Knock First at HBO’s ‘Room 104’

Room104A warning to those, like I did, put on the Duplass Brothers’ new “Room 104” (HBO, 11:30 p.m.), expecting something light and witty along the lines of their last series, “Togetherness.”

And maybe there are a couple of episodes that are funny. But the ones I’ve seen so far bend closer to “Twilight Zone” horror.

The idea is that something different, with a different cast, happens every week in this single anonymous hotel room.

In the first one has Melonie Diaz plays a babysitter called over to watch a young boy (Ethan Kent) who seems to have some alarming tendencies. The action unfolds without music, adding a kind of eeriness into the silence.

It might prove to be interesting. But whatever happens will be unexpected, Mark Duplass told reporters earlier this week at the TV Critics Association summer press tour.

“When you show up here,” he said, “you literally don’t know what tone or genre you’re going to get. It’s kind of like the Russian roulette of television.”

The Duplass brothers wrote seven of the episodes, but left the directing to others.

That provides the same kind of diversity as the stories and characters inside the room.

Mark Duplass also brought up the problems of the peak TV era.

“I don’t know if you guys are like us, but we feel pressured to watch things, and we feel bad that we’re not caught up on the shows, and we end up letting them go, and we feel bad about it,”he said. “We want ‘Room 104’ to be your casual daily experience…”

“We’re the Tinder of television,” Jay Duplass said. “You swipe left, swipe right.”

Among its upcoming cast members are Philip Baker Hall opposite Ellen Geer, Karan Soni.

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