Nathan For You is such a wonderful case study of what random, and sometimes desperate, things people will do when a stranger offers help. From the moment this series began with Nathan convincing a yogurt shop to sell poop-flavored products to increase sales, you got the sense that there’s actually very little people won’t do. In this way, “Electronics Store” is more of the same. Best Buy is taking sales away from this small business, and Nathan swoops in to help owner Alen take back some revenue. The plan is expectedly complicated and absurd, involving $1 Samsung televisions, tuxedos, a tiny door, and a live alligator, all to abuse Best Buy’s price match guarantee. Yet like so many of Nathan’s “clients,” Alen is more than willing to go along with this entire scheme.
It doesn’t go well, of course. How could it? It contains so many unpredictable variables that the entire concept is doomed from the start. Nathan even knows this too, and tries to mitigate $1 TV sales by turning the actual purchase into insane process. The crazy thing is this part actually succeeds. Some customers, after getting pissed off and then returning in fancy dress, immediately turn away at the sight of a live alligator. What fails, and ultimately breaks everything apart, is that Best Buy employees know this plan doesn’t benefit them in any way, shape, or form. Actually maintaining this price matching is a recipe for disaster. So it’s not surprising that Nathan and his small crew of buyers were all turned away when they tried to empty Best Buy’s inventory.
That’s when things get really great though. Nathan For You is at its best when its host takes on a personal mission to finish his original promise. Last season saw him make a film festival and hunt down a hot dog stand line cutter. Season 3 will now forever be known as the time Nathan tried to take down Best Buy. After being “slighted” in his plan, he actually attempts a class action lawsuit on behalf of Speers TV. Alen is obviously (and hysterically) baffled by this change and actively protests, but then relents and lets Nathan continue this bonkers crusade. The best part about this is Nathan uses Alen’s own answer to being single as encouragement. “You have time,” touts our host, as if this is what the guy would rather do. It’s amazing that Nathan’s legendarily awkward questions actually had a ripple effect to future events. Did Nathan Fielder plan this from the start? Maybe.
We also got confirmation into what Nathan’s ideas really are: utterly insane. After discovering some ridiculous loophole that Best Buy can’t fight someone clinically insane, Nathan sets out to get Alen diagnosed. All it takes is for Nathan to tell the professional that Alen’s delusional about working at an electronics store, and it snowballs from there. The talk about alligators behind small doors and wearing tuxedos convinces the diagnoser that Alen really is crazy, and Nathan gets that in writing. Of course, Alen is only saying these things because Nathan encouraged him from the start. The real person who needs documentation is the ringleader himself.
As if to really sell that point home, Nathan forms his own reality dating show called Retail Dating to get a Best Buy employee to spill secrets about price-match leniency. Naturally, he finds one and he believes that he gets everything he needs. The process to getting there involved dressing up like a Hot Topic owner, having a picnic, and enjoying a private salsa lesson (Nathan is definitely thorough). But when this one also falls through and Nathan tries to get the girl on his side again, she just confirms what the medical professional already did indirectly: everything about this is nuts. The woman Elle literally says it’s crazy to take someone on a date and ask them to sue Best Buy. Now we have two people in one episode freely announcing that Nathan is not right in the head.
Brought on as a consultant in these legal matters is once again former judge Anthony Filosa. Nathan For You does such a great job with a revolving door of special guests, but it’s always a treat when a past helper is brought back for more. While this situation is much less dire for Nathan (last time Filosa helped him escape fraud accusations), it’s still hilarious that he’s willing to do more of the work. Perhaps by now Filosa knows the deal and is just doing this for kicks. Wouldn’t surprise me at all.
No doubt this whole experience is nothing but positive for Speers too. The plans might never work, but the business is still promoted on a major network regardless. Speers TV now looks much better and it wouldn’t shock me if more people began buying. It’s potentially like what happened with last year’s Ghost Realtor, who’s actually still riding that gravy train. Apparently Nathan got Alen a date too, though Jury’s out on if that went somewhere. Say what you will about Nathan’s mentality or his schemes. At the end of the day, he still has the business in mind.
“Electronics Store” sets a pretty high bar for this new season. It was a long wait after the last finale but boy did this return deliver. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so consistently. This was a solid 30 minutes of non-stop escalation and it culminated with Nathan getting super introspective about how he goes about helping these people. That will definitely not last though. Next week we’ll watch Nathan try again with another business and another crazy idea. My only complaint is Nathan For You doesn’t last longer.