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Website / The Agony Booth

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The Agony Booth (named after a torture device from the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Mirror, Mirror") is a website that for most of its history has posted recaps of So Bad, It's Good movies and TV shows. Sometimes, its recaps-cum-MSTs raise a work up to So Bad, It's Good. The multipage, scene-by-scene recaps usually take longer to read than watching the movie, but that's a feature, not a bug.

Unlike many movie sites, Agony Booth isn't run by fans; most of the mods are older professionals (their ranks include a computer programmer, a teacher, a lawyer, a soldier, etc.), some of whom are (or have been) professional authors. The house style is therefore based around thoughtful criticisms of technical and storytelling faults as well as less tangible qualities. They are willing to mock anything, but will almost never do so without backing it up. As such, the Booth tends to have a "nothing is sacred" policy. (While it's become more apparent with the shift towards videos, it's actually always been the case, as bad films with sizable cult followings were ripe targets from the start.) The writers also have a tendency to use Troper terminology.


Starting around The New '10s, the site's core mission — while still fundamentally cynical — has veered further and further into affectionate nostalgia, with a burgeoning TV-recap section that besides the Worst of Trek includes The A-Team, Degrassi Junior High, Jem and Knight Rider. These now make up the bulk of the site's postings, while films or TV shows that aren't being recapped regularly appear more occasionally then they once did.

A relentless dedication to nosing out the most offbeat and obscure hunks of pop culture cheese (Deafula, anyone?) also marks the site off from the Bad Movie mainstream. Over the years their article subjects have also included music videos (Heidi Montag's "Higher"), energy drinks (Steven Seagal's Lightning Bolt), interviews (Lloyd Kaufman, Razzies founder John Wilson, etc.), and even the website of a presidential "candidate" (Lee L. Mercer, Jr.).


In July, 2010, they began a shift towards video recap series. These include:

The site appears to have rebooted back to a text-based recap format, as no new videos have been posted at all since March 15, 2017.

The forums attached to the site have a reputation of exclusivity that is arguably deserved; the list of rules (and rationales for banning) are long and detailed, and intelligent argument on a par with the house style is expected whether for or against the subject in question. Likewise, poorly-handled comments can expect to receive the same treatment as any recap subject.

From the FAQ:

What's the point of this site?

The Agony Booth is primarily devoted to posting recaps of movies and TV episodes. These are not "reviews". Movies and TV episodes are thoroughly analyzed and dissected in excruciating detail to show what they do right and what they do wrong. But most important of all, the point of this site is to have fun mocking any and all kinds of movies and shows.

In 2016, Agony Booth merged with Happy Nice Time People, a like-minded site that specialized in TV recaps.

It should be noted that at a certain point the old recaps received a paywall enabling full access only to those who support the site through Patreon, so a few links to the Agony Booth on TV Tropes might not have the quoted\mentioned part available.

In November 2021, the website posted its final content before eventually going offline in February 2022. There has been no communication since November on any of its social media channels, leaving the site's future in doubt.


Alternative Title(s): Agony Booth