Season 1, Episode 4, “The Fielder’s Method”

Nathan Fielder in rehearsal

Nathan Fielder Rehearsal
photo, Courtesy of HBO

Can you ever be authentic if you are crippled by your self-awareness?

While I ask myself this question any day, I’m summarizing it today because I was surprised when the fourth episode of Nathan Fielder’s anti-genre series was ending. Rehearsal, Apparently, the nonfiction show is pitched as the following: Nathan for you As producer/star he helps “regular people” rehearse important moments in their lives (difficult conversations with siblings or trivia friends, the challenges of parenthood, say). Only, as with every subsequent episode, that provocative premise (which doesn’t want coaching and a full-blown production crew can help you test out any and every kind of twist that might take a complicated discussion with a loved one) ?) more ambitious. But other than that, something more insidious.

To be fair, it was all there. When he introduced us to the core, which Fielder eventually helped out, the show revealed the way its host had the first conversation with this interested participant since he hired and beta-tested an actor. That tiredness back and forth. Namely, while the rehearsals on the show will focus on people who are eager to get help with that kind of production budget HBO can affordIt was already very conceited Rehearsal It was, in no small part, the result of how Fielder himself wishes he could live his life. As someone who often has sleepless nights, doing silly things I’ve said outside and with friends (“Oh my god, I really should have said X instead…. woohat they must be thinking of me now!”), I understand the motivation of the fielder-AAnd his desire to extend such a comfy blanket of an experience to his various guests.

But it is not practical to practice for real life. After all, any simulation will inevitably be a reduced copy. By definition, it can never be a real thing. It can only guess at it. And Fielder seems intent on making his rehearsals as authentic as possible—which requires a degree that pushes him into morally questionable territory. This is someone who sets up a fake acting school in Los Angeles where he encourages actors to chase people in order to better impersonate them and who, without irony (I guess? Or is he an actor? good for? ) tells the class that this is a gig where, if you do it wrong, you could ruin someone’s life.

that whole scene and that raises questions Fielder is also on his mind. That’s why he then sets up an entertainment, not a rehearsaln of that first grade, so that he can better understand the many concerns of his students. Here he is again indulging himself in this life-acting exercise he has been making throughout. heyOnly this time, she is not the only participant. He has become an actor. Thomas, indeed. I’ll accept the sight of a fielder in a wig(!) made me laugh. But not as loudly when, later in the episode, Fielder and Thomas share the following exchange, when the aspiring actor confesses to Fielder why he is struggling with his assignment:

“I don’t like lying to people,” Thomas says.

And then, in the wildest way possible, Fielder responds with the following: “No, neither do I.”

it’s the kind of moment that feels so absurd that I couldn’t help but double over, but In that laugh I recognized the bait and switch Rehearsal Keeps pulling us. Because I believe the fielder when he says he doesn’t like lying. Only, he knows it is a necessary part of his job. His mission, even.

Nathan Fielder in rehearsal

Nathan Fielder Rehearsal
photo, Courtesy of HBO

But that whole experiment, in which he tried to be Thomas to better understand himself and his class, Hit me as taking this whole premise too far. Keeping track of this nesting doll of motion is getting harder and harder, But one thing is still clear :THe is Nathan Fielder’s discovery of his own way of madness. This makes Adam’s choice of growing up/reshaping his personality when he comes back to Eagle Creek that is easy to understand. It has ceased to be an exercise in the service of Angela. IThe tee will now be solely at the service of the fielder’s own interests. I’m hesitant to try to add words like “selfishness” and “solitude” to these choices, But when you orchestrate a fake opium overdose to better capture it, how will a teenage child react if a father figure is gone for years on end because it’s the story you’ve experienced, you wonder. Where is all this going to be.

All I have to say: I can’t be the only one intimidated by this episode, right? And just as terrified by the way Fielder should have a keen sense of how terrible he is. Which brings me back to the question about self-awareness that continues to haunt me. There is such an investment in authenticity in all of these “rehearsals”,Yet the fielder is never able to get out of his head. hE’s access to emotional truthfulness (in itself he demands of his actors and thus his participants), But it seems that it is forever out of his reach. Is this why he is so much more comfortable when he himself is in these “rehearsals”? Are we building up to the point where the lies around him stop being crutches and run the risk of becoming the real thing? Is he intentionally trying to drive us crazy by reminding us how good our daily lives are?, Guess we’ll find out next week.

stray observation

  • “You did cocaine?!” Could be the line of the episode. Hands down.
  • i loved the scene flourish The episode ends (Slide Transition) and love that Fielder keeps the teen actor Adam coming off the slide (“Is it?”) and sabotaging any version of reality that could create fantasy transformation. After all, we are here in Brechtian territory.
  • as much as I am impressed by thematic concerns Rehearsal, I’m equally curious as to its own logistics. I was surprised, for example, by how Fielder & Co. Eagle Creek, Oregon to use as his home base. What was it about this community that made it so suitable for these various rehearsals? Fielder notes Eagle Creek only had so much to show us, in a John Wilson-esque flourish, images of two signs: a fluke that read “We have eggs now” (above the other that reads “BROWN EGGS”). ) and a more professional looking ad “pole building.” Likewise—and especially during that truly WTF OD moment—I kept wondering how in control Fielder was. We’ve seen how good his hand is…Did he know there was going to be an overdose? (What Angela?) And if he did, what was the purpose of this?
  • I’m still caught up on the fact that Thomas is wearing a denim jacket on his first day at Nathan’s workshop, with, in its back, the image of a drunk. With the words “eat me” the cat is glazed over it. I don’t know what to do with this information, other than noticing how prominently it is produced. It’s hard to miss – bIt is also difficult to understand. Ino fantasy show, I would point out how this might tell us something about Thomas but, honestly, I have no idea what I would say about such an apparel choice other than that it helps to move on. To us about who Thomas is as a person. (Also, again, I want a full interview with many of the actors participating in the show—either as actors during these classes or in actual rehearsals because…I have some questions!)
  • Aside: I agree with Fielder, actors can be pretty intimidating. Too, barry When is the crossover?
  • I’m asking all of you to see me once again Cinquedoche, New York, And when I say “How Kaufman-esque!” If I stop writing, I will stop giving you suggestions. In my notes after every single episode.

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