Sean’s Recommendations: The Booth at the End

Posted: November 14, 2011 by tmepost in TV

By Sean McQuillan

A lot of people like to talk about their favorite shows.  They say why they like this popular show, how the effects are amazing on that show, but how often do you hear people rave about the writing of a show?  I know some people talk about “smart writing” or great jokes, but I’m talking about the driving narrative.  Now people talk about how amazing the narrative is in shows like LOST, but in my experience shows like that are throwing the audience from one point to another until you really can’t follow anything but it’s visually pleasing.  I liken this to Michael Bay’s action movies.  Think about action scenes in the Transformer movies.  If you were to really examine it, it is full of so much blurred action and odd angles that it’s hard to follow who is attacking who.  These may be entertaining, but their just candy for your brain.  Sometimes my brain has had enough candy and wants to sit down and enjoy a good steak.  For me, that means movies that really on a great narrative and performances, rather than flashy graphics or dizzying plot twists.

Are you still with me?  Good, because I’d like to recommend a good ‘steak’.  “The Booth at the End.”

The Booth at the End takes place entirely within a single booth in a diner, but you’ll quickly forget that when you get into the narrative.  Everyone wants something sometimes.  Maybe you want money, maybe you want to be prettier, or maybe you want your son with cancer to live.  Well, you’ve heard from a friend that his brother knows a guy who met with The Man in the Diner.  If you can meet with him, the terms are simple.  You tell him what you want, and he gives you a task.  You do the task, you get what you want.  How do choose to do that task is up to you, all you have to do is keep meeting with the Man and tell him about it.  He wants to know why you chose that target or that method.  How does that decision make you feel?  What did it feel like as you actually started your plan?  Everyone who makes deals with the Man must come and answer these sorts of questions.  From this you hear all about what’s going on outside these booths, and how it’s affecting their lives.

Maybe you have to rob a bank, or protect someone, or kill someone….  The decision of whether or not to do the task is always yours.  You can walk away any time, but once you’re assigned a task it cannot be changed.  Once you have come up with your plan, well, “What one starts one must finish.”

To give any further explanation would be a spoiler, and perhaps I may have said too much.  All I know is The Booth at the End is one of the best written series I’ve seen in a long time, and I want to share it.  You can watch all 5 episodes free of charge at Hulu.com, but I would recommend avoiding Wikipedia if you want more info than what I’ve given.  It’s full of spoilers.

What would you do?  How far would you go to get what you want?  What might it cost you?

Do you have any shows that you would recommend?  Let us know in the comments below.

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Comments
  1. John says:

    I think that the Idris Elba mini series “Luther” is a great show as far as writing. Plus you can’t go wrong with Elba because he made a Tyler Perry movie tolerable and that’s a chore.

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