Nathan for You

Nathan for You

A reality-comedy series that tests the limits of cringe and arrives somewhere profoundly human

The Very Best

8.6

TV Show

United States of America
English
Comedy, Documentary, Reality
2013
Nathan Fielder
21 min

TLDR

You can trust him; he graduated from one of Canada's top business schools with really good grades.

What it's about

Management consultant Nathan Fielder (playing a fictionalized version of himself) assists small and struggling businesses in the Southern California area, through unorthodox and controversial methods.

The take

What starts out as a cross between a prank show, a lifestyle series on odd jobs, and a deadpan version of Jackass eventually becomes one of the most unique and genuine television series of the 2010s. Key to Nathan for You being as good as it is, is that Nathan Fielder makes himself the ultimate butt of the joke. The various people he "assists" are definitely made to look a little ridiculous—if not for the nature of their work, then for going along with Fielder for as long as they do—but never for a second does he make his own character seem like the best person in the room. Through Fielder's fearlessness in playing the jester, he grants us access into the reality that small businesses everywhere are living in: that trying to make a living and chase one's dreams is rendered absurd by the capitalist system we're forced to participate in. But Fielder's awkward, overly direct character (who's ultimately just desperate to be loved) makes the kindness, patience, and sincerity of the people around him shine even brighter.

What stands out

Most of Nathan for You's four seasons are done in quick, hilarious 20-minute episodes that manage to pack lots of quality within its loose structure. But the series' finale—a feature-length special entitled Finding Frances—really takes the show to entirely new emotional territory, and somehow brings all of Fielder's irreverent shenanigans to a moving conclusion. Finding Frances doesn't betray its roots by any means, and its sense of humor is still as crazy as in all the episodes preceding it. But by focusing on just one case, that of a "professional" Bill Gates impersonator attempting to reconnect with the woman he loved in his youth, Fielder makes an unexpected statement on loneliness, the loss of one's purpose, and what contentment can really look like in a world swallowed up by the drive to succeed.

Comments

Add a comment

Your name

Your comment

UP NEXT 

UP NEXT 

UP NEXT 

Ethos

A level of attention to aesthetics usually reserved for the most elaborate films, mixed with a complex and relevant story, make this series from Turkey unmatched in its quality

9.9

Caliphate

A psychological thriller that provides insight on what drove so many young people to ISIS.

8.9

Pretend it’s a City

A wildly entertaining series of interviews with a New York legend

9.2

Occupied

Norway's most expensive show ever is a timely thrill ride with a grim geopolitical premise.

8.7

Unorthodox

A well-acted fact-based thriller about untangling the grip of a close-knit community

8.5

Escape at Dannemora

Based on a true prison escape story, this slow-burn suspense thriller features once-in-a-lifetime performances by a star-studded cast

9.3

The Looming Tower

A well-written thriller miniseries about the rivalry between the CIA and the FBI and how they failed to prevent 9/11.

8.1

The Good Fight

Like Suits or The Good Wife, but sharper

9.1

Unbelievable

Critics lauded the angle and feminist edge of this grim true crime miniseries.

8.8

Sex Education

Already a future classic, Sex Education is an explicit but endlessly charming teen comedy that will also teach adults a thing or two.

8.9

Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw logo

© 2024 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.