The first season of this tv series was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. This show did not rely on huge casts, special effects or mindless violence. Instead this tv show got back to the roots of what good television is supposed to be about, and it relied on very well constructed, interesting, and intriguing plotlines. The first time I saw this tv show, the entire first season aired on FX at 11 o clock at night. 106 minutes later, I arose, having watched and recorded what I felt was well up there in the top 10 tv shows I had ever seen.
There should be no mistake, this is not really a family friendly show. It is based in a dark and tacky diner, where a creepy man with a book gets you to do stuff like get pregnant, blow up bombs, and kill children. But that was also what made it interesting. It was a psychological drama true and true; it was dark, creepy, slightly disturbing, but it kept you hooked from beginning to end. I loved it.
There was also the air of fantasy running through the entire series. It can be said, and is implied repeatedly in the series, that the Man is some representative of the devil on Earth, getting people to do heinous or horrible things. But at the same time, he never actually DID anything. Most of the time the actions the people performed indirectly led to their desired outcome, or else the desired outcome of another person. But the things did still happen, and this left an air of intrigue throughout the entire series.
Then of course, there was the killer ending scene of the last episode of season 1, where the father of a recurring character on the series arrives and wishes her back to life, whereupon the man give his trademark "that can happen", before it cuts to black. This left us truly befuzzled (in a good way). This was the first and only task that had been posed in the series, that would require divine intervention to be fulfilled, and I spent hours wondering how they would possibly resolve this cliffhanger, and I waited in baited breath for the return of the series for season 2.
I was both happy and sad with the result. I quite appreciated how the writers managed to navigate the whole "divinity" problem posed in series 1 by making it such that the recurring character never actually died at all, and that furthermore, because of what the father did, he could no longer talk to his newly revived daughter. This is where they took a bit of a stumble. After just having circumvented the divinity problem they brought back another familiar face, this time the waitress, Doris, from season 1. Herself and the Man had had a very shallow plot in season 1, and I was intrigued as to how they would grow this plotline. and lo' and behold, they used it to jump ship and find themselves back in the theological debate they had just avoided. All of a sudden the characters are not-too-subtly implying that the Man is in fact the devil, Doris is some kind of messenger from "them" (oooh the Heavenly police department are pissed), and that "they" are all pissed that the man took their book of magic wishes. .... conclusion, absolute bullshit.
To make matters worse, it was like halfway through the series the writers realised what they had done, and tried to ignore the plot, only to realise they had fuckall else to do, so they decided to set the Man a task. The princiople seemed like a good one: in the first series the man complained about not sleeping well (heavy conscience from being a murderer by proxy), and now he wants to understand people. At the same time I was a bit irked by the fact that in the first season the Man didn't have a character profile, but that he was dark, very withdrawn, and loved the details, nothing else. Now they had him making grocery runs and stalking. I liked the avenue they were going down, trying to develop the character, but they kinda did it badly, and made the man a less attractive character... Try again next time.
I'm guessing there must have been some neglectful parents who let their children stay up late and watch this series and who then decided to complain or something, because all of a sudden in season 2 the diner is brighter and yellow, it is in the middle of a town (as opposed to on the side of a highway), and there are children waltzing into the game. I cannot stress this enough. There is a reason this series is on at midnight on channels like fox, as opposed to 8 am on disney channel. IT IS NOT FOR KIDS (except maybe Kevin from "We Need To Talk About Kevin"). I really like the dark and disturbing nature of the show. It was perfectly placed on the boundary of horror, thriller, and psychological drama. It was perfectly situated because at this position it could pry into the minds of people, and what motivates them, without being horrifying. Now they have kids, women whose nephews start loving them, and a woman who was cast almost purely because she had a large cleavage. I could say more about this, but suffice to say the writers started to fall into the trap of relying on the aesthetic of the show, instead of on the plot of it.
To conclude I would like to point out that, despite what I have said above, I still gave this series a high rating all in all. This is because I love the concept so much (in spite of the season 2 flaws), season 1 was amazing, and because I hope that season 3, should it ever be made, will learn from the mistakes of its predecessor. This does not say that I hated season 2, there were certain parts of it that I enjoyed immensely. This review has been written almost solely to say that if you want a good idea whether or not you actually like this genre (unique as it is) watch season 1, then commit yourself to season 2.
This show is one of the best shows I've ever seen, because it enthralls you without having to show you every event that is going on within each episode.
The Booth At The End's premise is exactly what the title represents each episode you are invited to sit down with a man in a black suit and his book of needful things. You watch as person by person come to sit down at his booth requesting for something and in turn having to fulfill a task from the book. The only thing the man requires though is to hear how everything goes down, and for the task to be complete before the requests can be fulfilled.
The show gabs you with the interactions and emotions that flow from the people the man in the booth at the end interacts with including the mystery that shrouds around him.
This show is better suited to people who like the more uniquely classed shows but to those who like hearing a good tale to be told
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