The Rehearsal is a hard show to sell because Nathan Fielder’s humor isn’t for everyone. He is very dry and awkward in his deliveries, but somehow he makes it work. I believe it has to do with how his personality is contrasted against very serious situations that make the shows he makes work. If you can get past his awkward and dry sense of humor, you get an interesting show that explores how we make decisions.
Nathan Fielder uses HBO’s money to help people overcome difficult tasks in their lives. In the first episode, Fielder helps a man who wants to come clean about a lie he told his friends long ago. The lie has been weighing heavily on his conscience. Fielder promises to help him overcome the fear of the situation by helping him prep for the confession. The Fielder makes a replica of the location, gets actors to interact with, and goes over every possible outcome. The idea is to prep the subject by making him encounter every possible outcome. By the end of the rehearsal, the subject should be ready to overcome the task at hand. The show gets stranger as he will often turn the camera on himself and evaluate the morality of what he is doing.
Fielder uses this show to explore the social and situational factors that influence how we make decisions. Fielder will take a simple task or scenario and examine it from every possible perspective. He will also consider every possible outcome of a situation. Fielder uses the data he collects to manipulate situations to result favorably for him. You will sit there as he reevaluates a single moment in the show, dissecting it in order to understand why it resulted as such. If you like studying human behaviors and social dynamics, this is a fantastic show for you.
I fear I might not be doing this show justice because it is a hard one to explain. It is a comedy that isn’t bound by its genre. Instead, it is an in-depth study of the psyche of decision making. If you can get past Fielder’s stale personality, you find yourself with an interesting show. You can stream it on HBO.
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