This post contains spoilers Rehearsal,
what is Rehearsal? Why? Nathan Fielder Do you do this to yourself? Beyond what is the ultimate goal, has the fielder amused himself with how hard he can put people into his awkward bidding? These are questions that have plagued the critically acclaimed HBO series, propelling the wheel on endless cycles of discourse and persuasive conspiracy theories that the entire show is fake.
But in the reality camp, there are two opposing stances: Fielder is either a manipulative jerk whose scholarship is irrepressible, or he is a comic genius whose social experiments reveal more about the human condition than we might imagine. We do. In the show’s fourth episode, titled “The Fielder’s Method,” the show’s devious producers take a fascinating step toward dispelling the former stance, addressing the moral conundrum at the heart of their strange creation.
In the episode that aired Friday night, Fielder continued the parenting project Angela. But then he decides to go on a side quest, opening an acting school in Los Angeles where he can train actors in the “Fielder Method”—that is, teaching them how to make his show obsessive acting work. , with the hope that he might actually hire them Rehearsal,
Fielder tells his actors to chase down a random person, called his “primary”, so that they can learn how to be him. He even arranges for his actors to work on his primary job, so that they can fully immerse themselves in the character. It’s absurd but surprisingly catchy, due in part to the fact that the actors—usually a distinctly thick-skinned bunch compared to the everyday people who end up on the show—are game for such derision. It’s craft, in a way!
However, an actor, a man named Thomas, is uncomfortable with all this. To understand Thomas’s hesitation, the fielder takes the most fielder approach: turning Thomas into His Elementary, reinstating the Fielder Method class first, and hiring Nathan, an actor, to play the role himself. Being in Thomas’ shoes is revealing (or “revealing”, since it’s never clear what’s real and what’s fake). As Thomas, Fielder “realizes” that the school’s premise is confusing, and is upset that the class is being filmed. “Wait, what’s this show?” Fielder-a-Thomas thinks to himself. “Is this a show about an acting class? Should I act? Something doesn’t make sense. If you’re training actors for a show, why would you be filming the training?”
He continues, fretting himself when a producer (also a hired actor according to the show’s credits) persuades the students to sign a deal to appear on the show. There’s a knowing quality to the scene, with Fielder putting himself in the shoes of the people he’s messing with. Rehearsal and his previous series, Nathan for you, (Some participants of later shows openly said He felt manipulated by Fielder.) Fielder-a-Thomas eventually signs off on form due to peer pressure. The scene, overly staged and all fleeting, is perhaps the closest the fielder has come to admitting how disorienting his demands are for the regulars who step into his world.
Of course, that window of introspection quickly closes when Fielder decides he should go a step further and stay at Thomas’s house. He plays the real Thomas live in a replica of his primary apartment, with two actors hired to play his primary’s roommates. (one of many What nonsense Moments that remind you that the show is a living hallucination.) Thomas is apparently unaware that Fielder is planning to move into his apartment, assuming that Fielder needs his keys so that he can get his mail. collect and water your plants. Now, unless you’re in the camp that thinks this whole show is over-staged (it’s possible!), it’s not that hard for Thomas once you treat Fielder to his abode. As if it’s just another set.
It’s reminiscent of the obvious trickery of the first episode. Rehearsalin which Fielder’s crew members pose as gas company employees and attend participants core skits apartment, so that they can secretly map his house and rebuild it into a warehouse. Extremely scary! But… is it true?