I finally did it.
I watched The Curse.
If you're reading this, you're probably in one of two camps: 1) you already watched and have your own opinions because I'm criminally late to this thing or 2) you don't fully know what I'm talking about because the whole thing aired on Paramount+/Showtime and approximately 13 people in the U.S. have that streaming service.
I'm patting myself on the back because I find Nathan Fielder's cringe comedy schtick to be...well, cringey, and I have come to recognize this basic fact about myself: I'm not a fan of cringe comedy. Like, at all.
I'd avoided this show because I forced myself to watch his last project, HBO's The Rehearsal, and squirmed through the whole thing. Pair his vibe with that of Benny Safdie (of the Safdie brothers who are responsible for squirmy (but in a different way) films like Good Time and Uncut Gems) and it was prone to be a very uncomfortable viewing experience for a square like me.
Here's the thing about The Curse: It was. I did not love the experience of watching it, but I really enjoyed the themes it explored and the conversations it inspired in think pieces and in podcast episodes. I loved the thoughtfulness of the show and the audacity of the show.
But I feel like I didn't show my full respect for the show because I didn't the two-screen version of watching a scary movie through one's hands: I had my phone or my laptop so that I didn't look directly at it, like it was a solar eclipse or something. That slight deviation of angle helped me avoid the full-on cringe, as I was able to take it an angle and therefore lessen its effect.
It was a singular bit of art, but I can't imagine revisiting it anytime soon. That being said, I've loved the conversations about the show and what it means and how the finale played into that meaning (or subverted it).
I once said that I was a completist about Marvel in large part because I enjoyed the podcasts and "conversation" about the films and shows. But that just proved me to be a liar–not because I don't like the podcasts and conversations but because I've given up on watching anything from the studio. But The Curse has rekindled that same feeling in me, that of being in a room with smart people talking about a shared experience. That's what I got from two of The Ringer's podcasts recapping the show, and if you watch the show, you should do yourself a favor and listen to these episodes.