My wife and I, we argue about Nathan For You all the time.
From where I'm standing, the people who agree to appear on Nathan Fielder's bizarro reality series get exactly what they signed up for, and lose their right to complain the moment they agree to whatever lunatic bit of "advice" he's pitched them. From her perspective, these people (she'd characterize them as "victims") are desperate for solutions regarding their failing businesses, and offering them false hope - even if it's via a transparently terrible idea like, say, selling poo-flavored frozen yogurt at your fledgling FroYo shop - is cruel and mean-spirited. We've been having this debate since Nathan For You premiered back in 2013.
I'm aware my wife is not alone in her thinking. At least half the people I talk to about Nathan For You express similar opinions. Four years after the show's debut, I think it's safe to say these opposing groups will never see eye to eye...but for those of you who long ago tapped out on Fielder's series, I want to make a recommendation: watch Nathan For You's fourth season finale.
Over the weekend, Comedy Central made the finale available to stream for free (you can find it here), and it's easy to see why: this episode - a super-sized effort that runs about 90 minutes - is possibly the greatest thing Fielder and company have ever produced, and deserves to be seen by as many people as possible. It's an award-worthy piece of work.
The episode, titled "Finding Frances", finds Fielder attempting to reunite 78-year-old (Bill Gates impersonator) Bill Heath with his long lost love, Frances. The two have not seen each other in over five decades, but Fielder - drawn in by the challenge and curious to get to the bottom of Heath's increasingly strange backstory - thinks he can pull it off. This being an episode of Nathan For You, there are of course shenanigans along the way (one particularly strong sequence finds Fielder and company pretending to be a film crew in order to pull off a heist at a small town high school), but for the most part, "Finding Frances" is a profoundly moving meditation on loss and regret. It's also very short on the sort of material some viewers have interpreted as mean-spirited; if that's been a concern for you in the past, allow me to assure you that it probably won't be an issue here.
Look, I don't know how long "Finding Frances" will be available via Comedy Central's site, but I do know that this is one of the most impressive, emotional, and - believe it or not - intense pieces of entertainment I've encountered all year. If I can convince just one non-Nathan For You fan to give it a whirl, I'll feel as though I've done something good for the world today.
Take my advice, watch it here, thank me later.