DVD Review: Nathan For You (Seasons One & Two)

Often people brag that their movie or TV show is being taught in colleges. Very few are truly educational enough to be anything less than padding for lazy teachers. You really going to learn how to save the world from watching Bruce Willis movies? But you will learn more from an episode of Nathan For You than a boring macroeconomics lecture. You go to an MBA program and they talk about thinking out of the box. But they just want you to think in a box that’s around the original box and containing lots of Styrofoam peanuts. Over the course of 16 episodes Nathan does his best to save dozens of floundering businesses with concepts that consultants haven’t the balls to type into a Power Point demonstration. Nathan For You ought to be required viewing for anyone dreaming of an MBA.

When the show was first promoted on Comedy Central, it seemed to be just a spoof of other shows were business know it alls fix troubled stores. Was Nathan going to put a boring formula on disoriented owners like Gordon Ramsey did on Kitchen Nightmares? The answer was quickly seen that this show was its own special place on the first episode. “Yogurt Shop/Pizzeria” had him go into a level of unwell. A troubled yogurt store is “saved” when Nathan brings out a disturbing new flavor. He knows people like the grotesque. He also helps a pizza joint with a “free pizza” offer that is legally proper although upsets customers. “Santa/Petting Zoo” allows him to put Youtube to work when he stages an animal rescue video. The media goes nuts at the cuteness and Nathan proves to be a genius in marketing. “Liquor Store/Exterminator/Car Wash” is a triple threat of genius. He improves a liquor store sales by coming up with a legal way for underage kids to buy booze. He comes up with a stealth way for a bug killer to get into a hotel without making the guests fear bed bugs. Finally he seeds the trees in order to drum up business for a nearby car wash.

The masterpiece of these first two seasons is “Dumb Starbucks.” A coffeeshop owner has lost his business to the mega-chain. Nathan comes up with a concept to open up a coffeeshop that parodies Starbucks by attaching “dumb” to everything. This project became a media sensation when rumors surfaced that the place was a Banksy stunt. Coffee cups were selling for a hundreds of dollars from people thinking it was the British artist. The episode is more than that since Nathan does go over the edge. He kinda loses it when the Dumb Starbucks seems to be the trend of tomorrow.

Nathan For You: Seasons One & Two really does educate an audience about pushing the boundaries of marketing and business practices. Nathan’s semi-clueless style allows him pull off business revitalization plans that skate the edge of being scams. The show offers as much real advice as reality shows featuring experts who swear they can boost a business. Any MBA student should put their books aside, press play and get a true education of what’s out there in the real world.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The show is shot on HD so it looks fine. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0. Part of the show is done with hidden microphones. They do a good job of letting you hear the responses of customers taken back by the new business deal.

Commentary Track on “Private Investigator/Taxi Company” with Nathan Fielder, Michael Koman and Saloman Flores. Nathan and Koma are joined by the Bill Gates impersonator on “Souvenir Shop.”

Teen Street – Extended First Cut (1:20) deals with Kyle’s rules.

The Hunk – Deleted Date (1:10) has Nathan’s date calling him cute and chill. He makes the actress perform an improv with him. Not a great moment, but she did get proof of being part of the episode.

The Web – Director’s Cut (3:57) is the award winning movie. How was this not turned into a Starz series?

Souvenir Shop – Deleted Johnny Depp Trailer Scene (3:11) is fans meeting the actor playing Johnny Depp.

Simon Sees – Extended Cut (8:24) is the security guard who has one weakness.

William Heath – Party Extras (2:23) makes him more Bill Gates than Bill Gates.

Dumb Starbucks – Extended Parody Songs (3:58) is all about Nathan singing to people to grab his balls.

Dumb Starbucks – Full Press Conference (14:17) is when Nathan had to break the news that this was not a Banksy stunt.

Nathan For You: Seasons One & Two will save your business.

Shout! Factory presents Nathan For You: Seasons One & Two. Starring: Nathan Fielder. Boxset Contents: 16 Episodes on 2 DVDs. Released: November 10, 2015