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How the ‘Homecoming’ Team Made Sure Season 2 Was the Same (But Different)

Craig Smith




The individuals who introduced Homecoming Season 2 to life knew that they had a problem forward of them. In any case, the first season of the Amazon half-hour drama was distinctive in so many desirable methods: It was based mostly on a scripted podcast, starred a really deglammed film icon, and experimented with each facet of manufacturing, even the form of the body itself. A lot of that got here courtesy of Mr. Robotic creator Sam Esmail, who directed each episode, and clearly had a ball incorporating lengthy takes and basic movie scores into the noir thriller a couple of mysterious navy program with the potential to change reminiscence.

As fascinating as Season 1 was, the very busy Esmail didn’t return for the second, and with Heidi’s journey wrapped up by the finish of Season 1, neither did Julia Roberts. In order that meant that creators Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg had been confronted with the problem of determining how one can transfer ahead — which meant determining what, precisely, Homecoming is as a present, and who can be the proper collaborators to maneuver ahead with.


Picture by way of Amazon Studios

In approaching Season 2, the first step was discovering the items from Season 1 that, in Horowitz’s phrases, “we knew we wished to work with.” The primary was the final scene of Season 1, by which Audrey (Hong Chau) takes down her now-former boss Colin (Bobby Cannavale). “We had some concepts about how one can unpack that scene in some sudden methods and present that there was extra happening there. We knew that we wished to discover the character of Audrey Temple in an fascinating manner,” he mentioned.

From there, Horowitz mentioned, “we had this concept for like basically a Geist operative or somebody who works with Geist, who’s undercover and falls for her personal cowl. That began to look to us like a good way to hook the viewers.” This led to the character of Alex (Janelle Monae), whose personal reminiscence loss, and true identification, is central to the mysteries of the season.

Additionally, they knew that they wished to deliver again the character of Walter (Stephan James), however “take his character from a passive damsel-in-distress mode into one thing extra lively and perhaps a bit of bit extra harmful. And so these had been the items we knew we wished to play with. And it was only a query of getting them in the proper order and getting the timeline labored out in a manner that we thought was advantageous to us.”


Picture by way of Amazon Studos

Was there any doubt that they’d deliver again James, given how Walter’s storyline was appeared to get one thing resembling a contented ending? Horowitz mentioned that “we had numerous completely different iterations of the season, however we stored coming again to him. It’s a good way to drive the penalties of Homecoming into the story and drive the fallout. And I believe there’s no higher consultant of the penalties than him as a personality. So we stored gravitating again in direction of him.”

In the meantime, discovering a brand new director for the season represented its personal problem, however what Horowitz mentioned he and Bloomberg had been on the lookout for was “the identical stage of vitality and innovation and dedication and a spotlight to element that Sam had, past any of the specific aesthetics. And that’s what Kyle actually blew us away with. He got here in with a variety of particular concepts that had been nice, however the essential factor was the concept that like he was going to pour all the things he had into this challenge.”

Anointed new director Kyle Patrick Alvarez could not have even recognized that that perspective helped him get the job. “It was genuinely, for me, a type of issues that as quickly as I bought the job, I used to be like, ‘I’m going to place like all the things I’ve into this, emotionally and bodily.’ I simply cared about it loads,” he advised Collider.

That stage of dedication was crucial as a result of whereas Alvarez had loads of expertise directing TV, taking up Homecoming Season 2 was a special beast from doing episodes of 13 Causes Why or Tales of the Metropolis. As he noticed, “there should not a variety of circumstances the place you direct each episode… I needed to remind myself daily to be, sure, I’ve an immense quantity of respect for Micah and Eli however that additionally, hey, I used to be employed for a cause. I’m not simply filling in a spot on a 10-episode order. I’ve to deliver extra of myself to this than I ever have, as a result of that’s what the job asks for. Being episodic director is about mixing in with the fashion, and being good at this job was going to be the reverse of that.”


Picture by way of Amazon Studios

Alvarez’s method, in the end, was based mostly on answering the identical query that Horowitz and Bloomberg had been making an attempt to reply: What’s Homecoming? Nonetheless, he was primarily centered on determining what components from Esmail’s method can be important to telling the story, and which he ought to reimagine from his personal perspective — as a result of, as Alvarez advised Collider, his aim was “to attempt to not copy,” particularly when it got here to components Esmail’s signature lengthy takes. “In my thoughts, I used to be like, ‘I’m not going to do a protracted take except it feels pushed,’” he mentioned.

Whereas Season 2 did function some longer-than-usual photographs, Alvarez did know which components he knew wanted to be unique to Season 1: the facet ratio modifications and the use of basic movie scores.

In accordance with Alvarez, “these had been two of my favourite issues about Season 1, however… I used to be sure that if we used them once more — we may have, however we’d have been shoehorning them in, proper? Season 1, these had been impressed selections, they usually had been impressed by Heidi, what she’s going by.

This particularly utilized to the facet ratio modifications which had been used to distinguish the two completely different time durations by which the present was set. “If we did that right here, it will flip it right into a gimmick and take it away from being an impressed selection, versus, ‘Oh, nicely, we’ve bought to search out some technique to make the display screen change measurement in some unspecified time in the future.’ And as a lot as I like these qualities, as a lot as I’d like to shoot one thing in a customized facet ratio, it didn’t really feel pushed by the script and the story,” Alvarez mentioned.


Picture by way of Amazon Studios

So, so as to add his personal contact to the present’s aesthetic, Alvarez expanded the use of split-screen. “I like split-screen, and the incontrovertible fact that the present [in Season 1] was utilizing it for cellphone calls was cool, but it surely was used as an goal system in Season 1. So, now, it was like, how can we use this as a extra experiential system and never additionally overdo it? That was a variety of enjoyable.”

When requested if he’d come again for an (as but unannounced) third season, Alvarez mentioned that “it’s nearly bizarre. I’d come again, however I’d be thrilled to search out out that another person got here on board. As a result of I believe that, in a manner, that’s perhaps the enjoyable of the format, proper? It’s passing a baton — however passing the baton to somebody who has reverence for what got here earlier than, versus simply wild, new kinds every season. And so, I’d be encouraging of it, however at the identical time, in the event that they had been like, ‘Hey, look, this labored, and do you need to come again?’ I’d be again in a heartbeat.”

Will there even be a 3rd season? That’s an unimaginable query to reply in a world the place all of those interviews had been performed by way of a distant video junket. However Horowitz did say that they’re undoubtedly excited about how the present may go ahead: “We attempt to all the time go away form of secret doorways into future seasons… And I believe a variety of the enjoyable of Season 2 is issues that you just thought had been resolved, you really didn’t perceive in any respect. And so, identical with after Season 2 — hopefully you will have a sense of completeness and it honors this journey that you just and the characters went on, however at the identical time, yeah, we may undoubtedly wow you with a 3rd season.”

Added Bloomberg, there’s a robust probability {that a} third season wouldn’t function Monae’s character as the protagonist, however would as an alternative revolve round a brand new star. “One factor that we anticipate from ourselves after we begin to break a brand new season is it must have its personal really feel. We’re not a full anthology, the place we’re going to revamp all the things fully and we’re going to be speaking a couple of new universe, however I believe the concept of us not having a brand new particular person to deal with, that may really feel a bit of bit unusual. In a technique or one other, every season wants to face by itself.”

Homecoming Season 2 is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video. For extra, take a look at our overview of Homecoming Season 2.

Craig, being a tech freak, manages to write Technology and Science news. He is one of the most experienced guy in the team as he boasts 5+ years of experience in content writing for the web. He never fails to deliver. He is very consistent in what he does. Apart from work, he loves running in the morning to stay fit. He is so much into the fitness that he always encourages everyone in the team for changing their living habits to live a healthier life.

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