Room 104 is an American television anthology series created by Jay and Mark Duplass. The series, ordered by and airing on HBO, debuted on July 28, 2017. On August 24, 2017, the series was renewed for a second season. The 12-episode second season aired between November 9 and December 15, 2018. On February 8, 2019, HBO revealed that a third season had been filmed, and that they were in talks for a fourth season renewal.
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||24 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||21–29 minutes|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Original release||July 28, 2017 –|
The series is set in a single room of an American hotel located in New York, exploring characters who pass through it in each episode. Each episode is a different genre with some episodes more comical in nature and some more dramatic and some with horror and crime themes.
The series received a 24-episode order and all the episodes were shot back-to-back as a cost-saving measure, and they were split into two 12-episode seasons. In a December 2018 interview, co-creator Mark Duplass revealed that the third season had already been filmed and edited, and he is currently writing season 4. According to Duplass, episodes of Room 104 are made for "a quarter" of the cost typically expected for HBO series. Episodes are conceived in a "think tank" by the writers where they come up with dozens of ideas, and then they reach out to filmmakers that they are interested in to direct the episodes. Episodes are filmed in a "fast and loose" manner; for example, Josephine Decker directed her episode in two days only using an iPhone. For the editing process, directors do not receive final cut, and Duplass screens the episodes to a group of 20 people who work at their company for feedback.
Room 104 has received generally positive reviews from critics. On Metacritic, the first season has a score of 65 out of 100 based on 22 reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has an 87% approval rating with an average score of 6.85 out of 10 based on 39 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads, "Room 104 uses its anthology structure to its advantage, telling a series of short, eclectic stories that hit their marks more often than they miss."
Reviewing the entire second season, Ben Travers of IndieWire gave it a positive review with a "B+" grade. He wrote, "the variety of storytelling on display builds such tingly anticipation, each new episode is worth it even when the narrative disappoints" and that it is "such remarkable, refreshing television that even when it's bad, it's good".
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||12||July 28, 2017||October 13, 2017|
|2||12||November 9, 2018||December 15, 2018|
Season 1 (2017)Edit
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|1||1||"Ralphie"||Sarah Adina Smith||Mark Duplass||July 28, 2017||0.249|
|Meg (Melonie Diaz) is hired by a man (Ross Partridge) to babysit his pre-teen son Ralph (Ethan Kent) for one night in Room 104. She is initially amused when Ralph warns her that "Ralphie", a bad boy, is locked in the bathroom. When Ralphie attacks Ralph and her, she fights Ralphie off and strangles him. Ralph's father comes back, and Meg is strangling Ralph. She realizes that Ralphie was in her imagination.|
|2||2||"Pizza Boy"||Patrick Brice||Mark Duplass||August 4, 2017||0.426|
|A pizza deliverer (Clark Duke) becomes involved in a couple's (James Van Der Beek and Davie-Blue) argument. It later is revealed that the 'couple' are actors and the events were an audition. The 'pizza boy' hires them.|
|3||3||"The Knockandoo"||Sarah Adina Smith||Carson Mell||August 11, 2017||0.438|
|A spiritually-hungry woman (Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris) is visited by a cult priest (Orlando Jones). She remembers that when she was a child, a boy showed her his penis and she hit it with a rock. The priest puts a rod into her nose. Also starring Tony Todd and Jenny Leonhardt.|
|4||4||"I Knew You Weren't Dead"||So Yong Kim||Mark Duplass||August 18, 2017||0.305|
|A 42-year-old guest (Jay Duplass), whose wife wants to split up with him, seeks advice from the ghost of his college best friend (Will Tranfo) who accidentally drowned in his early twenties. The ghost later appears as an older man (Frank Ashmore). The guest realizes that he has to accept his friend's death and stop feeling guilty for not saving his life.|
|5||5||"The Internet"||Doug Emmett||Mark Duplass||August 25, 2017||0.393|
|In 1997, a young Indian man (Karan Soni) desperately tries to teach his mother (Poorna Jagannathan–never seen on screen), over the phone, how to use his laptop to send a copy of the novel he has been writing. She accidentally deletes his novel, so he tells her to take it to a computer shop so that the staff can try to retrieve it. She tells him that he was adopted – and that he was born to her 19-year-old Pakistani neighbor.|
|6||6||"Voyeurs"||Dayna Hanson||Dayna Hanson||September 1, 2017||0.240|
|An episode told through interpretive dance, with very little dialogue. A middle-aged maid and former call girl (Dendrie Taylor) reconnects with her younger self (Sarah Hay).|
|7||7||"The Missionaries"||Megan Griffiths||Mark Duplass||September 8, 2017||0.366|
|Two Mormons (Adam Foster and Nat Wolff) test their faith and their attraction to each other.|
|8||8||"Phoenix"||Ross Partridge||Story by : Xan Aranda and Ross Partridge |
Teleplay by : Ross Partridge
|September 15, 2017||0.375|
|In 1969, the sole (apparent) survivor (Amy Landecker) of a plane crash finds herself in the room, covered in mud, cuts and bruises. She is contemplating whether to go back to her old life with her husband, when a mysterious younger woman (Mae Whitman), arrives at her door, telling the suddenly clean and unharmed woman that she has risen like the mythological Phoenix, and must choose if she will go into the light or... the scene resets to the muddy, bloody start.|
|9||9||"Boris"||Chad Hartigan||Ross Partridge||September 22, 2017||0.333|
|An alcoholic Croatian retired tennis player (Konstantin Lavysh) forms a bond with a housekeeper (Veronica Falcon) when he reveals memories of his tortured past growing up in war torn Croatia during the early 1990s while she in turn reveals her status as an undocumented immigrant.|
|10||10||"Red Tent"||Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck||Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck||September 29, 2017||0.343|
|A young man (Keir Gilchrist) planning to detonate an explosive at a political convention is interrupted by an air conditioning repairman (Hugo Armstrong), causing him to reconsider his plan. It is loosely implied that the repairman might be an law enforcement agent sent to stop the assassination attempt.|
|11||11||"The Fight"||Megan Griffiths||Mark Duplass||October 6, 2017||0.307|
|Two female MMA fighters (Natalie Morgan and Keta Meggett) collude to earn a bigger payout by throwing their upcoming match, but brutally beat each other to a pulp in a private competition to determine who will win their fixed match.|
|12||12||"My Love"||Marta Cunningham||Mark Duplass||October 13, 2017||0.225|
|An elderly couple (Philip Baker Hall and Ellen Geer) relive their first night together.|
Season 2 (2018)Edit
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|13||1||"FOMO"||Ross Partridge||Mark Duplass||November 9, 2018||0.216|
|A young woman (Charlyne Yi) celebrates her birthday with her friends (Tom Lenk and Pia Shah), but things go downhill when her sister (Jennifer Lafleur) arrives unexpectedly.|
|14||2||"Mr. Mulvahill"||Ross Partridge||Mark Duplass||November 10, 2018||0.147|
|A man (Rainn Wilson) confronts his former third-grade teacher (Frank Birney), seeking a confession about their shared past.|
|15||3||"Swipe Right"||Liza Johnson||Liza Johnson||November 16, 2018||0.220|
|An eccentric Russian political technologist (Michael Shannon) arranges a first date with a veterinary nurse (Judy Greer) after meeting her via the internet. Also starring Katya Zamolodchikova.|
|16||4||"Hungry"||Patrick Brice||Mark Duplass||November 17, 2018||0.179|
|Two strangers (Mark Proksch and Kent Osborne) meet to fulfill a mutual fantasy, but are interrupted by a suspicious police officer (Michole Briana White). This episode is based on true events.|
|17||5||"Woman in the Wall"||Gaby Hoffmann||Esti Giordani||November 23, 2018||0.133|
|A sickly woman (Dolly Wells) seeks comfort from a disembodied voice (Leonora Pitts) that claims to live inside the walls.|
|18||6||"Arnold"||Julian Wass||Mark Duplass & Julian Wass||November 24, 2018||0.127|
|Presented as a musical, a man (Brian Tyree Henry) attempts to piece together his memories of the previous night and the woman he met (Ginger Gonzaga).|
|19||7||"The Man and the Baby and the Man"||Josephine Decker||Story by : Josephine Decker |
Teleplay by : Josephine Decker & Onur Tukel
|November 30, 2018||0.164|
|A couple (Josephine Decker and Onur Tukel) experiences difficulties while recording a video – which they plan to show their future child – of their attempts to conceive.|
|20||8||"A Nightmare"||Jonah Markowitz||Mark Duplass||December 1, 2018||0.135|
|A young woman (Natalie Morales) finds herself unable to escape a series of increasingly disturbing nightmares, some involving her mother (Marlene Forte).|
|21||9||"The Return"||So Yong Kim||Mark Duplass||December 7, 2018||0.146|
|A widow (Stephanie Allynne) brings her young daughter (Abby Ryder Fortson) to Room 104 to help the girl cope with her father's death.|
|22||10||"Artificial"||Natalie Morales||Mark Duplass||December 8, 2018||0.186|
|An apparent android (Katie Aselton) attempts to convince a skeptical reporter (Sheaun McKinney) of the true nature of both of their existences.|
|23||11||"Shark"||Mark Duplass||Mark Duplass||December 14, 2018||0.106|
|A pool shark (Mahershala Ali) and his disillusioned cousin (James Earl III) clash over their conflicting views of the hustling game.|
|24||12||"Josie & Me"||Lila Neugebauer||Lauren Budd||December 15, 2018||0.120|
|A playwright searching for inspiration (Mary Wiseman) asks her younger self to reenact the events of a harrowing night from her college years.|
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