Good news: tonight’s episode of The Rehearsal won’t be the show’s last. Nathan Fielder’s unclassifiable show—at once a prank, a parody, and a critique of “reality” TV—has been officially renewed for a second season, HBO announced today, mere hours before the highly anticipated premiere of what is now the first season finale.
Given the absurd cheapness of HBO’s new corporate overlords, and the unusual nature of The Rehearsal, a second season comes as something of a surprise. Even if Fielder could think of a way to keep the concept going, it seemed unlikely that the skinflints in charge would approve the no doubt significant budget it takes to make this show. Fortunately David Zaslav didn’t sink his axe into The Rehearsal’s back.
It’s impossible to predict what a second season of The Rehearsal might look like. Hell, it’s impossible to predict what will happen in tonight’s season finale—Fielder’s absurd feints, digressions, and overly complicated schemes are a crucial part of his work’s appeal, of course, and it’s never clear where his shows will take us. Will tonight’s episode reveal that Angela, the woman whose parenting ambitions drove the season’s main rehearsal, is actually an actress? Could this whole season be one big rehearsal for whatever Fielder does next (season two, it seems)? Or has he been on the level about the actual rehearsals themselves, pitting “regular” people in increasingly strange situations for nonsensical reasons? We’ll find out when the finale airs on HBO and HBO Max later tonight. And thankfully we’ll have more of The Rehearsal to look forward to after that.