Director: Ted Gershuny
Writers: Ted Gershuny and Perry Lang
Cast: Perry Lang, Harsh Nayyar, Nancy Travis, Bina Sharif, Caryn West, and Paul Sparer
Composer: Michael Gibbs
Air Date: 2/8/1987
Presented with an affordable New York apartment, yuppie Sandy Darhaus (Perry Lang) decides to take the offer immediately. After completing his move, Sandy becomes acquainted with Rom (Harsh Nayyar)—an uninvited houseguest from India.
“My Own Place” benefits from the performances of Harsh Nayyar (whom Tales from the Darkside fans will recognize as the vampire from “Strange Love”) and Perry Lang. Nevertheless, this episode is marred by confusing plot twists, tonal inconsistencies, and negative racial stereotypes.
For its humorous exchanges between Ram and Sandy, “My Own Place” may appeal to enthusiasts of the black comedy genre. While enduring personal attacks against his culture and ethnicity, for example, Ram reacts to Sandy by doing favors for his “host” and offering advice on how to improve the spiritual well-being of oneself—an amusing example of how first-world mentalities often clash with those of underdeveloped countries.
In spite of his frustrating predicament, the character of Sandy may fail to evoke sympathy from the audience. Specifically, the protagonist frequently resorts to ethnic insults when addressing Ram, who, despite trespassing on Sandy’s property, comes across as a humble and well-meaning individual.
Also problematic are the hauntings that occur in Sandy’s apartment, which, though somewhat ominous, are never explained in a logical or coherent manner—an aspect that undermines the twist ending of this episode, wherein Sandy faces supernatural punishment for his appalling treatment of Ram.
Criticizing the workaholic culture of America, “My Own Place” demonstrates the danger of taking good circumstances for granted, valuing material possessions over the company of others, and failing to accommodate the less fortunate members of society.
Combining Indian cultural tropes with a supernatural twist, “My Own Place” operates on an intriguing premise. Horror buffs may, however, wish to avoid this episode for its uneven, if not thoroughly offensive, execution.
Overall Quality: 4/10
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