HBO’s Sharp Objects is a limited series based of the book by the same name written by Gillian Flynn. It tells the story of Camille, a reporter who suffers from self-harm and alcoholism. She is assigned to go back to her hometown of Wind Gap to solve the case of two murdered girls. She must face her demons even more so as she reconnects with her family and tries to solve this troubling case. The miniseries stars Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Eliza Scanlen, Chris Messina, Matt Craven and Henry Czerny.
If I had to describe the show to someone so I can get him/her to watch it I would describe it as a mix of Twin Peaks and a Stephen King novel. It’s a combination that I think suits the show well. Although it never copies them, Sharp Objects is it’s own thing.
I am just going to say it, Sharp Objects is one of the best shows so far this year and definitely one of the best murder mystery shows ever. It’s an eight-part limited series so there won’t be any more seasons. Although it’s episode count as a series is low, it doesn’t hold the show back in any way. Anything that makes a TV show great is included in Sharp Objects. Clever and great writing, realistically flawed characters, beautiful sets, atmospheric, it has all the ingredients necessary for it to be amazing.
However this is not a show for everyone. I will say this as a warning. Sharp Objects is incredibly dark and mature. If you don’t like gore and detail in murder type stories, this show is not for you. This is a realistic depiction of a murder case, the show doesn’t hold back from showing details. It’s also artistically beautiful. There are long shots that evoke so much emotion. The story is also very sad, there is rarely a moment of happiness throughout the whole show. I have to admit it took me two episode to really get into it. Before episode three, it felt like a chore but when it gets going you won’t stop watching.
The characters in Sharp Objects are one of the best thing about it. They are believable and incredibly flawed. I’ve liked Amy Adams in the past but after seeing her performance this show, I respect her as one of the great actresses of today. Her portrayal of Camille is Emmy worthy. She delivers one of the best female performances so far this year. Adams is painfully real as the tormented Camille, I saw a recent interview of her talking about the show and it struck me that she was this completely different person. It’s silly to say but I never doubted her acting abilities throughout the show. She takes the show to a whole other level of greatness. The other two actresses that blew me away were Clarkson and Scanlen. They were brilliant.
Sharp Objects is a breath of fresh air. It’s storytelling is different, it doesn’t tell you everything you need to know through exposition, it keeps you thinking, trying to solve the puzzle. The use of brutal visual imagery and going back and forth in time makes for some inventive storytelling. What impressed me the most is the memory aspect. I won’t spoil anything but I’m just going to say that Camille’s childhood in Wind Gap wasn’t one she likes to remember so when she goes back all these memories come flooding back and they do so in such an effective way. Instead of making it clear that it’s a flashback with colour change or some type of editing, it just happens one minute you’re in the present, the next you’re in the past. It’s as if your are in her place.
The only negative thing I have to say about the show doesn’t really have to do with the show itself more with HBO. In the finale, there is a end-credits scene which is incredibly crucial to the story but there isn’t any warning. Luckily I kept the sound on and I just rewinded it but if you miss it, you’ll miss a lot. Later on in the end credits of the finale just before the HBO logo comes on there is a chilling and plain disturbing shot which goes by in a second. It is important that you watch them.
Many people would just say that Sharp Objects is a dark and sad show but the truth is that with excellent writing, clever twists, realistically flawed characters and a killer finale, the show is elevated to being way much more than your average crime show. With a stellar cast led by Amy Adams, you are truly immersed in the wicked town of Wind Gap. I highly highly suggest watching it. A day after I watched the finale, I went and bought the book. It’s that good.