When it comes to television shows, a lot tend to follow a successful formula. In the cutthroat world where shows have to survive year to year, it seems that “different” can be a risk not worth taking. However The Booth at the End is different and with the release of the show on DVD we get to see what a special series it was.
The Man (Xander Berkeley) sits in The Booth at the End with his book, waiting for people to visit him. When they inevitably turn up they make a deal, and the book comes up with a task for them to do. The question is, will they do the task and get what they want, or is the price too high for them?
The Booth at the End is made up of short episodes that are perfect in size. We don’t get to see the visitors do their tasks, but we find out from them as they return to tell their tale. Part of the deal is that they must describe what they have done, which they of course do, or sometimes return to complain about their tasks. What makes these tasks interesting is the nature of them. Examples are for a man to kill a girl so that his son will be cured. Another man is given the task to protect the girl and act as a guardian angel so he can get the woman of his dreams. The crossover of these two stories is interesting, because we are in on the story with The Man and understand the consequences of what is taking place.
It is impressive that The Booth at the End drags the audience in and keeps them engrossed, even though it is literally about a man sat in a diner booth talking to other people. The short nature of the episodes keeps the story from overstaying its welcome and allows us to digest each segment of the story.
In the second series of the show things are complicated by events that took place in the first… and this time round we understand The Man more. To go in-depth into this would be to create potential spoilers, so I can’t do that. It is fair to say though that the returning characters make series 2 very interesting and adds more to the mythology of the show. It would be interesting to see where it would have gone if there were any more series, but it is doubtful we’ll ever know.
If you are looking for a show that offers something a little different, The Booth at the End is a good choice. Many times unsettling, it hides its mysteries within stories that keep you engrossed until the very last minutes of the very last episodes. In having both series to watch, the full story is laid out to us which is the best way to take the series. With a nice run-time that doesn’t overstay its welcome, this show is well worth checking out.
The Booth at the End: The Complete Series 1 and 2 is available on DVD in the UK now.