Friday TV: Julia Roberts in ‘Homecoming’

homecomingThe new “Homecoming” (Amazon, streaming) is a welcome yarn from Sam Esmail, creator of “Mr. Robot,” and starring Julia Roberts as an operative in a secretive government-sanctioned facility that deals with soldiers exiting combat. Based on a podcast of the same name, it dwells in the paranoid world of Big Brother control, while never revealing its cards too early.

With half hour episodes – another streaming innovation — they fairly fly by even though action moves not slowly but deliberately, using a visual style of storytelling that goes back to Hitchcock, with slow zoom-ins, long tracking shots, way overhead points of view, split screens, and a framing device to indicate scenes in the future, when the program is being investigated. There is a fascination with staircases and hive-like enclosures, with an orchestral touch that recalls Bernard Herrmann.

And what a powerful cast, in every little role. Besides Roberts, who does remarkable, restrained work, there is the typically brash Bobby Canavale, Stephan James, Shea Whigam, Alex Karpovsky, Sissy Spacek and Frankie Shaw. Not sure if it needs new seasons, but maybe more stories like this, told in this way.

Like “Roseanne,” “House of Cards” (Netflix streaming) begins its final season without its main star. Kevin Spacey’s president is dead, and Robin Wright is the widowed Commander in Chief, the kind of change that may invigorate the series. Among the new cast members are Greg Kenner and Diane Lane, who is also part of “The Romanoffs” (Amazon, streaming).

It’s a big moment for film buffs with the release after more than 40 years of the final film of Orson Welles, “The Other Side of the Wind” (Netflix, streaming) which he began working on in 1970 and spent the last 15 years of his life trying to complete. Ironically, it stars John Huston as a legendary director who tries to leaves behind his own final movie. It also features Peter Bogdonovich and Susan Strasberg. In addition to getting a final edit, it gets a new score from Michel Legrand. And there are extras: It is also accompanied by a new documentary from “20 Feet from Stardom” director Morgan Neville about how it was all accomplished, “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead” (Netflix, streaming).

All that and they can do still Christmas movies too. “The Holiday Calendar” (Netflix, streaming) is about an antique advent calendar that seems to predict the future. Kat Graham and Quincy Brown star in the rom com.

On “Great Performances” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings), Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope star in a production of “An American in Paris” directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon.

A new three-part series recounts the days of “Watergate” (History, 9 p.m.), starting with Nixon’s 1972 re-election.

One of the more ridiculous sounding real estate shows is the new “Buying it Blind” (Bravo, 8 p.m.), but of course I’m judging it blind.

Rebecca reunites with her half brother on “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (CW, 9 p.m.).

Barbara Streisand is a guest on “Real Time with Bill Maher” (HBO, 10 p.m.) that also features Bari Weiss, Chelsea Handler, ACLU executive director Anthony Romero and Axios cofounder Jim VandeHei.

Will we ever run out of up-and-comic comics? Another new series offers full sets from another crop. The initial episode of “Unprotected Sets” (Epix, 11 p.m.) features Mia Jackson.

On a new design show, Jennifer Welch and her team renovate the home of an Oklahoma City judge on “Sweet Home” (Bravo, 10 p.m.).

On “Blindspot” (NBC, 8 p.m.), a tattoo leads to the release of a deadly disease inside the FBI.

The Carringtons try to keep the family together on an expedition abroad on “Dynasty” (CW, 9 p.m.).

Louis is teaching Eddie how to drive on “Fresh Off the Boat” (ABC, 8 p.m.).

A foreign exchange student takes a room with the “Last Man Standing” (Fox, 8 p.m.).

Murdoc abducts the girlfriend of “MacGyver” (CBS, 8 p.m.).

JJ prepares for college on “Speechless” (ABC, 8:30 p.m.).

On “The Cool Kids” (Fox, 8:30 p.m.), Sid runs for activities coordinator.

McGarrett is arrested while investigating the death of a buddy on “Hawaii Five-0” (CBS, 9 p.m.).

Manfred investigates a hotel murder on “Midnight, Texas” (NBC, 9 p.m.).

Pacifica is bombed on “Z Nation” (Syfy, 9 p.m.).

Blind driving is one of the stunts on the new and seemingly unnecessary “Too Stupid to Die” (MTV, 9:30 p.m.).

Eddie and her new partner clash with Jamie on job performance on “Blue Bloods” (CBS, 10 p.m.).

Vanessa, Scarlett and Axel battle the Second Elder in San Francisco on “Van Helsing” (Syfy, 10 p.m.).

The latest in the series of weird, weapons-making competitions is “Master of Arms” (Discovery, 10 p.m.).

Irish born actor Dan O’Herlihy is featured on Turner Classic Movies tonight in “Robinson Crusoe” (8 p.m.), “Fail-Safe” (9:45 p.m.) and “Home Before Dark” (11:45 p.m.). Later comes the sci-fi horror films “The Lawnmower Man” (2:15 a.m.) and “The Terminal Man” (4:15 a.m.).

Basketball includes Minnesota at Golden State (ESPN, 10:30 p.m.).

College football has Penn at Cornell (ESPNU, 6 p.m.), Pittsburgh at Virginia (ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.), Western Kentucky at Middle Tennessee (CBS Sports, 8 p.m.) and Colorado at Arizona (Fox Sports 1, 10:30 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest: Sarah Jessica Parker, Rosamund Pike, Joey Thurman. The View: Rami Malek, Joe Mazzello, Gwilym Lee. The Talk: Greg Kinnear, Simple Minds, Carrie Ann Inaba, Lynda Lopez. Steve Harvey: Jamaal Williams. Ellen DeGeneres: Sean Hayes, Fatima Ali. Wendy Williams: Sukanya Krishnan, Finesse Mitchell, Carrie Keagan. The Real: Jeffrey Wright.

Late Talk

Stephen Colbert: Billy Eichner, Itzhad Perlman. Jimmy Kimmel: Kobe Bryant, Oliver Hudson, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones (rerun). Jimmy Fallon: Benedict Cumberbatch, Minka Kelly, Orlando Leyba. Seth Meyers: Ike Barinholtz, Kiernan Shipka, Courtney Barnett, Thaddeus Dixon (rerun). James Corden: Allison Brie, Keegan-Michael Key, Prof. Robert Winston (rerun). Carson Daly: Andie McDowell, Hot Snakes, Josh Dallas, Melissa Roxburgh (rerun).

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