HGTV Blesses Emma Stone With Good News


The cast of The Curse is officially uncursed. Asher (Nathan Fielder) and Whitney’s (Emma Stone) HGTV show, Flipanthropy, has been ordered for a full 10-episode season. Hooray! Martha, the HGTV exec who calls with the good news from the network, gives Dougie (Benny Safdie) the lowdown over the phone: He’s just going to need to—

The line cuts out.

Dougie’s phone is dead. He had slept in his car, parked in some bizarre forest in Española, without a phone charger or any indication as to why he’s here. On his hand, Dougie finds a note scribbled in sharpie: “Under the big tree.” Sure enough, Dougie finds a big tree, digs as if he were a Survivor contestant hunting for a hidden immunity idol, and finds a few sets of car keys, one for each car that’s in the barren lot.

He tests all of the keys and unlocks all three mystery cars. Looks like Dougie spent the night drinking in his (or, then again, maybe his) car and buried the keys so that he wouldn’t add another DUI to his roster. But Dougie also finds notes with names, addresses, and times attached to the other sets of keys. Who the hell are these people?

Asher and Whitney are next on Martha’s call list. Asher, overjoyed, tosses a cowboy hat on his head and mutes Whitney’s phone to shout “Spank you very much!” as some sort of…comedy? The only catch with this deal, Martha explains, is that they want to cut everything about the displaced residents and keep the series focused on the passive homes. Whitney is displeased, but her energy is focused on another area to fix: Asher. Right when it sounds like Whit is about to suggest couple’s therapy, she instead pushes Asher into a corporate comedy class, inspired by the notes from the focus group.

A neighbor named Maria (Diana Navarrete) stops by to see Whitney and Asher. Maria says Victor (Alexander Poncio), a new resident who moved into one of the passive homes, has been leaving flyers around the neighborhood accusing locals of stealing his packages. Whit apologizes to Maria, speaking to her the same way one might speak to a small child, and promises to deal with the matter on her own. Whit’s next stop is to see Vic, a grump who says he wants to stop being involved with Flipanthropy. Fine, Whit says, but easy on those leaflets. Vic won’t back down—goddammit, his Alienware computer was stolen, and he can’t get a refund.

More concerning, though, is the fact that Vic has removed the induction stove from his home and replaced it with a gas one. He was making too many stir fries to use the original one, Vic tells Whitney. This is a problem, because the house now creates emissions, meaning it’s no longer passive, defeating the point. Whitney calls Asher and demands that they need to properly vet people before selling the homes, to “prevent buyers from ruining” this project. Later, Asher tries to steal back the induction stove, which he says is worth $7,000, and breaks it, littering glass and metal all over the road. So much for being eco-friendly.

We get some answers about the Mercedes. Dougie pulls up to a mansion in the surrounding area and finds a teenager who seems to recognize him and accepts the car keys. The teenager’s mom comes out and starts demanding answers—did Dougie steal her son’s car? No, they appear to have made a trade. Dougie offered to buy this kid beer so long as he promised to give his car away for the night. The mom is pissed, but she should be grateful, Dougie argues. He saved her kid from getting a DUI.

While Dougie torments the local families, so does Asher, who goes back to Abshir’s (Barkhad Abdi) home for a mold test. As he’s prodding their house, Asher asks Nala (Hikmah Warsame) all about the tiny curses. He also asks what her favorite pasta is—spaghetti, the shape she claims to have cursed—and if she knows what penne (the actual pasta Asher suspects was cursed) is. She doesn’t. Could Nala have put a hex on Asher’s spaghetti, even though she meant penne?

Before Asher can go any further, Abshir pulls him aside and asks to stop. He’s had enough trouble with the tiny curses on his own. Where he’s from, Abshir says, they don’t mess around in curses. “Do you mind if I ask where you’re from?” Asher asks. Abshir’s answer: “Minnesota.”

The conversation ends, but Asher is still hung up on the curse. Later, he goes to visit Dougie to celebrate the HGTV news. The pair can’t even go 15 minutes without Asher bringing up this damn curse, almost as if he’s a teenage girl talking about his crush—it never leaves his mind. Unlike Whitney, though, Dougie believes Asher. In fact, in the video Dougie took of the curse happening in real time, Dougie saw a moment of static happen right after Nala pointed her finger.

Dougie, too, has been cursed, he tells Asher. He doesn’t know what the curse is or who it came from. But, he argues, he would’ve never driven drunk and killed Melanie if he weren’t cursed. Instead of accepting the reality of his situation, Dougie blames spiritual forces. Asher doesn’t buy it, and Dougie flees to the bathroom in frustration.

Benny Safdie stands under a stree in a still from 'The Curse'

Richard Foreman Jr./Showtime

While Doofuses 1 and 2 wax poetic about curses, Whitney is up to no good at the company’s office. Fernando (Christopher D. Calderon), their new security guard, has been bringing a gun into work every day, so she asks her assistant Luisa (Sidni) to remind him not to carry firearms nearby.

“Did you say that it makes us uncomfortable?” Whitney asks. “I told him it made you uncomfortable,” Luisa counters. Ouch.

Then, we see Whitney pre-paying for a massage/some sort of physical therapy appointment, without ever learning who it’s for or why she books it. She assumes that this person does not have insurance. Could it be for Abshir, who has been having back problems and is now potentially dealing with mold? Or is there someone else we don’t know about?

We then learn that Asher agrees to take the comedy course, which is where we end on The Curse this week. The unfunny mope sits in a group of wannabe funny people, all trying to make each other laugh without speaking as a warm-up before class. Asher, of course, breaks the rules, making both a strange face and loud noise. No one laughs. It’s an uncomfortable moment that feels uniquely Nathan Fielder—in fact, I wouldn’t mind watching an entire series dedicated to boring people in comedy classes.

Post source: TDB

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