"Dumb Starbucks" - Nathan For You Review

Nathan For You
“Dumb Starbucks”
Season 2, Episode 5

Chad White

This review was late because screeners were released after the initial airing of the episode. Possibly to avoid spoilers and awesomeness of Dumb Starbucks.

We have been waiting for this one for a while. This episode may be the reason why many of you tuned into Nathan For You this season. I can’t even lie; it’s the reason why I began watching regularly. That and I review the episodes. But “Dumb Starbucks” is possibly the best episode of the series. All expectations I had for this episode were taken to an entirely new level.

I knew that Nathan Fielder would go the distance for a joke but this is something new. Fielder was set to help out a local coffee shop that is, you guessed it, having trouble with sales. So the solution for the shop, Helios, was for it to parody the famous coffee chain Starbucks. A short review of parody law was given in order for the owner as well as the audience to get why this would be legal. As far as set up goes, this episode front loaded the first minute with everything that we needed. It’s really up to the audience to go along with the bit. But this one was different; we knew what was coming. A global event was born from a stupid joke that Fielder perpetrated.

Following setting up the idea, Fielder and Helio’s owner were advised by a lawyer (more on that later) to become parody artists. But stage fright got the best of the owner. He decided not to work with Fielder any longer and for the rest of the episode, he was nonexistent. The lawyer was the best part of the entire thing. He was tricked into working with Fielder against his lack of reading the on-TV contract. Angry and resentful, the lawyer was finally convinced after Fielder’s childish attempts at regaining the contract that was pocketed by the lawyer. Two baristas were hired and funnier bits were established. Fielder’s insistence that the female barista has an unrequited crush on him and that the feeling is mutual, ultimately leaving the sole male barista feeling dejected, was among the best moments of the night.

How they got away with everything is amusing in its own right. Dumb Starbucks was to be taken as a n art installation rather than an actual food shop. But only one couple was really turned away by that. However, hundreds of other people lined up around the corner in order to participate in what many thought to believe was a statement against corporations. It’s crazy how ideas can be misinterpreted for what they really are. Of course we know that Fielder wasn’t trying to take down the capitalists at Starbucks or make a competing store but people love to find meaning in things that don’t need deep inspection.

Should you watch Dumb Starbucks?

I’m ending this review a little early so that I don’t ruin anything for you. “Dumb Starbucks” is what Nathan For You is about. It hits all of the important parts the show tries to deal with every season. Tonight’s episode was pure comedy at its finest. Go watch this as soon as you can to experience a global phenomenon that happened months ago.