Creators look back on series run at HBO

Since premiering on HBO in late July 2017, the genre-bending anthology from Duplass Brothers Productions has aired 47 episodes (Friday’s will be the 48th). They include heartfelt dramas, psychological thrillers, romantic comedies, two different musicals, a documentary, a sitcom, a cartoon, and much, much more.

The rules of The Room are simple. (1) Each episode is a half hour or less. (2) Each episode must occur, at least mostly, in the physical space of Room 104 (your average American hotel room), or in the same space that has been or will eventually be occupied by Room 104. And (3) Every new story must bring something unique into The Room.

Assuming you aren’t accounting for fan theories, all episodes of Room 104 are self-contained and unrelated. The series premiere “Ralphie,” for example, tells the story of a young woman babysitting a disturbed child. The upcoming series finale is a futuristic sci-fi drama titled “Generations,” which reportedly features The Room’s first foray into space.

It’s the kind of idea that could go on forever: simple, clean, flexible, forgiving. No wonder the makers are having such a hard time accepting the end.

“It doesn’t even feel like it’s happened yet to be completely honest,” says Mel Eslyn, executive producer and Duplass Brothers Productions president. “I think because all of the episodes haven’t aired yet, it does still feel like it’s alive and well.”

“I personally didn’t have a big nostalgic goodbye to Room 104,” says Mark Duplass, who created the series with his brother Jay and also serves as an executive producer. “If I’m being honest, it’s because I almost didn’t want to do that out of superstitious belief. I still want to go back.”

But just what was it about this show that made it so special? Ask any one of the key players — as we did in a series of one-on-one interviews conducted by phone over the course of the final season — and you’ll get answers as varied and as spectacular as the many guests of Room 104.


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