Mark Linsenmayer, Lawrence Ware, Sarahlyn Bruck, and Al Baker convene an emergency podcast recording to react to this mind-bending, possibly immoral HBO comedy docuseries, wherein Fielder helps ordinary people rehearse difficult personal confrontations, but this plan goes off the rails after 1.5 episodes out of the six that made up its first season.
This series builds upon Fielder’s previous show where he comedically tried to help businesses, Nathan for You, whose ground-breaking finale (“Finding Frances”) discovered The Rehearsal‘s format. Is Nathan himself the main butt of the joke, or is he punching down? Are there better ways to show the failings of reality TV? How does this kind of embarrassment humor differ from Borat and its ilk? Maybe the show is not as much about these people going through their rehearsals as an examination of the process of rehearsing itself that Fielder has devised.
Feel free to listen to us to find out what it’s all about, but you will be best served by watching this indescribable show yourself before experiencing this episode.
A few relevant articles also considering the show include:
- “Four Ways of Looking at The Rehearsal” by Alissa Wilkinson
- “The Cruel and Arrogant Gaze of Nathan Fielder’s ‘The Rehearsal’” by Richard Brody
- “How The Rehearsal Pushes the Boundaries of Reality TV” by Adrian Horton
- “Nathan Fielder Can’t Stop Faking It in The Rehearsal” by Joy Press
- “Oregon-filmed ‘The Rehearsal’ inspires critical debate: ‘Intensely comical’ or ‘cruel?’” by Kristi Turnquist
Hear more Pretty Much Pop. Support the show and hear bonus talking for this and nearly every other episode at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choosing a paid subscription through Apple Podcasts. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network.