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The Rehearsal Renewed For Season 2, Showing HBO Isn’t Murdering ALL The Good Shows

More Nathan Fielder forever, please

Nathan Fielder watching one of his actors in The Rehearsal

For me, one of the highlights of TV in 2022 has been The Rehearsal, in which the immaculately awkward Nathan Fielder goes to absurd lengths to offer people a chance to rehearse conversations or choices in their lives. Like, “reconstruct the entire building and interior of a bar in a warehouse in New York, and then have HBO move it across the country to Oregon for kicks” lengths. “How does HBO have money for these antics?” I’ve often wondered (a question I also often have during Last Week Tonight). And yet, to my absolutely delighted disbelief, HBO’s answer is apparently, “Eh. More where that came from!” Because The Rehearsal is officially renewed for a second season.

The announcement comes on the same week HBO Max, HBO’s primary streaming service, wantonly deleted nearly forty shows from its service with only a couple days’ notice. These kind of cruel cuts makes the news of The Rehearsal‘s renewal is especially relieving. However, it should be noted that The Rehearsal is not an HBO Max Original, but a plain ol’ HBO show. This seems arbitrary as hell, but it quite possibly made the difference between the chopping block and season two.

On the other hand, Warner Bros.’ new business partner, Discovery Plus, loves them an unscripted TV show and said outright that they believe the format to have a “female skew.” The absolutely amazing amount of stories popping up opining that Nathan Fielder is TV’s sexiest man is maybe not the best counter-point to this bullet point. (The Cut and The Daily Beast have weighed in, as well as my heart.) I’m flustered that I can’t use this to argue against sexist generalizations, and yet I’m so amused and delighted by Fielder’s new sex symbol status (and how uncomfortable that must almost assuredly make him) that I don’t care.

Sex symbol status aside, Fielder’s return to the strange corners of reality television was heralded with many cheers and wide open arms. Fielder’s previous on-screen docu-reality endeavor, the absolutely incredible Nathan For You, wrapped up in 2018. (The series’ most recognizable stunt is probably the opening of a so-called Dumb Starbucks in LA in an effort to exploit parody law.) Since then, we all missed him. Tremendously. We just got him back. It would have been much too soon for him to go.

The Rehearsal is much more meta and intricate than its premise hints at. The season has continued to crescendo the surreality levels, and it has basically turned into the Synecdoche, New York of reality television. It’s High Art.

Tonight’s episode of The Rehearsal will be the season finale, capping season one at an all-too-short six episodes. All the more reason why we’ll need more.

(image credit: HBO)

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Kirsten (she/her) is a contributing writer at the Mary Sue specializing in anime and gaming. In the last decade, she's also written for Channel Frederator (and its offshoots), Screen Rant, and more. In the other half of her professional life, she's also a musician, which includes leading a very weird rock band named Throwaway. When not talking about One Piece or The Legend of Zelda, she's talking about her cats, Momo and Jimbei.