Nathan Fielder’s ‘The Rehearsal’ Ups the Cringe with Its First Full Trailer

Photo: HBO Max

For Nathan Fielder, finding insidious humor through unassuming behavior is an art form. His cult hit Nathan for You thrived in a post-The Office and Borat world of cringe humor and quietly candid hijinks. The series surreptitiously parodied those reality shows where experts help failing businesses get back on their feet. However, Nathan was no expert, yet his muted and boring demeanor gave his victims no reason to question his motives.

That subversion of comedic stereotypes worked so well for Fielder that his Comedy Central series lasted four seasons as he did everything from convincing a coffee shop to rebrand itself as “Dumb Starbucks” to getting a frozen yogurt store to sell poop-flavored yogurt. His upcoming HBO series, The Rehearsal, which just dropped its first full trailer today, sees the writer/director/actor in the creator’s chair once again with another docuseries. Driven by a much more abstract foundation, the new show is based on the idea of being able to control the outcomes of certain events in your life through rehearsing each step along the way.

Of course, Fielder approaches everything with a phantom smirk, and so one could assume there’s much more to this series buried underneath its curious surface. The trailer shows the comedian meeting strangers who agree to partake in his project, going over mundane circumstances ad nauseam until they’ve prepared for every equally mundane (and not so mundane) possibility. It appears that Fielder will scatter his show with some scripted material for the audience’s sake as well, just as he did in Nathan for You.

The Rehearsal debuts its first episode on HBO Max on July 15 with new episodes coming out every Friday thereafter. The show also premieres in anticipation of The Curse, a scripted project starring Emma Stone which Fielder has created alongside Benny Safdie.