Available: HBO / Sky Atlantic
Starring: Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Eliza Scanlen, Chris Messina
Based on the novel by Gillian Flynn
Vomit Incidence: Episodes 3, 7 and all over the bloody place in episode 8
An alcoholic reporter is sent back to her southern US hometown to write a story about a series of child disappearances. This means reuniting with her dysfunctional family and dealing with the fallout as she uncovers the town’s secrets.
I recently blasted through this series based on a recommendation from a co-worker. I hadn’t originally picked up on it as I wasn’t a big fan of ‘Gone Girl’, author Gillian Flynn’s other famous novel – the book wasn’t very subtle and the film cast Ben Affleck which, for me, is the cinematic equivalent of sticking pins in my eyes. But I was intrigued by Sharp Objects and, with the promise that there was only vomiting in episode 8 (lies, all lies), I watched. And got hooked.
As a ‘whodunnit’ it’s relatively slow-paced but as a study of an abusive and sometimes downright evil family it’s fascinating. The run-down small southern town adds a sense of claustrophobia, the flashbacks to reporter Camille’s past add mystery (kudos for casting the young Beverley from ‘IT’as the young Camille – perfect) and, until the last two episodes you have no idea where the show is going, except that it’s nowhere happy. The cast are all superb, Amy Adams is on top form as Camille and Patricia Clarkson is just terrifying as her mother, Adora. I don’t think I’ve seen a higher quality production this year with the exception of Better Call Saul.
OK, so, I can’t go too much into this without totally spoiling the plot but there’s one incidence in episode three which is telegraphed in advance and one in episode seven which is also easy to predict but, and it’s a BIG but, episode eight is pretty much wall to wall vomit for the first half hour. I can’t say why without ruining it for you, but can say that I spent most of this time watching on mute with my elbow in front of my face. So if you’re an emetophobe be prepared to miss some vital dialogue at the end! Sorry guys.
Less trashy and obvious than Gone Girl and not an Affleck in sight, vomiting notwithstanding, I would definitely recommend this show to fans of drama, murder mysteries and anyone with a weird family. Trust me, this lot will make you thankful for your lot!
TV Show Score: 9/10
NB OCD: 8/10 – Eight, for episode eight. Watch it but remember I warned you!