Since Nathan Fielder rose to greater comedy prominence with his Comedy Central series Nathan For You—or even before that as a correspondent on CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes—he’s been known for putting regular people in uncomfortable situations and really milking the awkwardness out of every moment. Although his latest project, David, is a scripted webseries, there is still plenty of unease, although it’s distinctly different here.
All five episodes of Dean Fleischer-Camp’s series, ranging from four to six minutes in length, were shared Thursday morning by Super Deluxe, and in them, Fielder plays David, a down-on-his-luck guy who finds out he has a black stone growing in his heart, and that he only has five weeks to live. From there, he gets evicted, talks to his ex-wife (played by Jenny Slate, herself the ex-wife of Fleischer-Camp), and contemplates suicide.
We’re used to comedy from Fielder, although it might be more fair to say that he’s really an expert in awkwardness, and that comedy usually provides the most ample opportunity for uncomfortable moments to shine through. But there’s awkwardness in dramatic and tragic moments as well, and while it may feel like comedy at times—with the shots that are just a bit too long, the supporting characters with virtually no personalities, and the awkward exchanges between them and David—it’s really more like awkwardness taking on a different form.
The whole thing falls flat, but in a good way, which may be the first time we’ve written that. David is certainly an interesting watch, so check out the first episode above, and the rest of the series here.
Featured image: Super Deluxe