What to Watch

The Rehearsal (HBO): The new Nathan Fielder show has a strange premise. Fielder helps a real person rehearse an upcoming event that they are worried about. In the first episode, Kor has told a friend he has a MA when in fact he has a BA. The fib has tormented him for years. For the rehearsal, Fielder builds a life-sized replica of Kor’s favorite bar where the confession will take place and he stocks it with actors. The confession is run through multiple times, ala Groundhog Day. The rehearsal probably cost five hundred thousand or more. The enormous difference between the scale of the rehearsal and the fib is part of the point. Kor is an expert on the trivial. Fielder himself rehearses the rehearsal. It’s ridiculous but why don’t we do this more often? How about rehearsing a pandemic?

I confess that on first watching I missed that the ending was a rehearsal (like missing the gorrilla on the basketball court). Very meta. Strange but recommended. Tyler would like it and I don’t normally say that kind of thing.

The Old Man (HULU/FX): Jeff Bridges seems miscast as an action hero, even an aging action hero. Yet, the writers turn that to their advantage and make the action scenes slower, more realistic, and more brutal than is typical. The Old Man builds as it slows. Excellent performances from Bridges, John Lithgow and especially Amy Brenneman. A reverse Stockholm effect. The underlying story in which an Afghan warlord seems to control the US government at the very highest level is a bit absurd and there is an entirely unnecessary substory with another old man but the ending is superb, logical, meaningful, and deepening and changing everything that came before.

The Alpinist on Netflix. Recommend to me after I recommended 14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible but I could only handle 10 minutes. Too scary. Too nuts. Like watching Roman gladiators battling to the death, it just felt wrong to watch. When I came to write this review, I was not surprised to find that Leclerc had perished.

Westworld S4 (HBO): Season One was one of the best seasons of television ever. S2-S4 are a waste of time. S4 I found incomprehensible.


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