The Rehearsal: Gold Digger
July 29, 2022 9:32 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

While Angela continues to raise her “son,” Nathan goes to new lengths to help a man prepare for a difficult conversation.

I'm curious how aware participants are of Nathan's whole thing.

Some of the Bizarre and Unexpected Elements:

-A prolonged domestic dispute over Satanism
-A mirror that artificially ages the viewer
-A participant abandons their rehearsal with no apparent justification

Some Typical Nathan Shenanigans:

-Nathan makes up for the lack of "emotion" in a rehearsal by staging the death of an actor's fake grandfather
-Nathan isn't very good at interacting with the child actors and they don't seem to like him
-Nathan implies he has a closer personal connection to a participant than he really does, is quickly corrected
posted by Hume (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I binge watched this season tonight and finished with this. I still am really unclear as to what is going on, unless Nathan Fielder is an alien studying humans. I'm pretty sure you can't enforce "gold digger" in court. I also can't believe the actor believed a strange old man would ask him to dig up gold.

I sort of feel like there's more going onto this show than just the premise. Maybe I'm not familiar with Nathan Fielder's comedy style?
posted by geoff. at 12:34 AM on July 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

For "gold digger" I think the legal hurdle is that the will gives the brother discretion in distributing the inheritance and the brother thinks the grandpa would have disapproved of the girlfriend.

For the old man asking him to dig up gold, hard to say. Much of Nathan's deal is putting people who want to be on TV in increasingly contrived and implausible situations, subjecting them to his minimally sensible ideas and seeing how they react. I think it's interesting because the set up and ethics if his show are basically the same as other reality TV, the main difference being that other reality TV producers have some level of charisma and understanding of what sells, and would thus focus on completely different participants or situations.

For Nathan's comedy his first show he played an exaggerated version of himself, a business school grad with little understanding of human emotion or motivation, who is inexplicably given a large budget to help struggling businesses using implausible ideas that barely make sense. The shows become interesting as the Nathan character regularly misreads social interactions, attempting to form more intimate relationships with people who see him as the weirdo he is; or as Nathan hires people who are even more bizarre than he is and he decides to explore their various idiosyncrasies. He'd make the show go viral about once a season with stuff like Dumb Starbucks.

The HBO show's premise is, what if the Nathan character dropped the claim to business expertise and was given an even bigger budget to just do stuff.
posted by Hume at 10:39 AM on July 30, 2022

This episode really digs in to the reason why Angela is so adapted to a long-term rehearsal: she already lives in a fantasy world. I guess the real drama will come when she is forced to deal with something she doesn’t like, either by the show or by her rapidly-growing child.
posted by snofoam at 4:17 PM on July 30, 2022

For some reason, him putting the pepper sticker side down instead of taking it off stuck with me.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 5:00 PM on July 30, 2022 [6 favorites]

I’m kinda speechless. I find this show to be really upsetting and really hilarious at the same time. I don’t know how to process it. A+ and *barf emoji* both. But like my soul is barfing.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 6:55 PM on July 30, 2022 [2 favorites]

For some reason, him putting the pepper sticker side down instead of taking it off stuck with me.

It’s kind of an acknowledgment that even though he has inserted himself into the rehearsal, he is still experiencing it as someone making a show. From the production standpoint, it does matter if there is a sticker on the pepper, as long as it doesn’t show up on camera.
posted by snofoam at 7:13 PM on July 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

A participant abandons their rehearsal with no apparent justification

I can only assume that if you have even one normal person in your life and explain what you are doing to them, they would set you straight right away. “You went out with an old man digging for what?”
posted by snofoam at 7:26 PM on July 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

I can only assume that if you have even one normal person in your life

I think about this all the time with the participants. The thing is, he chose to come back for another rehearsal after meeting the incontinent gold digging grandpa. I think he was aware the whole time grandpa was part of the show (since the cameras were there), thinking it was a chance for him to demonstrate his merit. His girlfriend (the person I assume advised him) probably thought the same. But then he came back, imagining he'd ingratiated himself to everyone, only to have the brother-actor devastate him by repeating his real brother's claim about his girlfriend being a gold digger. The tears came because he felt the production turn against him at just the moment it was supposed to lift him up. THEN he and his advisor decided the whole thing wasn't worth it.
posted by Hume at 8:16 PM on July 30, 2022 [3 favorites]

The production didn't just turn against him, it forced him to be a literal gold digger!
posted by thechameleon at 11:59 PM on July 30, 2022 [5 favorites]

I'm going to not think about how these people really need to get proper mental health evaluations and not be on television. It is one of the only reality shows where I'm hoping that it is more scripted than it puts on and perversely seems like one of the few reality shows that seems real.
posted by geoff. at 3:45 AM on July 31, 2022 [2 favorites]

This is art.
posted by yonega at 11:20 AM on January 4

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