The Booth at the End (TV Series 2011–2012) Poster


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Strange and compelling
telcomps16 April 2011
I was a bit apprehensive before watching this; I'm not a fan of watching TV on the web so I waited for the entire set of 'webisodes' to be broadcast on FX. I must say I have been rewarded with one of the most thought provoking and challenging TV programmes in quite some time. Xander Berkeley has been perfectly cast as 'The Man' his performance is truly exceptional as are all the supporting actors. I had assumed that part of the script had been improvised due to the naturalistic way the performances are delivered, I am assured that this is not the case. There is no action as all the 'tasks' are only spoken of in retrospect or the moral challenge the person asking faces. Is 'The Man' God or is he the Devil ? As the series progresses you flip between one or the other. A series that is well worth watching and hopefully we will get a series 2; however, the moral of this story is : be careful what you wish for...
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Surreally wonderful
tenacious_dummy31 May 2012
It happens once in a year for me, I think. To stumble upon something that I know I will cherish for as long as I am capable of memories.

"The Booth at the End" is a thought-provoking, unbelievably engaging, and convincingly performed series of short episodes, all filmed at a booth in a diner. I read in one of the comments how the person thought this setting could never achieve the level of engagement it did, but was (fortunately!) mistaken. This might be the first science-fiction film/series in which I truly did not want to find out the 'secret' behind the story. It is an allegory of life, of flawed human nature, but also of occasional glimpses at divinity in ourselves, and it is as such that it ought to remain. Honestly a wonderful piece, both with respect to writing and production.

Also, I would like to commend Xander Berkeley for his brilliant performance. So heartfelt, on the verge between reality and fantasy, hell and heaven.

I do hope I will have the opportunity to come across more projects of this kind in the future.
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Completely Engaging
kagu3 September 2011
This has been a fantastic show! Twenty minutes flies by as you watch individuals come to seek out their hearts desire by making deals with a creature that could as likely be an angel as a devil. Tasks and deals begin to intertwine and form a cosmic game of chess, but the man in the booth at the end is merely keeping score.

Not only is this an engrossing series, but a masterful accomplishment of screen writing. The entire show is filmed from a booth in a diner. If someone had simply told me about this show I'd be convinced it couldn't work, but the concept of storytelling is given new life in this small screen format. Each contracted party returns to the diner to update the scorer of their progress and through their updates we learn how deals have gone horribly wrong or transformed into unforeseen joy. I cannot recommend this enough. I hope for more.
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Impressive... very impressive!
pzazz_hij15 June 2011
A man sits in a diner at 'The Booth at the End'. He is visited by people who want something. He creates the opportunity for them upon them taking on the task he sets them. They each return to him to discuss their progress. "That's the Deal"!

The show is filmed entirely in one location and the episodes last less than 4 minutes each. Yet every time an episode ends it feels like a cliff hanger. The impressive thing may be in how the script is laid out and how tightly it is written. 'The Man' whether he's in control of the conversation or not is interested in the finer details and we therefore get into the real mindset of the characters and are taken to a level that we may never of thought about asking ourselves. The really impressive thing is that each episode is never shot the same way twice, its not that they don't use the same camera angle in different episodes, its more about the style and how each new piece of the puzzle comes to affect the way you look at the show as a whole.

To fully understand the genius of the show I can only recommend that you watch it. It needs patience and an open mind to start with. If you are willing to give it that, then be prepared to be intrigued!
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original and fresh, I want more!!!
valkellery24 August 2011
It's so rare to find a series that is not predictable on some level. Something about even the way this show is shot and the quality and sparseness of the audio seems different than most shows. I love not knowing... I have my theories but it's not really clear to me who the main character is or where he comes from or if he's even mortal and who he works for or if he's more in control than he claims or WHAT. I did not at first expect the overlap between some of the various story-lines, so there was a growing pattern emerging as we (viewers) get deeper into it. The fact that some characters end up having desires that are in direct opposition means that only one can succeed unless one changes what it is that s/he wants, and that makes it even more intriguing. I love that it all takes place in the diner and what happens outside that confined world is only revealed through verbal accounts of the characters - proving that you don't need to see explosions or shoot-outs to make a program work if the premise is interesting enough. I really hope there will be further seasons, and that the story will be fully realized.
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watch it
AlexErzen19 August 2012
Myself, I'm more into Hollywood produced comedies or sci-fi movies, but watching first five minutes of this actually dragged me in. So, to everyone that is expecting something else than a psychological drama-series full of riddles, i would not recommend it. To everyone else, if you're into psychological stories, this is a very interesting one. It challenges an individual to consider their moral norms. How far would you go? I'm not very acquainted with this genre, but unlike some films, it doesn't repel or scare me. But you still won't watch it just for fun. So the bottom line is, a perfect mixture of a psychological drama and a sci-fi movie or a thriller.
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Intriguing Plot, Will Keep You Begging For More.
rika-ann12 December 2010
Out of all my years of movie watching this is one film that is incomparable to any other. The whole movie revolves around one man in one booth. Xander does an amazing job of being the mysterious and enticing man in the booth. The people who visit him asking him for favours are very realistic and each have their own underlying problem. The movie progresses at a perfect pace and eventually brings everything together in a giant knot of pure intensity. The ending is a shocker, it let my brother and me with our jaws dropped and exclamations of "What did he just say?" And remember the whole movie takes place in a booth! Overall it was an amazing and vastly underrated movie. A must see in my book. Not soon to be forgotten.
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I understand a Season Three is in the works...
astranavigo21 April 2013
...if so, that's some of the best news I've heard about TV this year.

Every now and then (and it's more thin-on-the-ground than not), there's a show which comes along that meets and exceeds all expectations. This is one of them.

Absolutely David Lynch-ian in its construction, "The Booth At The End" is that rare piece of television which makes you *think*.

In the event you've not seen it, the show revolves around The Man in the Booth; an enigmatic fellow with a well-worn leather-bound notebook; from it, he extracts 'deals' to be done with the patrons who seek him out. Each patron wants something. The Man gives them a task. Completion guarantees fulfillment.

Or something.

This is the best piece of allegoric TV since 'Twin Peaks'. Do yourself a favor. See this.

And remember that the pastrami sandwich is quite good....
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A masterpiece
gdfletcher8 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The Booth at the End was a series created for the web that has been reedited into full episodes. It is simply superb! This is a Faustian tale, rooted in classical themes of temptation, desire and moral dilemma. The Man who brokers the deals is a tormented soul who tries to remain objective, but has an strong moral opinion about his clients. The Man who brokers these deals to "get what you want" is himself on a task for the Powers he works for. A major thematic question is whether The Man fundamentally wants to benefit mankind or not. But the affection The Man feels is an indication his motivations are, if not selfless, at least rooted in his flawed humanity. Whether The Man is the devil or a soul in need of redemption is a question time will tell; if this series is extended. That is certainly my hope because it's the best new show I have seen in years. My sincere credits to the creators.
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Great concept well executed
Mike_Panno25 July 2019
I was intrigued right from the start. The writing and performances are really top notch. It's a shame it wasn't extended but then could they have sustained the imagination and quality?
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Absolutely BRILLIANT!
brownell-963-8159253 June 2019
The ultimate challenge for a writer and actors is to give them one location and make the scene captivating. This show does this - and more! The Booth at the End keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time, proving that you don't need blood and bombs and car chases to capture an audience. It's a show I've recommended to countless writers. I truly wish it was still on the air - and wish it had gotten the recognition and rewards it SO deserves!

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This is TOO good. . . but,
wilkhaven29 November 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I had to give it a 9 instead of a 10 because there are only TWO seasons from 2012! GAH!!!! You will definitely wish this show could be resurrected. The cliffhanger was a challenge oozing with so much more story to tell. In this era of so many excellent series to watch, when an awesome one like this slips past us, before it's discovered, before we get a chance to WANT it back . . . Just tell me. . . what's my task?!
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Unique and Fervent
Asurasura9 May 2015
I never imagined an action scene, nail biting suspense and thought provoking could just be achieved by just two people talking. This show is a breath of fresh air in the myriad of TV shows. And its possibilities are endless and I loved it.

Xander Berkeley is the man and his acting is master class. Intense, Honest, Intimidating, Sincere, Discontent etc. He was able to portray all these subtleties excellently and this elevates the show much more than I expected. Some times you can see some overacting by other actors but as soon as The Man talks you immediately forget it and are involved in what the has to say.
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Conversation piece with my teens
behemphi29 July 2020
Warning: Spoilers
I don't generally bwrite reviews. I certainly had to work hard to form a set of thoughts to do this justice.

This is theatre of the mind. Everything takes place in a booth ... At the end. If you need the action shown to you, skip it. If you enjoy a good book because it puts the pictures in your mind and not in your eyes, then this is worth your time.

Rather than summarize the plot I'll attempt to demonstrate its impact. My teen boys caught us in the middle of an episode. We spent 30 minutes watching the last 10 minutes because of all the questions, opinions and commentary.

This show allowed me to talk to my kids about moral ambiguity and grace. Nobody in my home is religious. Please stop and consider the power in that.

Ultimately the boys agreed to watch it all without us. We will rewatch it together in a month with the goal of chatting about right and wrong, good and evil. Ultimately I saw both my kids figure the context of a desire matters as much as the desire itself.

There is much more but other positive reviews cover it.

The acting in this show is truly top notch. It has to be as it is the food for the imagination.

Ultimately I'd like to see a high school theatre group produce this. It lends itself well to the stage in an intimate setting.
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Reminds me of Carnivàle
Dexter_prog8 January 2013
Anyone that has seen Carnivàle knows what I'm talking about, but to those that haven't: I'm referring to that intrigue that this show makes you feel episode after episode; the need to know what's going on, why, how... This is what this show is about! I watched both seasons in one day, in a row, and I want more, many more! The show is about a man that sits in a diner booth and meets people that come to him and ask him for "wishes" or favors and he tells them that if they do a task, that wish will happen. You want to know how, why or even how did they find this man? Well watch the show! There's not much else to say. The show is intriguing, catchy and creative. The acting is fantastic, the stories are quite good to (even though they could have taken some to the next level...)
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Addicting and Riveting
jk-692-23639410 August 2014
Set in one place with people just talking, you would never think could be this interesting. I just watched both seasons in one long sitting. I feel like I just read a good novel. I think because the acting and dialog was so good, that it is like reading a good book. Your mind is actually doing part of the work by visualizing what is going on with each character. I realized as I was thinking about this show, how it sticks with you and I feel like I saw the characters go to the places in the show they would be discussing, but they didn't. All scenes take place in the diner. How refreshing is that? To be using your mind while watching something? I know I will be thinking this show for awhile. It brings up so many good ideas about living and humans and love and what do you want? It sticks with you. One of the most unusual and best shows I have seen in ages. I give it a 10 for originality. The casting was spot on. There was not one wrong note with the cast. I stumbled across this on Netflix when I had nothing to watch, and it was after pages and pages of shows before I found it too. Look it up and watch it. Both seasons are on Hulu for free if you can stand the commercials.
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No One Ever Sees Themselves as the Villain
whoopeejunkmail26 October 2019
I never thought a show with only one location would be this interesting. The main character, The Man, is wonderfully acted by Xander Berkeley. He is expressive and fascinating to watch and his voice is compelling. At first it seemed like the characters, and their wants were unrelated...but as the series continues, you realize how intertwined people's lives can be, and how interesting their different perspectives can be. The little vignettes can be quite powerful, and I couldn't help clicking "Next Episode"...and luckily the entire season is about the length of a movie. I wish this would have continued, because now I'll never know if Doris got what she wanted, or what her task would have been.
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Just find it and start it...
jhumphrey799 August 2019
I agree with another reviewer - "about once a year" I stumble upon a gem of unparalleled brilliance. This one is probably going down as a "once in five years". If you are a ravenous consumer of video art, then prepare for an unforgettable feast, at a diner you've never heard of, with only a few familiar faces that you'll never forget. Hard to believe I've only just come across it and, even harder to believe there are no more than 2 riveting seasons, easily-binged in two days max. This could be the most compelling script pushed across a desk in decades and its ingenuity and uniquity should have commercial Hollywood sick with embarrassment. It's nearly unfathomable to realize, as you will in short order, that each season is entirely filmed in a single set - the booth. The acting, per character, is among the highest caliber - ever. I'll refund your nickel if you conclude I've oversold this point. Wallow in the engrossing subtle facial tics facilitated by unrivaled directing. If you aren't as disappointed as I was with the final fade to black, then your cinematic palate is beyond salvation.
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Jabbing at greatness, but lacks the KO punch
TonyCamonte8423 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
'The Booth At The End' has a lot of things going for it. It has an interesting and kind of novel premise about a guy who sits in a restaurant and "provides opportunities" for people. He asks them what they want and they get it, if they do something very specific.

Not only is this premise interesting and has a lot of potential to go into a lot of different directions, it also allows for all of the story to take place at one single location (even if he sits in a different restaurant in season 2). I am a sucker for this kind of show, especially if it is dialogue- and character-driven, which 'The Booth At The End" is.

The dialogue is well-written for the most part and the characters are decently portrayed and mostly interesting. I enjoyed watching the short episodes, which consist of the man talking to about half a dozen characters, who take centre-stage for only 1-2 minutes before the scene cuts to another conversation.

However, I felt there wasn't really enough pay-off in the end to consider it a really good show. I don't think the underlying mystery needs to be resolved, as I can accept a supernatural premise and suspend my disbelief for it, but in the end I think there's next to nothing the show is really telling us. It's entertaining to get to know the different characters and their motivations, but if the point of the show is to show us how far people are willing to go to get what they want, it fails, because we simply don't get to know the characters for long enough to make them really life-like. They are just there in order to trade something in to get what they want, so there's no way for the viewer to relate to the characters and how they got to the point of doing something more or less horrible to get something else. As far as I'm concerned, that's the major flaw with the show, and that makes it merely entertaining instead of outstanding.
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spuzer5513 November 2014
I usually find concept works executed in this way- set in a single location with a single character (the likes of Phone Booth, 127 Hours, Locke, and others) tedious and usually end up avoiding them, but this is the best example of this kind that I've come across. With five 20 minute episodes, each season has the run time of an average movie but works better when broken up into a series. The writing is the principal driving force behind it from an idea built on intrigue; Shot in a diner around a man who can make things happen for you if you are willing to complete a random yet specific task.

Xander Berkeley is decent as "the man", but sometimes it feels like the show would benefit if he played the character with a little more force and mystery. Put simply, it addresses the struggles of everyday life and what it means to be human. The wants, the inadequacies, the randomness, morality and the moments that define who we are- explored through this seemingly random group of people. Effortless to watch and worth checking out. Cannot wait for season three. Oh, and while you're there, try the pastrami sandwich.
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Angiefwilliams11 April 2020
I'm very impress with this show and sad it has ended. It really makes you think about your choices in life and how far you would go to get what you want. I wish they would bring this show back. I loved it!
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So who is he?
Bill-41217 August 2019
There was a very good clue in ep 1.5.

Do you believe in God?

I believe in the details.
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RobinFlys9 May 2020
So there is an 8.4 rating and the show was cancelled? Okkkk.
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Different which is nice
baywoodarborist10 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Xander plays the main character is very good here. I watched both seasons. I had to force myself to stick with the first few episodes because it was so different. It was like I was impatient or something but at some point I was hooked. I wanted to see how the many stories would work out but even more I wanted to know what it was all about. Unfortunately that was not to be. This series leaves me with a feeling that I didn't waist my time and it was thought provoking but I guess I'm the kind of guy that wants a conclusion.
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God I wished they continued this series.
Eli_Elvis16 September 2019
What's to say that hasn't been said before. Remember that feeling you first had watching the original twilight zone? Not that garbage after or the pathetic excuse that came out in 2019? The original. That special sauce. That unique dread and wonder. This has it. With one one set per season and pure dialogue, the imagination wanders. Amazing storytelling! Wish We could have so much more.
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