I saw some people mention this in one of the rolled up threads, but this show needs its own discussion.
The setup: Nathan Fielder (Nathan For You) helps people prepare for difficult situations by creating elaborate sets and hiring actors so they can rehearse the situation before doing it for real. The sheer amount of money they put into practicing these things is kind of unbelievable, and Nathan’s awkward directness at times leads to some very interesting things. Starting in episode 2 it takes a very strange turn, but I’ll avoid spoilers in this first post. Highly recommended, but put up your cringe-shields. I rank this slightly worse than Curb Your Enthusiasm as far as viewer discomfort watching this play out.
I loved Nathan for You and The Rehearsal is amazing so far. I like how the premise has already grown in the first few episodes.
@Vesper Because I always connect it to Nathan for You in my head, have you seen the Comedy Central show from the same period Review with Forrest MacNeil? It is a fully scripted show that feels similar to Nathan’s style while being very different. One of my favorite shows of all time.
That was quite… something haha. I never would have expected the first episode of this show to be the most structured and straightforward one.
Man, I really loved in episode 3 when Nathan creates a disputed inheritance scenario exactly like the one the guy is rehearsing for. My guess is that he found out it was all a ruse and decided to leave the show, but that was a really emotional send-off speech he gave.
That was amazing. The sheer logistics involved in shooting this show are mind-boggling.
I believe that the unscripted participants are not “in on the joke”, for no reason other than I want it to be true, but the show’s direction is intentionally making that distinction meaningless. The teenage son storyline is fascinating.
If it’s like NFY, they sort of write the show from both ends, changing the concept and Nathan’s narration based on what they’re able to get from unscripted encounters. Brilliant approach, in my opinion, because it gives us as much real stuff as possible for a show with a budget/schedule/audience demands.
Clearly the Fielder Method works, as that alum did a great job with their big scene in this episode!
This has always been true with Fielder’s stuff, as the situations he puts people in are always so bizarre from the get-go (like making people take a long van ride and a long hike to get a trivial refund on their gas purchase) that anyone who opts-in and signs the release form is de facto signing up for acting in a weird improv show, and not participating in “reality.”
So I find the discussions of “is Angela ‘real’ or just ‘acting?*’” elsewhere online to be a bit beside the point. The most you can really ask is, “Are her lines scripted or unscripted?” But the very structure of the show requires her to behave as an actor, whatever her background, just as much as the pretend child.
And ironically an actor who leaves the show after being called out for not doing enough acting when Nathan is not around.
*The fact that in this episode Nathan is casually discussing the structure of comedy sketches with her as if everyone knows how that works, and she brings up Mel Gibson’s camera technique hints that Angela has an acting background. But whether that means she’s a pretend character and her beliefs and personality are made up, or whether she’s just a quirky actor being her quirky self after answering a casting call for a reality show remains to be seen.
100%. What’s so interesting, to me, is that the bizarre conditions of the show still function as “prank comedy” as we, the audience, are waiting to see how his foils react to his outlandish behavior even when they are as professionally prepared as possible.
I will still say that the first episode was the most jaw dropping for me. At first when he says he will arrange a rehearsal for the guy trying to tell his friends about his lie, it seems pretty straightforward. But then you discover that Nathan has been rehearsing this moment, and it’s a layer deeper and it kind of blows your mind a little, but then later when he’s rehearsing telling him that he lied to him with an actor, it feels like a layer beyond that and that was just really blowing my mind.
The rest of the show continues in that vein, and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ll have to look up Nathan For You once the Rehearsal is finished. Definitely a very different style of comedy and concept. Something so unique that you realize you don’t normally encounter completely new type of TV show concepts anymore.