Showtime 30-Minute Movie Traveler’s Rest

Chanticleer's Discovery Program adds another well-executed TV equivalent of a one-act or short story, and if the resolution of William Wise's tale smacks of easy sentiment, it's still quality stuff. And Lois Nettleton and Paul Dooley sure strut their stuff.

With:
Cast: Paul Dooley, Bruce Gray, Katherine Layng, Lois Nettleton, Priscilla Pointer.

Chanticleer’s Discovery Program adds another well-executed TV equivalent of a one-act or short story, and if the resolution of William Wise’s tale smacks of easy sentiment, it’s still quality stuff. And Lois Nettleton and Paul Dooley sure strut their stuff.

Divorced Joanne (Nettleton), stopping on a stormy night at Traveler’s Lodge, a worn-out motel near nowhere, rents the last vacancy from motel owner Andy (Dooley). It’s late at night, widower Andy’s helpful with a burnt-out bulb and a dead TV set — and even fixes her a sandwich.

But flashbacks to both their earlier lives are grim. They begin telling about their former spouses and, when he discovers that Joanne’s ex-husband, Marty (who ditched her for a younger woman), has just died, Andy sympathizes.

The characters’ dead mates silently and momentarily appear, and Joanne tells of how she found herself consoling Marty’s widow, whom she liked. Andy responds by telling how his wife Annie died so suddenly.

Andy, who says that the lovemaking going on audibly next door to Joanne’s room is none of his business, stays the night in Joanne’s room; they comfort one another.

Craig Belknap’s shrewd direction finds nuances in the script, and Nettleton and Dooley play out their roles with endearing details. Steve McMahon’s camera finds angles that don’t call attention to themselves but create a feeling of completeness. If the ending veers to the neat and smug, getting there’s a pleasure.

Nettleton glows as Joanne, and Dooley hands in a strong, reassuring performance. Priscilla Pointer as Andy’s sick wife is touching.

Production designer William Maynard gives a realistic atmosphere to the motel setting and editing by John Currin and Martha Huntley is, like the camerawork, subtle. “Traveler’s Rest” is another reassuring sign that American TV can still qualify in half-hour drama league.

Showtime 30-Minute Movie Traveler's Rest

(Fri. (2), 2:30-3 p.m., Showtime)

Production: Filmed at Santa Clarita Studios by Chanticleer Films. Exec producers, Jana Sue Memel, Jonathan Sanger, Rob Fried; supervising producer, Steve Hewitt; producer, Tom Koranda; co-producer, Robert J. Degus; director, Craig Belknap; writer, William Wise, based on his play.

Crew: Camera, Steve McMahon; editors, John Currin, Martha Huntley; production designer, William Maynard; art director, Keith Neely; sound, Ken Segal; music, Norman L. Berman.

Cast: Cast: Paul Dooley, Bruce Gray, Katherine Layng, Lois Nettleton, Priscilla Pointer.

More TV

  • Mo'Nique Calls for Netflix Boycott

    Mo'Nique Calls for Netflix Boycott Amid Pay Disparity Claim

    Chanticleer’s Discovery Program adds another well-executed TV equivalent of a one-act or short story, and if the resolution of William Wise’s tale smacks of easy sentiment, it’s still quality stuff. And Lois Nettleton and Paul Dooley sure strut their stuff. Divorced Joanne (Nettleton), stopping on a stormy night at Traveler’s Lodge, a worn-out motel near […]

  • THE RESIDENT: L-R: Manish Dayal, guest

    TV Review: 'The Resident' on Fox

    Chanticleer’s Discovery Program adds another well-executed TV equivalent of a one-act or short story, and if the resolution of William Wise’s tale smacks of easy sentiment, it’s still quality stuff. And Lois Nettleton and Paul Dooley sure strut their stuff. Divorced Joanne (Nettleton), stopping on a stormy night at Traveler’s Lodge, a worn-out motel near […]

  • SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Jessica Chastain"

    'Saturday Night Live' Parodies Amazon's Search for a Headquarters Home (Watch)

    Chanticleer’s Discovery Program adds another well-executed TV equivalent of a one-act or short story, and if the resolution of William Wise’s tale smacks of easy sentiment, it’s still quality stuff. And Lois Nettleton and Paul Dooley sure strut their stuff. Divorced Joanne (Nettleton), stopping on a stormy night at Traveler’s Lodge, a worn-out motel near […]

  • SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Jessica Chastain"

    Jessica Chastain Hosts 'Saturday Night Live' With Important Message for Women on the Evening of the 2nd Annual Women's March (Watch)

    Chanticleer’s Discovery Program adds another well-executed TV equivalent of a one-act or short story, and if the resolution of William Wise’s tale smacks of easy sentiment, it’s still quality stuff. And Lois Nettleton and Paul Dooley sure strut their stuff. Divorced Joanne (Nettleton), stopping on a stormy night at Traveler’s Lodge, a worn-out motel near […]

  • SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "Jessica Chastain"

    'Saturday Night Live' Takes on Trump's Physical Exam, Stormy Daniels Scandal, Wonders if Anything Matters Anymore (Watch)

    Chanticleer’s Discovery Program adds another well-executed TV equivalent of a one-act or short story, and if the resolution of William Wise’s tale smacks of easy sentiment, it’s still quality stuff. And Lois Nettleton and Paul Dooley sure strut their stuff. Divorced Joanne (Nettleton), stopping on a stormy night at Traveler’s Lodge, a worn-out motel near […]

  • Fisher Stevens, Ross Kauffman Team for

    Fisher Stevens, Ross Kauffman Team for Discovery Documentary 'Taken By the Tiger'

    Chanticleer’s Discovery Program adds another well-executed TV equivalent of a one-act or short story, and if the resolution of William Wise’s tale smacks of easy sentiment, it’s still quality stuff. And Lois Nettleton and Paul Dooley sure strut their stuff. Divorced Joanne (Nettleton), stopping on a stormy night at Traveler’s Lodge, a worn-out motel near […]

  • Peter Dinklage Thinks It's 'the Perfect

    Peter Dinklage on Why It's 'the Perfect Time' to End 'Game of Thrones'

    Chanticleer’s Discovery Program adds another well-executed TV equivalent of a one-act or short story, and if the resolution of William Wise’s tale smacks of easy sentiment, it’s still quality stuff. And Lois Nettleton and Paul Dooley sure strut their stuff. Divorced Joanne (Nettleton), stopping on a stormy night at Traveler’s Lodge, a worn-out motel near […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content