8.4

Nathan For You Review: "Pet Shop/Maid Service"

(Episode 2.03)

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<i>Nathan For You</i> Review: "Pet Shop/Maid Service"

After last week’s episode-long souvenir shop saga, Nathan For You resumed normal business operations in the second season’s third installment, which saw our awkward host doling out advice to a pet store and a maid service, as well as getting a little advice of his own in the form of diverse focus group strapped into the back of a moving box truck. Yep, business as usual.

The first segment, in which Fielder advises a struggling pet store to advertise on a pet cemetery gravestone (the one place where people will have their next pet in mind), is “technically” one of the most “successful” schemes in the show’s history. In what amounts to a small miracle, everything actually goes according to plan after Fielder gets an advertorial tombstone erected for Buzz, his pet fly that dies, but the loss of a fly’s life was a small price to pay for increased foot traffic in Pet Mania.

Unfortunately, the pet store owner was one of the most reluctant business owners Fielder has advised, and instead of sharing Fielder’s excitement at the end result, she looks genuinely horrified. Not even the champagne Fielder cracks open (literally, on the gravestone) can calm her nerves. Nathan For You is a joke, of course, but this woman’s business is real and she can’t be happy with the embarrassing monstrosity of a gravestone erected in her store’s name. I’m assuming she’s somehow let in on the joke after all’s said and done and Comedy Central is able to have it removed. If not, the show’s exploitation struggling business owners for comedic purposes could actually be considered pretty damn cruel.

The second segment sees Fielder hatching a plan for a maid service to use 40 maids to clean a single house simultaneously, thus finishing the job in only six minutes and eliminating the awkwardness that comes with sharing your house with a stranger for hours on end. The owner of the service is naturally skeptical, but Fielder takes her cautiousness as a sign she is “intrigued,” and as soon as he finds someone to offer up their house for the experiment we’re off and running.

For how hilariously focuses on getting business result Fielder is, he’s always had a weak spot for love, both his own and that of the characters that come in and out of the world of Nathan For You. While the maids are doing their thing in the volunteer’s house, Fielder awkwardly asks him if he’s in a relationship. Even more awkwardly, the man replies that his ex-girlfriend ”...married her ex-boyfriend, and I’m in L.A. training dogs.” It’s legitimately sad, and in one of the funniest moments of the episode, Fielder pauses before replying, “Oh crap…”

Fielder is disappointed that the maids took over eight minutes to clean the house instead of the advertised six, but deems the experiment a success before trying to hook the volunteer up with one of the forty maids in front of everybody. The volunteer’s face turns beet red and Fielder takes off. Fielder’s own love life is always at stake, though, and not surprisingly he tries to see what the attractive maid service owner is doing later that night. She says she’s going to “get a late snack” with her husband, to which a disappointed Fielder replies, “That’s sweet.”

Now to the box truck thing…

In a great little side story this week, Fielder has a focus group appraise his appearance and personality as he visits businesses. He wants to be hip, cool and less awkward, and takes the advice of four people who watch Fielder on a monitor and instruct him from the back of a box truck, which they have to be strapped into because, you know, it’s moving. This results in Fielder ditching his tucked-in button-up for a low v-neck, blazer, turquoise rings and gelled-up hair. He comes across as a hybrid between your typically over-enthusiastic douchey reality show host and a pick-up artists. It’s amazing.

To test out his new personality once and for all, Fielder visits the private investigator who made fun of him in the first season. The P.I. calls Fielder a goober despite his revamped appearance and attitude and Fielder takes offense. Shamed, he returns to the box truck to chew out the focus group. Of course, as always, it’s never Fielder’s fault. “That’s when I realized there was a major flaw with the entire experiment,” he says as part of the episode’s parting lesson. “This personality was based on the judgment of four people who had agreed to work out of a moving box truck. Of course it was flawed.”

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