You may have heard of it. But probably not.
It's called "The Rehearsal" and it's on HBOMax, but I dunno if I would call it a show, per se.
It's more of an experience.
And it feels very validating to me (in an extremely strange way) as a neurodivergent person.
Let me explain. Or try at least.
So, somehow, I ended up on"The Rehearsal" TikTok. If you're not on TikTok, you might not understand what that even means, so I will explain that too!
See, on TikTok, you have a couple options of what to look at - your FYP (For You Page) or Following. On the FYP, TikTok shoots out random videos mixed between people you follow and people you do not follow. The one thing that all these things have in common is that they are things TikTok thinks you will like.
And 75% of the time, it is spot on. The other 25%, you're like, "WTF why am I seeing so many videos of people not breaking sheets of ice?" and then you remember you laugh every time because it is actually a female orgasm joke, so you're like, "I'll allow it." Or you might be like, "Why in the hell are so many attractive South Asian men on my FYP"
But then I remember that every time one of those comes across my screen, I do linger a bit longer than normal, because I enjoy looking at them, so, yeah, it makes sense that TikTok would keep serving those up to me.
Sometimes, you'll start to notice patterns, like "Berries & Cream" TikTok, or, currently, "Corn" TikTok. Both of those refer to videos using the same sound with different visuals and, eventually, a variety of remixed and recreated sounds on the same theme.
Other patterns are just TikToks about the same topic, like BamaRush TikTok, which is what I'm referring to when I say I ended up on "The Rehearsal" TikTok.
I didn't know what to make of this awkward guy with a baby bjorn for his laptop, having people repeat conversations over and over, but I knew I was interested.
So, the other night when Mickey went to work I put it on.
And was immediately hooked. Like, instantaneously.
The first episode is kind of a trick, setting you up for a normal reality television show, where the host Nathan Fielder "helps" a different human work through a problem every episode.
But then Episode 2 never goes away, mutating and changing as each episode of the show progresses.
Explaining how the show works seems impossible, because it is not consistent, but I think explaining the premise of the first episode will give you some sort of insight into what Nathan Fielder is doing here.
The first episode introduces a gentleman who has been attending trivia with the same people for 12 years. They are a group of good friends, all with higher education.
As far as they all know...
See? Our gentleman does not - he's only got a Bachelors Degree, but he has let them think that he has a Masters for twelve whole years.
And he feels bad because they keep sending him job postings that require degrees higher than the degree that he has.
So he wants to come clean to them and enlists Nathan Fielder's help.
Nathan creates a near-perfect replica of the bar where trivia happens and hires actors to portray the trivia friend he'd be talking to and all the other bar patrons.
Now, I need to take a pause here and tell you something embarrassing that just happened, cause the tone of the blog might change because of it.
I locked myself out of the Professor Haus. Mickey was in his car, on his way to work.
I bopped out front to set up to finish writing this blog and do my squirrel hang. The main three were out there right before I deposited their afternoon fruit and nut snack, so I was looking forward to spending time with them.
I brought out my laptop, ashtray, joint and lighter and turned inside to grab my phone and drink when the wind slammed the front door shut in my face. Upon reflection, it probably looked pretty cinematic if it wasn't happening to my own face.
It was about to storm and very dark clouded and windy.
I tried to throw all my weight into the door and get it open. But it was closed. I knew it was.
I went around to the back door, where the previous owners installed a lockbox with a key, because apparently the old owner did this a lot, too. I thought I knew the numbers involved in the code, so I got to work, working against the weather.
I knew exactly where to find the code in the house, too. (I have since found it and might get it tattooed on my body. I did email it to myself and sent it to Mickey in messenger, so I can use my "email search" trick the next time this happens. I am already so mad that this wasn't in my email already. I probably had some cocky "I'll never need this confidence". The jokes on ME.)
Mickey showed up to rescue me in a break in the crazy rain and I am extremely grateful. I am also extremely grateful that he didn't tell me all the things I should have done to prevent it, followed by a long list of things he expects me to do in the future so that it never happens again. (I was already doing that a lot in my brain on my own.) He also didn't "yell" at me or seem mad for having to come all the way back.
My body and brain were expecting both, though. Not that anything like that has happened for a long time, but the body fucking remembers to protect itself, damn.
It was kind of neat to be outside in a wild rain storm though. The rain got real wild at one point
Ok, so, back to the show.
So the bar is built and Nathan's got his cast in place. He spends so much time with this gentleman, going through all the different ways this conversation could possibly go. The actress playing his trivia partner must be incredibly gifted at improv because she seemed to just roll with the punches, no problem.
They ran into a problem where the gentleman got "too into" the trivia game to focus on confessing his secret. Nathan worked out an extremely elaborate plan (which ended up backfiring for him big time in the end) to make sure the gentleman knew the answers to the trivia on the night of the confession.
It sounds cheesy and far-fetched, I know. But there is something so earnest in Nathan Fielder and his approach that really spoke to me.
But then as the series progressed, I started questioning so much, most of it related to how/why people let Nathan get as involved in their lives as he does, but also sometimes, how real anything at all is.
It's a thinker for sure.
It's also not for everyone.
I think this show speaks to me as a neurodivergent person because, I would LOVE to rehearse big conversations in my life - play out the dialogue trees and see all the different ways things could go, so that I'm prepared for every outcome.
There was an episode later in the season, where Nathan has taken on the persona of a student in his acting class that felt very autistic to me. Like, the disconnect between the person you're "being" and the person you "are".
Have you seen this? Will you please comment or message me? I'm dying to talk about it.
I've since consumed almost every episode of "Nathan for You" since watching "The Rehearsal" and it seems a little more gimmick-y, but I can see how it put him on the path for the weird, scary magic he's making now.