THE CURSE: SEASON ONE
Starring: Emma Stone, Nathan Fielder, and Benny Safdie
Creators: Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie
After Nathan For You and The Rehearsal, Nathan Fielder is easily one of my favourite modern comedic auteurs, so I was excited about his collaboration with Benny Safdie, The Curse. While it doesn't reach the highs of his other shows, it's still fascinating. The pacing is wonky, but the show is successfully hilarious, awkward, and frustrating all at once, helping to create a thrillingly unsettling atmosphere that is elevated by excellent performances from Emma Stone and Fielder. The last episode is, in fact, peak TV. The Curse isn't an easy ride, but a ride I had a blast squirming at.
This might be triggering, but… Look, I get that we all have different tastes and senses of humor, but – and I mean this with zero hyperbole – if you think The Curse is brilliant, hilarious, or sharp, I flat out DO NOT believe you. Frankly, I think those who say they enjoy it really just enjoy being able to tell people who don't enjoy it, “oh, you just don't get it. It's an acquired taste.” There is nothing resembling humor in this boringly uncomfortable, self-involved series that will have you pining for the sweet release of death. Get off your pretentious pedestals because “acquired taste,” my ass.
I relished each and every excruciating moment of The Curse. Nathan Fielder’s deeply awkward, cringe-worthy meta-comedy meets Benny Safdie's talent for creating stress-inducing situations, resulting in a viscerally uncomfortable viewing experience that persistently tested my patience in the best way possible. It’s deliciously mean-spirited, forcing the viewer to marinate in almost unbearable awkwardness, with a sense of suffocating dread that permeates every scene and taints every character interaction. All of this is carried by formidable central performances, particularly Emma Stone’s mesmerizing turn as Whitney, which is possibly one of the strongest of her career.