Nathan Fielder has made a career out of being unsettling on TV. Benny Safdie has made a career out of making the most stressful movies you’ve ever seen in your life. Emma Stone has somehow slipped through her Hollywood career as one of America’s Sweethearts, yet she has a sly streak a mile wide and a predilection for black comedy. These three are now collaborators in a new TV series coming to Showtime in November called The Curse. It’s about newlywed house flippers who run into trouble while filming a home reno show in New Mexico. A new trailer dropped yesterday, and it looks AMAZING.
The Curse was co-created by Fielder and Safdie, with Stone joining as a co-star and co-producer. The last time Emma Stone did TV was the bonkers Netflix sci-fi series Maniac, a generally underappreciated title on her filmography. I am SUPER excited to see what she does with Fielder and Safdie—Stone thrives when working with people who understand that though she looks like a Disney princess, she has Joan Crawford taste and Bette Davis gumption (that’s why she works so well with Yorgos Lanthimos, he knows how to put those big and eyes and sweet smile to work in service of some truly f-cked up sh-t). And Fielder, of course, turned lampooning American business culture into an art form with Nathan For You, and then turned his razor-sharp observations of broader American culture into the devastating The Rehearsal.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the damage done by turning housing into entertainment lately (check this out for more on this topic), and we’re overdue for a reckoning on the bleak reality of house flipping shows. A lot of attention gets paid to the often-shoddy work done on quick flips for TV, but we’re not talking enough about gentrification and especially what turning properties that should be starter homes into vacation or investment properties thanks to a trendy flip does to the housing market. House flipping took off both as a hustle and entertainment during the housing crisis of the 2000s, and now it’s firmly entrenched in the economic reality of America, for better or worse (worse). I am into a collaboration from Fielder, Safdie, and Stone, in general, but I’m also very much here for the Nathan Fielder take down of HGTV and home reno shows.