Streaming now, Foxtel and Binge
It’s not often a TV series leaves me totally and utterly lost for words. But Nathan Fielder’s new series, The Rehearsal, did just that. My jaw was on the floor — and maybe not in a good way?
If you’re into TV, chances are you’ve heard people chatting about this strange show, which crept onto Binge recently after it became a worldwide sensation. In a nutshell, it’s a reality series which sees Fielder (he of Nathan for You fame) meet real people who are trying to “rehearse” different outcomes for their life.
In episode one we’re introduced to Corr, a man who’s eager to confess to a white lie he told years earlier to one of his closest friends. Fielder builds sets and runs simulations to test out every possible outcome of him disclosing the truth, until the real conversation plays out, and is filmed. In episode two he meets Angela, who wants to see what it might be like to raise a child — cue an intricate simulation, which sees Fielder employ child actors, working in shifts, to act out Angela’s fantasy farm life, complete with baby.
It’s nuts, and extremely unsettling to see it all play out over six episodes — especially when you stop to consider the part Fielder plays in it all.
As official PR guff explains: “With a construction crew, a legion of actors, and seemingly unlimited resources, Fielder allows ordinary people to prepare for life’s biggest moments by “rehearsing” them in carefully crafted simulations of his own design.” This is The Truman Show, meets reality TV, meets some sort of hellscape fever dream — and it’s totally and utterly impossible to turn away from.
It’s hard to explain and impossible to surmise — watch it, and let’s debrief in six weeks.
Friday, streaming on Netflix
“Sex And The City: But With Elder Gay Dudes.” That was how this show was sold to me by my colleague who’d been given advance screeners. He’s not wrong, and it makes sense when you consider that SATC creator Darren Starr, who’s also behind the very watchable Emily in Paris, is across this too. Neil Patrick Harris stars as a New York real estate agent whose life is turned upside down after his partner of 17 years leaves him unexpectedly. Full disclosure: I am neither an elder gay man, nor live in New York City — but I still loved this.
Friday, streaming on Prime Video
Kids on bikes, walkie talkies, the ‘80s — we’re watching Stranger Things, right? Sort of. This comic book adaptation has shades of the Netflix mega-hit, but feels fresh and had me hooked straight away. Loved this. A great premise.
Friday, Apple TV Plus
A woman wakes from an accident with amnesia and slowly pieces together her old life. But are the stories her husband and friends are telling her about the way things used to be really the truth? This psychological thriller is about to become your new obsession.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under
Saturday, streaming on Stan
Will the second series of Drag Race Down Under land with fans? Or will there be stilettos at dawn as the latest crop of queens fail to impress? You’ll never please everyone, but we’ll be tuning in to cast our critical eye over proceedings. Here’s hoping.