Amy Adams plus Gillian Flynn onto the director of Big Little Lies? The result is an absolute winner…
When somebody recommends a TV show, they can usually sum up why you should watch it in a sentence.
When it comes to Sharp Objects, it’s hard to know how to narrow it down.
How about, “it’s a twisty-turny murder mystery, adapted by Gillian Flynn from her own bestselling book.”
Yes, okay, sold.
Or what about, “Amy Adams is in it, and she’s genuinely never been better.”
Again, take our money please.
And have you also heard how, “it’s packed full of relatable, well-drawn female characters”. Yes, yes, we’re literally turning it on right now.
A single sentence just can’t cover it all, so here are five compelling reasons why Sharp Objects is about to become your next TV obsession.
1. The plot is “just one more” gripping
Okay, so it’s best to go in knowing as little as possible, but here it is in a nutshell: Amy Adams plays Camille Preaker, a journalist battling with unspecified trauma from her past.
When a little girl turns up dead in horrific circumstances in her home town, it looks to her editor like the perfect story to kick-start her career.
However, returning to the sleepy community of Wind Gap opens the door to a whole host of barely-buried demons for Camille.
And things only grow more fraught when a second child is brutally murdered.
Already sold? You should be.
Better still, the whole story is told within an eight-episode arc, so you can rest easy knowing there’s no final-episode cliff-hanger that leaves all the threads hanging.
2. Amy Adams absolutely kills it
We’ve long counted Amy Adams among our absolute favourites, but this just might be her best performance to date.
She gets to show off her full range as Camille, balancing a reporter’s ballsiness with the vulnerability of a bereaved sister, while also depicting a woman whose mental state is slowly starting to unravel.
There’s so much going on with Camille, that she could easily be too “big” a character for another actresses.
It’s a tribute to Adams then that she keeps her believable throughout, while still delivering some truly powerhouse scenes.
If she’s not mopping up the plaudits at next year’s award ceremonies, you have our permission to riot.
Or at least pen a very strongly worded tweet expressing your disappointment.
3. It’s a raw and complex take on female relationships
With its female-dominated ensemble, Sharp Objects passes the Bechdel test and then some.
First up, there’s the queasy, toxic dynamic between Camille and her cruelly calculating mother Adora (shout-out to Patricia Clarkson, chewing up the scenery like a malign Blanch DuBois).
Then there’s the equally complex relationship between Camille and her precocious half-sister, Amma.
Neither feel anything like the kind of family ties we’re used to seeing on TV and they’re all the more engaging for it.
Female friendships are similarly slippery, with the women of Wind Gap simpering, sniping and snarling their way through small-town life.
Only Elizabeth Perkins’ character Jackie seems to be a true friend to Camille, but what exactly are her motives?
And how much does she actually know about Wind Gap’s grisly underbelly?
Did we mention it’s incredibly gripping?
4. It comes from the man behind Big Little Lies
Last year saw us all gripped by Big Little Lies, Jean-Marc Vallée’s uber-glossy tale of sex, lies and betrayal on the California coast, and he’s back behind the camera again here.
And while the claustrophobic township of Wind Gap might feel a world away from Big Sur, there are more than a few comparisons between the two shows.
As before, flashbacks play a big part in proceedings, as the past increasingly bleeds into the present, and there are plenty of characters harbouring some deep dark secrets.
Then there’s that powerhouse female-led cast, the thorny issue of domestic abuse, and Vallée’s keen eye for a sweeping landscape shot.
5. Gillian Flynn adapted it from her own novel
Sharp Objects is adapted from the debut novel of Gillian Flynn, she of Gone Girl fame, and the author herself was heavily involved in adapting the script from page to screen.
She wasn’t holding back when it came to editing the source material either, with Camille’s inner-monologue the most significant element to hit the cutting room floor.
It’s taken 12 long years for this one to make its way on to the small screen, but it’s definitely been worth the wait.
Gone Girl and Dark Places might have been first to make it off the page, but Sharp Objects feels like the most complete piece of the three. Time to get bingeing…
Download Sharp Objects now on iTunes, Amazon Prime, Google Play and Sky Store.