairytale related amusement I receive is from the sporadic ponders of whom the Big Bad Wolf might be or the Three Pigs thing, really. This is highly disappointing for me because they could’ve done so much with a premise like this. Honestly, I feel like they are exploiting the actors’ six packs way too much. Throughout the pilot, there was barely any scene without these flashes. This makes the scenes look cheap looking even though they’re supposed to be portraying luxury.

I hope that the show ends up by creating a structure that adds up everything, it’s very much needed.

Rating: 2Stars


The title reads ‘adventures’ but there were barely any. The genre reads ‘horror’ but I barely felt any chills crawling up my spine. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is set in Greendale, a small town holding a mystical past and secrets too big for its size. Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka), the niece of two aunts Hilda (Lucy Davis) and Zelda (Miranda Otto) who run a mortuary, is nearing her 16th birthday, after which she’ll be forced to leave her mortality behind and join others of her kind as a witch. Thing is, Sabrina’s only a half-witch, explaining why she gets treated like dirt by other witches (stereotypes, ya know?). 

Instead of going to the school of Unseen Arts like Zelda wants her to, she wishes to stay back at her dull high school, accompanied by her prosaic boyfriend Harvey (Ross Lynch) whose character has barely been grown, and her unexciting friends Susie (Lachlan Watson) and Roz (Jaz Sinclair), who again do not have any character development.

The series gives loads of information on witch-hood and is quite literal in its meaning. Some scenes are entertaining but the never ending build up gets exhausting quickly. The character development of Sabrina’s friends isn’t paid attention to until around the end of the season when it’s already been too late for that. It’s confusing too; what is the academy teaching her? When does Sabrina actually attend it? What is happening?

I agree that Kiernan has been casted perfectly. She fills the spaces and constructs the bridge between the extremes of being a mortal and staying with her friends as well as wanting to be a witch and learning more about it. 

It’s true that the first few episodes are mediocre but it does get genuinely entertaining towards the end, arousing enough interest of the watcher (if someone actually stayed to watch any further than episode three) to anticipate the next season.  

Rating: 2Stars