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Room 104

HBO’s anthology drama is a glimpse of TV’s past — and maybe its future.

Room 104 HBO
Emily St. James was a senior correspondent for Vox, covering American identities. Before she joined Vox in 2014, she was the first TV editor of the A.V. Club.

The only regular character in Room 104, now in its second season, is the hotel room in its title. Each episode of the anthology drama from Mark and Jay Duplass (the brothers behind indie films like The Puffy Chair and the HBO series Togetherness) sees new characters check in and out; in so doing, they check into and out of a large variety of stories and genres.

The resulting collection of episodes spans horror stories and love stories and even a sports movie. And in a tremendous, moving half-hour, there’s even a sort of “dream ballet.” As with all anthology shows, the quality is variable, but when Room 104 hits, it hits hard, making it worth any misses.

“The knowledge that anything can happen often pays off with unexpected twists or affecting straightforward stories, and the variety of storytellers only lends more depth to the adventure.” Ben Travers, Indiewire

Metacritic score: N/A (65 out of 100 for season one)

Where to watch: New episodes of Room 104 air Fridays on HBO at 11:30 pm Eastern. Previous episodes are available on the network’s streaming platforms.

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