Nathan Fielder is back with his newest project after creating and starring in one of the best new TV shows of 2022 with The Rehearsal. This time he has teamed up with Uncut Gems co-director Benny Safdie for a satirical look at the world of home renovation in The Curse. The upcoming Showtime series starring Emma Stone is garnering some strong opinions from critics who were able to watch it ahead of its release. The feedback seems to be mostly positive, but Fielder and Safdie’s creation is being described as an “unsettling,” “cringe comedy” that will “break your brains.” Sounds about right.
Emma Stone stars as Whitney Siegel, who has an HGTV house-flipping show with husband Asher (Nathan Fielder) that’s produced by Benny Safdie’s Dougie Schecter. The Curse attempts to explore the newlywed couple’s relationship as they try to expand their family and flip houses on TV, while making a scathing statement on a number of deeper issues in the process. Let’s see what the critics are saying, starting with CinemaBlend’s Eric Eisenberg, who calls the series one of his favorites this year:
Paolo Ragusa of Consequence says the starring trio is firing on all cylinders, as the “magnificent” series unfolds less like a drama or dark comedy and more like a straight-up horror. The critic writes:
Daniel Fienberg of THR calls The Curse “viscerally unpleasant and frequently fascinating” with its evisceration of performative compassion. Fienberg guesses this series will be more fun to fight about after it’s over than to watch, and that’s probably exactly what Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie intended. He continues:
Belen Edwards of Mashable calls the Showtime series one of the funniest of the year, boasting an at-times unbearable awkwardness. Viewers are sure to feel embarrassment or disgust toward Emma Stone and Benny Safdie’s characters while horrifyingly recognizing themselves in the anti-heros as well. In Edwards’ words:
Kristen Baldwin of EW grades the series a B+, noting how the series blends cringe comedy with an intense character study to create the undertones of horror. It may not be perfect, but this series is hard to forget, and Emma Stone is “mesmerizing.” The critic writes:
The Curse sounds on brand for Nathan Fielder, and the critics all seem to have been strongly affected in one way or another by the series. It certainly takes something special to inspire such discomfort in an audience and still have viewers walk away praising the project. If you want to check the series out, The Curse can be streamed on Paramount+ with Showtime on November 10 before it premieres at 10 p.m ET Sunday, November 12 on Showtime. Check out our 2023 TV schedule to see what other premieres are coming soon.