May 28, 2024

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers from the premiere of Showtime’s, “The Curse,” now streaming on Paramount+.

In the opening scene of Showtime’s “The Curse,” Asher and Whitney Siegel do a good deed. Well, sort of.

The cameras are rolling on the married couple’s new HGTV series, and they’ve offered a down-on-his-luck man a job at a new café. A producer is stepping in to apply fake tears on his mother, sick with cancer, whose genuine reaction to the news apparently isn’t sufficient for TV. Barrier Coffee, this man’s new employer, is little more than a set piece — a paid sponsor of the series with no long-term business plan.

Created by Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie, “The Curse” follows philanthropic house flippers — “flipanthropists,” if you will — who descend into a New Mexico town to do good, or at least their idea of it. As played by Nathan Fielder and Emma Stone, Asher and Whitney are not your parents’ gentrifiers: they’re new-age liberals who are hyper-aware of how their series might paint them as white saviors. But they also genuinely believe in the power of their mission: to build eco-friendly “invisible” homes and provide opportunity in the Española community.

“We’re not HGTV. We don’t share those values,” Whitney reminds Asher after their producer turns their latest scene into charity porn. But it sounds more like she’s reassuring herself.

As Asher and Whitney parade around Española shooting their pilot, they’re careful to frame themselves as the good guys. “Rather than ignoring residents that might be displaced by our actions, we use a portion of each home sale to subsidize local rent,” Whitney says in a television news interview. It quickly goes south when Asher (literally) snaps at the reporter after she asks a tough question about Whitney’s parents, real estate proprietors the journalist describes as “slumlords because of their ruthless approach to evictions.”

The interview is a train wreck, and it’s Asher’s new mission to prevent it from airing. His first strategy: apologize to the reporter and make a deal by offering scandalous information about the Whistling River, a tribal casino where he used to work. He insists he doesn’t want to harm the Native people running the casino, but rather “shine a light” on injustice.

While waiting for the journalist, Asher’s producer Dougie (Safdie) convinces him to patron two young girls selling soda in the parking lot, to show him “giving back to the community.” But when Asher hands them a $100 bill — and then snatches it back, promising to return with change and buy their whole stock of Sprite for $20 instead — one of the girls looks him in the eye and says, “I curse you.” Asher attempts to get smaller bills or pull money out of an ATM, but by the time he returns to the parking lot, the girls are gone. As turmoil infects Asher and Whitney’s production — and marriage — Asher becomes increasingly convinced that a supernatural power is to blame.

Things get uncomfortable — even by the “Nathan for You” creator’s standards — when the couple has dinner with Whitney’s parents, Paul (Corbin Bernsen) and Elizabeth (Constance Shulman). While Asher is in the bathroom, Paul takes a crack at the size of his penis, much to his daughter’s feigned offense. The camera then cuts to Asher urinating, zeroing in on his genitals for an unsettling amount of time.

After dinner, Paul pulls Asher outside and shows him the garden. “People are a lot like tomatoes. You got your big old beefsteaks … and you got your little tiny cherries. They’re very different, but once you slice up a cherry and put it in a sandwich, it tastes great,” he says with a wink. “Once you put it between the bread, it’s all the same.”

As Asher’s discomfort grows, Paul begins peeing on the soil. “Asher, break the illusion in your mind. ‘Hey, I’m the guy with the small dick.’ I tell all my friends, they know,” he says. Paul awkwardly assures Asher that his daughter “has no issue” with Ash’s size and then shows him his own penis, which is smaller than his son-in-law’s. “Be the clown,” Paul says. “It’s the most liberating thing in the world. It’s like fucking with a 10-inch cock.” All Asher can muster in response is “thank you.”

When they return home, Asher notices his delivery meal service left out the chicken in the chicken penne. Nothing is going his way — until Whitney summons him for sex, which in their case means Asher using a vibrator on his wife as she calls out the name “Steven.” When Asher asks the imaginary participant if he can join in, Whitney responds: “He says not yet.” As Whitney approaches climax and tells her husband it’s his turn, Asher says, “I want to watch you finish with him,” as he masturbates by her leg.

The next day, Asher and Whitney gather in Dougie’s apartment to review footage. As they bicker over editing decisions, it’s made clear that Dougie is more interested in sowing drama and conflict, while Asher and Whitney are concerned about protecting their reputation in the community (at least, the reputation they think they have in the community). When a shot of Asher giving the girl $100 flashes onto Dougie’s computer, Whitney demands to see the whole encounter play out. She’s horrified at her husband’s actions, and worried about the curse, ordering Asher to go find the girl and give her the full $100.

So that night, Asher drives to a local shelter, which is closed for the night due to low funding. Unhoused Españolans camp out in tents outside in the rain. Asher can’t find his curser, so he gives the money to a mother and child. When he gets back to Dougie’s, he lies to Whitney and tells her he found the young girl. That the curse has been lifted.

As Asher quells Whitney’s superstitions in the hallway, the camera eerily frames them from behind a peep hole — and it’s not Dougie’s door. Their show hasn’t gotten picked up yet, but it seems like they’re already being watched.

El Impacto de las Monedas TikTok en tu Perfil
LivU Video Chat Free Coins Farming: Your Ultimate Guide
Boost Your Coin Master Village with Free Spins
Unlocking TikTok Coins: Insider Techniques
TikTok Coin Farming: Tips for Success
How to Get TikTok Coins Legally and Quickly
Boost Your TikTok Influence with Free Coins
تحسين تجربتك على TikTok باستخدام العملات
LivU Video Chat Free Coin Generator Safety Tips
The Power of TikTok Coins: Explained
Ganando Monedas Gratis: Desafíos y Recompensas en TikTok
Unlocking Free Coins in LivU Video Chat: Insider Techniques
Coin Master Free Spin Generators: Fact or Fiction?
Avakin Life Avacoins Generator Scams: What to Avoid
The Art of Earning TikTok Coins
El Impacto de las Monedas TikTok en tu Perfil
LivU Video Chat Free Coins Farming: Your Ultimate Guide
Boost Your Coin Master Village with Free Spins
Unlocking TikTok Coins: Insider Techniques
TikTok Coin Farming: Tips for Success
How to Get TikTok Coins Legally and Quickly
Boost Your TikTok Influence with Free Coins
تحسين تجربتك على TikTok باستخدام العملات
LivU Video Chat Free Coin Generator Safety Tips
The Power of TikTok Coins: Explained
Ganando Monedas Gratis: Desafíos y Recompensas en TikTok
Unlocking Free Coins in LivU Video Chat: Insider Techniques
Coin Master Free Spin Generators: Fact or Fiction?
Avakin Life Avacoins Generator Scams: What to Avoid
The Art of Earning TikTok Coins

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *