We want to say that’s an oxymoron but aren’t in the mood for the flak. Fingers to lips then as we read:
Why you should be watching Hulu’s creepy deal-with-the-devil series The Booth at the End – by Lauren Davis
A father whose child is dying of leukemia. A Catholic nun who no longer hears God speaking to her. An elderly woman whose husband is suffering from Alzheimer’s. A man whose only ambition is to date a centerfold model. Each of these people in the Hulu series The Booth at the End wishes for something desperately enough to seek the help of a mysterious Man who sits in a diner. He can ensure that they get their fondest wish, but only if they complete the task he assigns to them, a task with deep and sometimes deadly consequences.
The first five-episode season of The Booth at the End initially ran on Canada’s Citytv, but since then, the series has made the jump to Hulu, and is now three episodes into its second season. Each season so far takes place entirely inside a diner, where the Man (Xander Berkeley) spends his days sitting in the same booth. Occasionally, someone will come to him, mention something about the pastrami, and slide into his booth.
Everyone who comes to the Man wants something slightly different. Some want their loved ones cured of illness. Some want to be better, prettier, invulnerable. Some of them just want to make someone else happy. Some of them are damaged, some selfish, some simply placed in a terrible situation. The man tells them that he can guarantee that they get their wish if they perform the task that he assigns. Then he looks in his book and pronounces a task: this one must build a bomb and set it off in a crowded space, this one must rob a bank, this one must protect a little girl, that one must make a certain number of people cry. If they complete the task and tell the Man all about it, then they will receive what they asked for, no matter how impossible.
We’ve watched several episodes here on Hulu, and while we think the io9 reviewer is being more than a tad generous about the acting and the quality of the writing we agree that it’s a promising and potentially fascinating series.
The Good: Dialog! People talking! Revealing themselves, sometimes deliberately, sometimes not! Word over action always works for us (except when it doesn’t).
The Not-So-Good: Dialog! People sitting in a room talking, talking, talking, making everything feel cheap and, well, interwebby. We long for escape from the confines of the diner. Movement. Air…gasp…air…
The Conclusion: You really need to watch it and decide for yourself. We know that we’ll be diving into the second season’s episodes ASAP.