HomeTelevisionSnubbed: Where Are the Emmy Noms for Nathan for You?

Snubbed: Where Are the Emmy Noms for Nathan for You?

Nathan For You
Photo Credit: Comedy Central

It’s well established that award shows are garbage. For every instance of the voters getting it right, there are two examples of them getting something so very, very wrong. But, as the Emmys celebrate their 70th year of living in Oscar’s shadow, they finally botched something so hard that I felt compelled to write the very article you’re looking at right now, dear reader.

For those who aren’t familiar with Comedy Central’s Nathan for You, comedian Nathan Fielder plays business guru “Nathan Fielder”, whose “very good grades at a top business school in Canada” (which range from an A- to a C+ in the intro montage) have led him to LA and its suburbs. There he uses his business acumen to help struggling small businesses, a la Bar Rescue and Kitchen Nightmares.

Not only is Nathan for You not going to win an Emmy this year, it wasn’t even nominated. This is blasphemy, pure and simple. Nathan for You is a perfect skewering of reality TV and seems to be only growing in deftness. The 4th season, and winner of the Emmy in my heart, sees Nathan fake a $10,000 tip at a diner from Michael Richards of Seinfeld and racism fame for publicity, meticulously craft a late-night talk show anecdote and ensure it actually happens so he isn’t lying, form a band with a smoke detector as an instrument to save money on tariffs, and more. But where Season 4 reaches its peak is the finale, entitled simply “Finding Frances.

Finding Frances is a feature length documentary that is fascinating even without the context of having watched the rest of the show. In context? It’s one of the most compelling movies I’ve ever seen, both reflective and self-questioning. There has always been something of a wall between Nathan and his audience, built by his incredible ability to keep a straight face. Where is the divide between Nathan the character, and Nathan Fielder the comedian? As Nathan helps a Bill Gates impersonator from a previous episode try to reconnect with the woman he says was the love of his life, Finding Frances has the same question.

It’s not simply a question of “which show helped me forget about the hellscape we live the best,” it’s a question of artistic merit. Saturday Night Live may provide a couple chuckles here and there by lampooning politicians who are indeed deserving of our ridicule, but when was the last time it really had something to say? Nathan for You holds a mirror up to the struggle of small businesses in America, where people are so desperate to stay afloat they’re willing to listen to Nathan’s obviously insane ideas like “create a poo-flavored frozen yogurt to draw in customers” and “have a realtor hire an exorcist so that she can sell guaranteed ghost-free homes.”

At the end of the day, who cares, really? It’s just an award. But these awards are ostensibly created to recognize excellence, and by letting Nathan for You go unrewarded, the Emmy voters have shown once again that they wouldn’t know excellence if it slapped them in their collective face. Which means it’s up to us. Support this show. Watch it. Because it’s not Nathan for Emmy Voters… it’s Nathan for You.

-George Heftler

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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