The first season of The Rehearsal quickly evolved from a wacky, high-budget show about members of the public learning how to handle confrontation to a meta exploration of morality.
Funny and troubling in equal amounts, Nathan Fielder’s social experiment was part-Black Mirror, part-Catfish, part-The Truman Show and understandably caused division and debate online. Less than a month after the season finale aired, HBO have already commissioned a second series. Here’s everything we know about The Rehearsal season two.
Is there a release date for The Rehearsal season two yet?
Writer, director and host of The Rehearsal, Nathan Fielder is famously secretive about the development of his various projects. HBO confirmed a second season in August but didn’t mention a release date.
— HBO (@HBO) August 19, 2022
Who will be returning?
The main man at least
Fielder will obviously be back as our guide to the weird world of The Rehearsal but apart from that, the cast of season two is wide open.
As a semi-scripted documentary series, it’s safe to assume the second season of The Rehearsal will feature unsuspecting members of the public however it’s likely some of the stars of the first season will also return. The first episode saw Kor Skeete, a Brooklyn-based trivia fan, compare Fielder to Willy Wonka (much to Fielder’s horror) and by the end of the season, the creator of The Rehearsal was very much living up to that legend with Remy, who played his fake son, so foreshadowing is definitely part of The Rehearsal‘s box of tricks.
The door is wide open for Angela (who he was co-parenting with) and Amber (Remy’s real mother) to return alongside his specially recruited and trained class of acting students.
What’s the story so far?
This might take a minute…
Brace yourself, because this a tricky one. The Rehearsal started with Fielder helping trivia fan Kor come clean to his friend Trish about his formal education. To help with this confrontation, Fielder built a life-sized replica of the bar Kor planned to make his confession in, hired an actor to play Trish as well as setting up a meeting between the two, so the actor could really inhabit the subject and predict any and all eventualities.
This over-the-top approach was just the ice-breaker though, as the following five episodes saw Angela rehearsing for motherhood with Fielder stepping in as a co-parent. Alongside meta explorations of acting, belief and trust, the “silly, serious and complicated” show laid out a very specific series of moral dilemmas as Fielder wrestled with the real-world effects of his trial runs. As he reminded everyone repeatedly during episode four ‘The Fielder Method’, “If you get it wrong, you could ruin someone’s life”.
Where could season two go?
There are some clues
Season one of The Rehearsal ended with Fielder coming to the realisation that “life’s better with surprises” (which stands at odds with the original premise of the show) before he truly lost himself in a rehearsal for the first time.
With that meta can of worms open, it seems unlikely that the show will return to simple, standalone rehearsals like we saw in episode one. With episode six of the first season offering a rehearsal inside a rehearsal inside a rehearsal, there’s a chance season two will see Fielder let up control a little more in the pursuit of feeling something real.
The poster announcing the show’s second season also sees Fielder in a bedroom, with a woman sat on the bed behind him alongside the tagline “one more chance to get it right” suggesting that perhaps Fielder is going to double down on his attempt to craft a genuine family environment.
Speaking to Vulture ahead of the first season, Fielder was asked if something had happened in his personal life to make him create The Rehearsal. “You could try to make a story and connect it for yourself, but … I don’t know,” he replied. “It’s hard to know where ideas come from or why you feel something at a certain time. I did go through a divorce,” he added.
What has creator Nathan Fielder said about The Rehearsal?
Secrecy is paramount
With questions about morality and just how scripted the show really is pinging about on social media, Fielder has mostly remained tight-lipped, letting his work speak for itself.
“I don’t want any extra context,” he said in an interview with Vulture. “The thing is the thing.”
However, HBO’s Executive Vice President Amy Gravitt said in a press statement confirming the renewal that “Nathan has sparked such a lively conversation with The Rehearsal. We have no idea where Season 2 will take us, and that is the delight of this boundary pushing show from a truly singular talent.”