Nathan For You
“Andy vs Uber”
Season 4, Episode 3
Just an average Joe trying to make some money on the side.
Never has an episode of Nathan For You began and been so bleak from the outset. Taking on a big corporation is what the show is made to do but Uber might be too big and noncompliant. Nathan would craft another deviously convoluted plan only to have it fail in the last third of the final act. Everything would be for naught. And it’d likely go against everything he’s been advocating against for the last twenty minutes. One of the pitfalls of Nathan For You is its ambivalence, the wishy-washy nature in which it chooses to oppose the thing most popular.
Nathan revisits Andy, a taxi driver from season one who is losing business to Uber. The original plan of pregnant women giving birth in the car was upstaged by Uber’s inclusion of free onesies to newborns. Andy has since been forced to come up with another creative idea on his own: the inclusion of a karaoke booth. He demonstrates it, showing how sad the actual experience can be. Nathan suggests they instill their own sleeper cell inside of Uber and threaten the company to get rid of the onesie policy. You know, or else.
This plan seems doomed from the start. Nathan has a knack for creating elaborate (read: unnecessarily complex) schemes before the main schemes. It’s one of the show’s best qualities. Simply put, the buildup is much better than the conclusion. Nathan would need burner phones and lots of them. He’d resort to hiring a man off of Craigslist who would buy the entire stock of phones from a convenience store; take them to a dock; and drop them in the water in a previously placed waterproof bag where Nathan picked them up in scuba gear. This sequence is so detailed, so nuanced that it might be one of the cleverest moments in the show’s history.
Recruiting the gaggle of drivers would prove to be easy. After throwing a meeting with disgruntled taxi drivers (one of which says he could get 200 other drivers to join the cause in 25 minutes), Nathan and Andy have their team. The only problem is after weeks of work, Andy was revealed to have been driving with Uber since their test and meeting with other drivers. This is after Nathan sent an ominous video to Uber, recruiting and other nonsense like Nathan marrying Andy due to fear of being kicked out of the country because of his threatening video. Andy’s unpredictability leads Nathan to think of the legal and moral implications of being married – mostly because he tricked Andy to do it -- so he goes to seek divorce advice. There’s no real conclusion nor is their resolution for many of the threads. But does Nathan For You need that kind of stuff? Maybe so.
Should you watch “Andy vs Uber?”
It’s an interesting idea with a clumsy execution. However, the stunts in themselves were very funny. As a whole, “Andy vs Uber” is not great. Good but it could stand to be better. The separate ideas make it worthwhile.