The Rehearsal: Pretend Daddy
August 20, 2022 12:06 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

The aftermath of a birthday party causes Nathan to re-evaluate his entire project.

The participant has left but the Rehearsal must continue. Did the series have a positive impact on anyone involved? Did rehearsing improve anyone's lives? What about the reenactments? Why did Nathan reenact the most heart wrenching scene with Adam Age 6 using Adams Age 9 and 18?

What are we supposed to think of the reenactments? The stated reasons for doing them (troubleshooting the Rehearsals and Nathan's own emotional fulfillment) are so bizarre but what other reasons could there be? Everything about Nathan, both as a character in and creative director behind the show, seems at the same time familiar and completely alien.

The Rehearsal has been renewed for Season 2. Next logical step for the series would be watching Adam Age 9 and Nathan view reenactment footage of Adam Age 18 playing Adam Age 9 playing Adam Age 6. In the meantime, I don't think any other creative endeavors will evoke the same commingling of inexorable logic and flailing absurdity.
posted by Hume (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Boy, that was upsetting.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 12:31 PM on August 20, 2022 [1 favorite]

That silent birthday party was just surreal, but hey, they saved $15,000. And the layers of meta on top of meta on top of meta. Wow.

I'm not so cynical as to think this was planned or expected or staged. I think the reality of what he did to Remy really hit home to him. I think he really did feel bad about it and wanted to remediate his mistake and learn from it. I found this episode very powerful.

Also, can we all agree that fake Angela is actually superior to the actual Angela. She was so quick on her feet and captured a person perfectly. I really preferred her to the real Angela but both kind of frightened me

Okay, that's all. I think I'm gonna just take my tea and go.
posted by Stanczyk at 1:26 PM on August 20, 2022 [9 favorites]

Fake Angela is really talented, but she actually gives the role a lot more emotional range than Real Angela. Real Angela says lots of really strange stuff, but her tone is almost always the same. Nathan is maybe the only character in the show with a flatter affect.

I think my favorite line is when he asks the 9yo if he is a realistic dad and the kid tells him he is a great scene partner. The montage with the voiceover marveling at how detailed the real home is was also great.

Remy wanting him to be daddy was really powerful. The rest of the episode exploring that was less visceral to me, so kind of less satisfying, but overall it was a solid ending.
posted by snofoam at 1:55 PM on August 20, 2022 [9 favorites]

It seems like he kept tweaking the rehearsal formula until he achieved the kind of emotional engagement he felt was missing from the rehearsals. But in order to get to that real emotional content, the people around him also had to be feeling real emotions.

Remy's reaction was a catalyst for a better idea of how to truly rehearse for Nathan, and that's kind of terrifying. Dumb Starbucks and Summit Ice are funny and smart. This went from skirting a line to zooming past it.
posted by jeoc at 7:32 PM on August 21, 2022

Fake Angela (Anna LaMadrid) just showed up in another excellent show I'm watching called This Fool on Hulu. She is simply amazing.
posted by Stanczyk at 5:16 PM on August 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

Nathan staring at the 9v battery on the counter backsplash was so fucking funny and would be impossible to explain.

It didn't feel quite like a season finale somehow.
posted by fleacircus at 9:58 PM on August 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

Metafilter: I'll just get my tea now.
posted by ishmael at 9:51 AM on August 28, 2022

What an amazing show. So many breathtaking moments.

I saw the first episode at a friend's place and then showed it to my spouse. My spouse said that he didn't enjoy it but that he appreciated it as performance art, and agreed to watch the rest of the season.

That last speech, about trust and mistakes and surprises. And then the mistake, if it was a mistake, of saying "I'm your dad," and then doubling down on that.
posted by brainwane at 9:56 AM on October 30, 2022 [1 favorite]

I would recommend The Rehearsal to people who enjoyed how The Good Place would suddenly take a left turn and utterly commit to a complete overhaul of the previous premise, with topics covering redemption, the environments that help us act how we want to act, and deception.

Also, in how things might go in a new direction at any moment, it reminded me of Everything Everywhere All At Once. Anytime Nathan started a voiceover, the very next sentence might be "So I decided to [make a massive replica that will take up the rest of this episode]".
posted by brainwane at 11:09 AM on October 30, 2022

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