The Curse, created by Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie, begins on a promising note, and we are eager to see where the makers take it from here. I personally believe that a project greatly benefits from an actor who is involved in the writing process, and that is why we have a lot of faith in Nathan Fielder, who has not only written and directed the show but also plays one of the leads together with Emma Stone. The premise, as of now, looks strong, and we have no clue what the makers are going to serve us with, which makes it even more intriguing. So let’s find out in this recap what was happening in The Curse episode 1.
What were Asher and Whitney up to?
Asher and Whitney were making a reality show in which they helped the underprivileged locals living in Espanol in whatever way they could. In the first scene of The Curse, we witnessed something that made us understand how these reality shows are scripted and how there is no scope for any real emotions. They had provided a local named Fernando with a job in a coffee shop, and they wanted his mother to have tears of joy and express the kind of relief she felt, on camera. But his mother was suffering from a terminal illness, and she couldn’t understand half of the things that were happening. She sat there like a person who was not in her senses, but the showmakers needed the audience to feel sympathetic towards her; because that was what increased the TRP and made the show successful. They wanted their audience to experience a gut-wrenching moment, and for that, they were ready to stoop to any low.
Dougie, who was conceptualizing the entire show and handling the direction, decided that if the woman was not going to cry by herself, then he was going to put some water droplets on her and make sure that her eyes seemed all red. Whitney didn’t like it one bit, as obviously, that behavior was quite contrary to the overall message that the show wanted to convey. In the first few seconds, we realized that there was something that Whitney and Asher were hiding, and their real motive was not to be good Samaritans and uplift society. We realized that, though Whitney didn’t like the idea of harassing the old woman and using her to gain sympathy, she actually didn’t really care for those people, but she objected to it only because she was scared that her reputation would get tainted, as word traveled fast in that small town. Whitney was a smart woman, and she knew that she had taken every step carefully for her audience to believe in her. Somewhere, she also believed in concepts like karma, and she didn’t want to do anything that bound her with guilt later.
What happened during the media interview?
Asher and Whitney were not leaving any stone unturned, and they were marketing their new show whenever and wherever they could get a chance. A news channel wanted to interview them, and the Siegles believed that it could get them some good publicity. But the opposite happened as the interviewer asked Whitney about her father, and that was when we got to know why Whitney and Asher were so concerned about the image they portrayed and why they pretended to not have any kind of ties to the parents. Whitney’s father, Paul, was nicknamed the ‘slumlord’ in Espanola, and he was infamous for having a ruthless approach when it came to evictions. The man, it seemed, didn’t have any sympathy for the locals, and his agenda was to only earn profits and nothing else. Whitney talked about passive house revolutions; she said that she was trying to get each and every local person a job, but on the contrary, her associations painted a very different picture of her. Asher and Whitney told the interviewer that if everything went according to plan, then everybody would be a winner, but the ground reality was very different, and they found it really hard to keep the truth hidden.
Asher got really triggered when the interviewer kept asking questions about Whitney’s father, and after the interview, he realized that there was a high possibility that she would publish an article that would defame them and call them hypocrites. Asher decided that he would have to go back to her and try selling her a meatier story so that she wouldn’t publish the defamatory piece on their reality show. Asher had worked in a casino in the past, and he knew of some fishy activities that took place there. He told the interviewer all about them and then very gently and cautiously asked her for a favor. The interview told him that she didn’t have any problem making a deal with him, provided he gave her some video, documents, or any other form of concrete evidence to prove the credibility of the claims he made. Asher didn’t have any other option than to accept what she was saying, as the odds were not in his favor.
Was Asher able to find the girl?
Dougie had an idea of how he wanted to portray Asher and Whitney, and time and again, he asked them both to do something so that he could record them. There was a young girl who was selling soda cans on the road, and Dougie came up with the idea that he would record Asher while he gave her some money. Asher had a $100 bill in his wallet, and he gave it to the poor girl at first, but as soon as Dougie stopped rolling, he snatched it back, asking the girl to stay there till he could go and get her some change. But the girl got extremely angry, and she said that she was going to put a curse on Asher. Later in The Curse episode 1, when Whitney came to know about it, she got paranoid because she believed in those kinds of things. She asked Asher to go back, find the girl, and give her the 100 dollars. Asher went, but he couldn’t find anyone from the girl’s family, so he gave the 100 dollars to another poor woman whom he found in a tent on the roadside. He came back, and lied to Whitney that he had found the girl, and asked her to take back the curse. Whitney was relieved, but probably in subsequent episodes of The Curse, when she gets to know the reality, she will not be happy.
Will Whitney have an affair with Dougie?
We witnessed in episode 1 that Whitney had been abstaining from indulging in or getting intimate with her husband for the longest time, and her parents were concerned as they wanted them to have a baby. At the end of The Curse episode 1, we saw that Dougie made a sort of move at Whitney, and he tried to flirt with her, but he did it very subtly, maybe because he too wanted to check the waters first. Whitney was taken aback, and for a moment, she just sat there, trying to understand what had happened. Whitney didn’t tell Asher about it, as she was probably unsure how he would react. Dougie and Asher were the best of friends, and as of then, Whitney wasn’t sure if what she had perceived was right or not. Her gut told her the truth, but probably she was in denial, and it would take a few more explicit indications for her to be sure about it. This move from Dougie came just after he had an argument with Asher and Whitney about how they wanted to approach the show. Dougie had made some really bad, discriminatory, and offensive shows back in the day, and Whitney didn’t like his body of work and questioned Asher’s judgment to bring him on board. But now she didn’t know what to think anymore, as Dougie’s behavior had taken her by surprise. In the subsequent episodes, we will come to know in which direction the lives of the characters are headed. Time will tell if Asher and Whitney are able to produce a successful show or if their real intentions allow people to raise questions about their credibility.