The Rehearsal

Did you guys see The Rehearsal, Nathan Fielder's recent HBO series? It has things in common with Synecdoche, New York--upon the first season's conclusion, Jessica Winter noted the similarities (and differences) in the New Yorker.

Other viewers, including my colleague Naomi Fry, have pointed out the many similarities between “The Rehearsal” and the 2008 film “Synecdoche, New York,” written and directed by Charlie Kaufman. Both center on a protagonist who is simultaneously passive and a control freak, who directs his actors to stalk the real figures whom they are playing, and who dumps insane amounts of other people’s money on giant film sets that are replicas of actual places. But “Synecdoche” is death-haunted, dirge-like, intentionally airless, whereas “The Rehearsal” is a thrilling paradox: ostensibly designed and mapped and thought through to all logical extremes, and yet it feels as though anything can happen. “Synecdoche,” in a typical flourish, enacts its parental anxieties by making the lead character’s daughter renounce him on her deathbed before expiring of tattoo-ink poisoning; “The Rehearsal,” in contrast, depicts every parent’s worst nightmare, then simply reincarnates the kid. (Source)

Later in the piece, she also brings up Adaptation. Well worth reading... and watching!


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