This delves deeper than your average murder mystery.
Sharp Objects is the latest US TV show to get everyone talking. Oscar nominee Amy Adams plays journalist Camille Preaker, who returns to her claustrophobic hometown to report on the murders of two young girls.
The show was adapted from the bestselling novel by Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl. At the helm is director Jean-Marc Vallée, who you may know from Big Little Lies. So far so good, right?
For fans of BLL, this show will surely fill the void you’ve been feeling since it ended. But the real correlation you feel when watching Sharp Objects is with another popular HBO show, True Detective.
Camille is an alcoholic who, after going back to her home town, feels stifled in her mother’s mansion surrounded by memories of the sister she lost. She finds comfort and self-medication in the bathtub with a bottle of vodka in hand, which is not too far from True Detective’s Rust Cohle which Matthew McConaughey played with heartbreaking determination.
Camille is consumed by her job and from the first episode we see that it’s soon going to start eating away at her. The show provides quick, intriguing flashbacks which keep your eyes stuck to the screen in fear of missing a vital piece.
Camille’s editor, who plays a paternal role for her, wants a tear-jerking piece on the tragic town that will get him the numbers he wants. While Camille tries to keep focused on the job at hand by questioning the murders, she can’t help but be smothered by the memories of her old town that seems to be frozen in time.
Entangled in Camille’s issues with her past is her toxic mother who wisps around their preserved mansion and coos over her youngest daughter, Amma, who she treats like a doll and is unaware of her bad girl lifestyle outside the house.
This is the female detective story that we’ve been waiting for. While season two of True Detective tried to give us this with Rachel McAdams, the series was a flop with a mis-matched storyline and lack of fleshed out characters.
Without typecasting her as the ‘damaged woman’, Camille struggles with her demons while trying to still get on with her job. It’s safe to assume that her visiting her home town is going to force her to face her past, which she has been struggling with for years as we see how she drinks for breakfast and cuts her body to numb the pain.
While the show is a murder mystery type at the forefront, it offers so much more. It delves into the psyche of Camille and the troubles she has faced throughout her life. The series merges the thriller aspect of two murders in a small town with the internal struggles of a woman and the women who surround her.
The first episode aired on Monday – if you missed it, you can catch it again on Sky Atlantic on June 16 at 9pm.
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