As the above trailer shows, The Curse is about a couple trying to get a show on HGTV about house flipping while they also are gentrifying a small town called Espanola. It's a comedy/relationship drama that is shot and feels like a horror movie. It also has Nathan Fielder starring and co-writing it so it also is a very uncomfortable yet brilliant watch. Sometimes when people try to do too much, it can feel forced. But when Fielder has done that in the past with The Rehearsal or the 'Finding Francis' episode of Nathan For You, it leaves you thinking about humanity far after you're done laughing.
There have been two episodes of The Curse that have aired. There is a lot going on in each. The biggest elements are the characters. Asher (Nathan Fielder) and Whitney (Emma Stone) have a very odd (and kind of horrible) relationship. He loves her very much but is terrified of her. I don't think she loves him and I'm not even sure if she likes him very much. Meanwhile, their producer Dougie (Benny Safdie from Good Time and Oppenheimer) is a very damaged agent of chaos.
The whole thing is part satire but also an interesting look at fear, guilt and love. Emma Stone is so good on this show and I love how she is all in on Fielder's comedic sense.
I think it's easy to call a brilliant comedian like Nathan Fielder "ahead of his time". I'm not sure there ever would be a time where a brilliant off-beat comedian can ever thrive. There hasn't really been a time for Andy Kaufman or Norm MacDonald either. I think if they did fit into a time, they would change up what they did because their whole sensibility is to mock social norms. Jerry Seinfeld likes to comment on the little things people do. No one has been better at that. What Fielder does is takes a fun house mirror to who we are as a society and forces us to uncomfortably judge it. I do believe that's why the homes that Asher and Whitney are building are glass houses. It provides a warped look at who they are when they appear on the house. Or is their real appearance the warped version and the glass houses show us who they really are?
This is on Showtime and new episodes air on Sunday. If you have Showtime streaming or have Paramount+ with a Showtime subscription, you can watch new episodes as early as Friday nights. Nathan Fielder fans: if you've already watched The Curse, does this scripted content match up with what you already like about him?