Apple TV+’s The Big Door Prize Is Flooded With Potential
Apple TV+’s The Big Door Prize finds everyone in its central small town, Deerfield, suddenly overflowing with potential with the mysterious appearance of the Morpho machine. The once-ordinary town’s people are suddenly given a suggestion for a new life direction when they are given a card with their life’s potential written on it. But it is not the gift everyone takes it for at first.
Dusty is the first to be focused on in a stream of episodes that emphasize each of the main characters and reveal what their life potential is meant to be. After watching people happily wander around, showing what they are intended to do with their lives, Dusty finally gives in, and his curiosity allows the audience to understand an alternate perspective, where the Morpho cards result in disappointment rather than excitement.
Throughout the first season, various characters have multiple responses to their life potential. Cass becomes a much more prominent member of Deerfield after receiving “Royalty,” and Jacob becomes the talk of the town after his “Hero” destiny is fulfilled. But, The Big Door Prize also allows the initial novelty to wear off.
Throughout the first season, the adults in town start to latch onto the Morpho machine far more than the town’s teenagers. Cass starts making drastic changes in how she presents herself to the town. Dusty becomes obsessed with suggesting his life potential is grander than he initially viewed it. Dusty’s parents get divorced. All of this happens in the name of trying to figure out how to respond to the card’s declaration.
But, while the adults run rampant, reality starts settling in for the teenagers. The Morpho cards no longer mean something fun to think about. The adults treat it like fate or destiny while creating an environment where they can live vicariously through their children.
Each episode offers further insight and truth into another town resident as they respond to their Morpho card. But where did the Morpho machine come from?
Season one does not answer that question, simply leaving it blank for an upcoming second season. Although there are questions surrounding how the Morpho machine came to be or how it reached their town without anyone seeing it, The Big Door Prize does not bother to answer those questions, instead spending more time figuring out the meaning behind the cards.
This is a series about the importance of discovering potential and how understanding how one can wish for more for themself can encourage people to take on new directions or activities in life. However, it also asks questions about jumping into something new just because a card said so.
How does one reach their potential? Or is the Morpho machine’s card meant to encourage people to understand what they could be? Given all the different outcomes of the machine, it seems that the members of Deerfield have only scratched the surface of what the Morpho machine is meant to do, especially if the season finale’s ending is anything to go by.