Exercise: Let’s talk about the “Fielder method”.

Exercise: Let's talk about the "Fielder method".

This post contains spoilers for Practice.

What is Practice? why is it Nathan Fielder Does he do this to himself? What’s the ultimate goal, beyond fielding himself with how hard he can get people to do his strange bidding? These are the questions raised in the critically acclaimed HBO series, fueling endless cycles of discourse and inspiring conspiracy theories that the entire show is fake.

But in the reality camp, there are two opposing positions: Fielder is either a jerk whose swagger is irredeemable, or he’s a comedic genius whose social experiments reveal more about the human condition than we can imagine. . In the fourth episode of the series, entitled “The Fielder Method”, the cunning creator of the series takes a fascinating step towards correcting the previous position and addresses the moral conundrum at the heart of his strange creation.

In this episode, which aired Friday night, Fielder continues the parenting project Angela But then he decides to go on a side quest, opening an acting school in Los Angeles where he can train actors the “Fielder Method”—that is, teach them how to do the obsessive acting work that His show needs them to do, with the hope that he can actually hire them Practice.

Fielder asks his actors to follow a random person called a “Primitive” so they can learn how to become them. He even arranges for his actors to work at their main jobs so they can fully immerse themselves in the character. It’s absurd but surprisingly endearing, due to the fact that the cast — a uniquely thick-skinned bunch compared to the regular folks who usually end up on the show — play for this kind of farce. It is a kind of craft!

However, one actor, a man named Thomas, is upset about it all. To understand Thomas’ hesitation, Fielder takes a Fielderian approach: turning Thomas into self Elementary, rebooting the first Fielder Method class, and hiring an actor to play himself, Nathan. Being in Thomas’ shoes is revealing (or “revealing,” because it’s never clear what’s real and what’s fake). Like Thomas, Fielder finds the premise of the school confusing and finds the filming of the class unsettling. “Wait, what is this show?” Fielders Thomas thinks to himself. “Is this a show about acting class? Am I going to act? Something doesn’t make sense. If you are training actors for a play, why film the training?

He continues, as a producer (also a hired actor, according to the show’s credits) rushes the students to sign an agreement form to appear on the show. The scene has a quality that puts Fielder in the shoes of the people he plays with in both games. Practice and his previous series Nathan for you. (Some participants in the recent show They have said openly (They felt manipulated by Fielder.) Fielder-as-Thomas eventually signs the form due to peer pressure. The heavily staged and very fleeting scene is perhaps the closest Fielder ever comes to realizing just how misguided his desires are for the ordinary people who enter his world.

Of course, this window of introspection closes quickly when Fielder decides he needs to go one step further and live in the Thomas home. He forces the real Thomas to live in a replica of his original apartment, with two actors hired to play his original roommates. (One of many what the hell moments that remind you the show is a living illusion.) Thomas is apparently unaware that Fielder plans to move into his apartment, assuming that Fielder wants his keys just so he can collect his mail and at some point who has gone to water his plants. Now, unless you’re in the camp that thinks this whole show is staged (it’s possible!), it’s hard not to feel bad for Thomas when you see Fielder treat his residency like just another set.

This is reminiscent of the apparent gimmick of the first episode Practicein which the fielder has a crew who pose as gas company employees and go to the contestant blind skate apartment, all so they can secretly map out his house and renovate it in a warehouse. Terrible, brutal! But… is it real?


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