Remy Carreiro, Unreality Magazine contributor has a series of articles titled "Why Haven't You Seen It" where he discusses moderately obscure movies that deserve more attention than they got and today I'm doing the same thing. Lately I've been cruising around the internet here and there looking for the best web series. The web series I usually watch are mostly review shows Atop The Fourth Wall, The Spoony Experiments, Extra Credit and so on. But the internet is SO much more than review shows and not being tied down to a production studio and executives can REALLY allow some people to do some VERY creative things. which brings me to this little gem, "The Booth At The End".
I am a HUGE fan of mysteries, be they murder mysteries, mysterious disappearances etc. etc. I absolutely LOVE THEM! "The Booth At The End" is a sci-fi mystery that's down to earth and out of this world all at the same time. So what's this about? What if I told you that you could get anything you want? Anything. All you had to do was perform a certain task and your heart's desire would be yours once the task is complete. These tasks could range from doing something completely harmless to something utterly dangerous. How far would you go to get what you want? Sounds cool? Good. Because my little synopsis didn't do it justice AT ALL. This series is AMAZING, lasting for 2 Season, 10 episodes (that's 5 each season); "The Booth At The End" tells the story of everyday average people looking to solve a problem or improve their lives. Through word of mouth, each individual comes to see "The Man", a mysterious character who tells people how they can solve their problems and all he asks in return isn't money, a pound of flesh or your soul, all he wants is for you to check in and update him on your progress with details.
This may not sound like much, but once you consider the possibilities of getting ANYTHING (and I do mean ANYTHING) you want by completing a task, you start to wonder yourself about what would you do to get what you want. These characters aren't heroes or villains they're everyday average people and that's what grounds the show but the deeper mythology surrounds The Man. The Man is played AMAZINGLY WELL by "24" alumni Xander Berkeley, and he plays The Man very subtly, nuanced with bits and pieces of emotion but always manages to maintain a constant curiosity in those who seek his help. Xander isn't the only great actor on this show as EVERYONE brings their A-Game to convey the emotional depth and gravity of the decisions they're wrestling with and asking themselves if "the end really does justify the means".
Of course good acting doesn't make a series, after all "American Horror Story" has some great acting. Great acting can be enhanced by great writing and MAN, OH MAN is the writing on this show solid! Each episode takes place entirely in a diner, no sets, no cut aways, no fancy special effects, just two people in a diner talking. This proves that you don't need anything fancy to tell an AMAZING story. I kid you not, I was on the edge of my seat and each time I had to ask myself "It's just two people talking in a diner, why is this so intense?!". It's intense because the writing treats every moment like a locked room mystery. Every moment you're wondering if they completed their task, how they're going about doing it and their feelings about it. It's funny, it's scary, it's heartfelt, it's sad and awesome all at the same time.
I can't give this series a better recommendation and I can't talk more about it without giving things away, but I promise you, if you have a craving for a sci-fi story that doesn't get into gizmos and gadgets and techno babble and really stays down to earth, if you like mysteries, if you like thought-provoking stories with a very core human element, THIS IS FOR YOU! Check it out RIGHT HERE!