Nathan for You

Nathan for You

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

The Very Best


TV Show

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


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.


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