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Curses!

Curses season 1

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Kennedy Unthank

TV Series Review

Pandora and Horus “Russ” Vanderhouven have a unique childhood—one where they spend their days skateboarding around a massive mansion.

The Vanderhouven family, as you might guess, is quite wealthy. That’s primarily the result of the countless relics and artifacts the family has unearthed over generations. The childrens’ father, Alex, has carried on the family’s legacy as an archaeologist, and the kids have always loved joining him on his journeys to historical ruins and wonders.

But lately, Alex has been acting strange. He’s locked himself away in his office to work late nights. He says that he’s got to finish a book before an upcoming deadline—one that’s fast approaching. His behavior draws concern from his wife, Sky, causing Alex to give only the most ominous of non-answers:

“There’s a reason we’ve been traveling to all the places we have, and it’s not for the reason you think,” he says, promising to tell the whole truth soon and retreating back into his private office.

But soon never shows its face, and neither does Alex. And when the rest of the family go to look for him, they stumble upon a hidden part of the mansion—an underground labyrinth of tunnels called the “restricted wing.” It’s filled to the brim with relics and traps, and its caretakers are a talking pirate skull and a druidic gnome made from wood.

They also find Alex—turned to stone.

An Unrestricted Curse

It doesn’t take long for those unusual caretakers to bring the family up to speed. Whereas the family’s “safe” trinkets are stored around the mansion upstairs, the restricted wing is filled with all the plundered antiques that contain all sorts of curses. And long ago, a wicked and ancient relative of theirs stole an item that proved to be his—and his progeny’s—downfall. Ever since, the oldest member of the Vanderhouven line has been doomed to turn to stone when the sand in a magical hourglass runs out.

And while that means that it’ll skip Sky, who married into the family, it also means that Russ is next to be, um, stoned.

But the Vanderhouvens aren’t the kind of people to simply accept their fate. Soon, the three of them hatch a plan. Maybe, just maybe, if they return each cursed item to its proper place, they’ll somehow be able to not only turn Alex back from stone, but also break the curse that haunts their family.

Is it a long shot? Sure. But a long shot is still a shot.

Now, who wants to be the first to grab the next cursed item?

It’s Not Foul, But It Is Magical

As you may have gathered, the TV-G Curses! is less about foul language and all about spiritual condemnations. Each item the family handles comes with its own mystical curse that’ll make returning the artifacts quite difficult.

One curse forces the family to deal with an angry and sentient golden baboon head. Another tells of Japanese evil spirits within a haunted painting. A third concerns a giant black widow spider, incantations and a necklace that gives the power of immortality. And, to top it off, the family often uses a scrying bowl, an object used to speak with dead spirits, hoping that they can find some insight into breaking the generational curse.

For those who’d like to not deal with these spiritual elements (and some of the creepy creatures that come along with them), this show isn’t for you. But for those who are still interested, the good news is that there isn’t much else in terms of content. Violence and death are ever-present threats in the show, but the TV-G rating leaves those as no more than threats.

The series uses curses as a way to compel the Vanderhouven family to return cultural artifacts they’ve stolen over the years—to right the wrongs their ancestors originally inflicted upon others. But just as they cause trouble for the Vanderhouven family, these curses may be more trouble than they’re worth for your family, too.

Episode Reviews

Oct. 27, 2023 – S1, Ep1: “The Restricted Wing”

While looking for where their father might be hiding in a game of hide-and-seek, the family stumbles upon the restricted wing of their mansion—which is filled to the brim with traps and cursed objects.

A man opens up an artifact and is cursed—the curse turns the man to stone, and the curse itself is depicted as thorny, black vines. Family members dodge traps, such as a spinning blade and a bunch of flying arrows.

We’re treated throughout the series to a couple tame jump scares that may be frightening to young children. Likewise, some of the cursed objects or the creatures associated with them may be frightening.

The restricted wing has two caretakers: Larry, a talking pirate skull, and Stanley, a druidic gnome carved out of wood. Both help the family defeat the curse.

After someone is scared, the other says “don’t pee your pants.”

The worst language we hear are instances of someone saying “heck.”

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Kennedy Unthank

Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics. He thinks the ending of Lost “wasn’t that bad.”

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