Why Sharp Objects Is The Next HBO Series You Should Indulge In

Sharp Objects has the potential to be your next Sunday night HBO obsession: It starts with a grisly murder mystery; immerses you in a lush setting disturbed by an undercurrent of closely guarded secrets; and follows a damaged heroine (who embarks on an equally damaged romance). As for its creative credentials, the show, is adapt stars Amy Adamsed from a novel by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn by Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire SlayerUnReal, and, most recently, Dietland), and has Big Little Lies director Jean-Marc Vallée at the helm. So does it live up to the hype?

 

Sharp Objects has the potential to be your next Sunday night HBO obsession: It starts with a grisly murder mystery; immerses you in a lush setting disturbed by an undercurrent of closely guarded secrets; and follows a damaged heroine (who embarks on an equally damaged romance). As for its creative credentials, the show, is adapt stars Amy Adamsed from a novel by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn by Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire SlayerUnReal, and, most recently, Dietland), and has Big Little Lies director Jean-Marc Vallée at the helm. So does it live up to the hype?

In many ways, yes. Sharp Objects is a tantalizing portrait of a broken family in the classic Southern Gothic milieu—think Flannery O’Connor and Katherine Anne Porter meet True Detective and True Blood (aesthetically, at least—there are no actual vampires). It’s strangely refreshing to see a woman in the role of disheveled, workaholic journalist. Adams plays Camille Preaker, sent from St. Louis (Chicago in the novel) by her newspaper’s editor to write about two murders of adolescent girls in her small Missouri hometown of Wind Gap.

 

Her mother, Adora, played magnificently and malevolently by Patricia Clarkson, is clearly disappointed in her less-than-idyllic lifestyle as a reporter in the city and dotes instead on Camille’s half-sister Amma (Eliza Scanlen). At home, Amma is a white dress–wearing angel, but Camille discovers that everywhere else, she’s a bit of a demon. As Camille tries to get to the bottom of who is murdering the more headstrong girls in the town, she and the audience are also trying to figure out what’s killing her.

Vallée cuts to Camille’s childhood to reflect the fractured memories that impede her attempts at narrative clarity: her own and in her reporting. There’s a very serious point to be made here about how insidious stories are when they are used to control and confine, especially for women.

At a certain point, Sharp Objects is a victim of its own prescience. Flynn’s prediction with her first novel—that stories about women being hurt and hurting would resonate in popular culture—has become all too true. If you’re starting to get tired of viewing women only through the prism of suffering, Sharp Objects will not alleviate any of that strain.. Mercifully, the eight-episode limited series packs its punch hard and fast, as any pulpy summer thriller should. Sharp Objects will satisfy as much as it unsettles.

This article was originally posted on Vogue.

Minor changes have been made by the Quiet curator editors.