The Big Door Prize Season 1 Review – More consolation prize than jackpot winner

Season 1

Episode Guide

Episode 1 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 9 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 10 -| Review Score – 4/5


The Big Door Prize is the epitome of a binge-watch. It’s the sort of quirky series that you can sit and watch in one hit and enjoy for its off-kilter blend of comedy and drama. Unless you’re watching on AppleTV+ every week of course, in which case this drip-fed series will either frustrate or bore you.

Based on the book sporting the same name by M. O. Walsh, Apple’s latest series is billed as a comedy but it’s not outright funny in the conventional sense. There’s definitely a particular brand of comedy here but it’s definitely not supposed to illicit laughs every few seconds. Similarly, this isn’t a very dramatic or mysterious series either, settling somewhere in the middle between the two states. In fact, if anything this plays out more like a thought provoking medley of different genres than anything else. And like any genre experiment, sometimes it works and sometimes it really doesn’t.

The story takes place in a small town called Deerfield, where residents suddenly find their lives changed forever when a mysterious machine pops up called Morpho. This Morpho machine can apparently tell the future and reveal your life potential. When the townsfolk catch wind of this, Morpho-fever grips the town, as everyone starts to get in on the action, determined to figure out what their future holds.

As the episodes progress, we learn more about our main characters and what their cards read, but similarly we see more about the Morpho machine’s mythos (try saying that fast 10 times) with thought provoking questions about exactly what this machine is and why it’s here. Does it really tell you your life potential? Is it phony? Is there someone pulling the strings? And can your results be manipulated? All of these questions and more simmer in the background, offering a story that bounces around to different characters in town.

However, it’s Dusty and Cass who end up being the main focus, and although the first two episodes supposedly focus exclusively on them before bouncing around to different people, they ultimately show up in every single episode and take the spotlight away from some of the more interesting players in town.

Hotshot Italian, Giorgio, has his own chapter where we see more of his personality shine, while Father Reuben, the resident priest in town, is arguably the most interesting and fascinating out of all the supporting players. As he has his faith tested, that idea of a higher power operating in conjunction with the Morpho machine, it makes for a fascinating inner turmoil that sadly, isn’t explored as much as it perhaps could have been.

It’s a pity that the attention remains rooted to arguably two of the most uninteresting and flat characters in the whole show. While Cass and Dusty aren’t bad per-se, they just don’t have much of an arc, given their conflict is dragged out unnecessarily to the very end. And perhaps that’s indicative of Apple’s recent trend with TV projects.

This did not need 10 episodes to tell the story that’s here and it’s a pity, because the final few episodes are arguably the best this series has to offer. In the end, this is a decent enough binge-watch, but it’s unlikely to ignite the small screen anytime soon.

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  • Verdict - 6.5/10

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