'Sharp Objects' has been one of the most anticipated shows of the summer, and for good reason. It marks five-time Oscar nominated Amy Adams' first leading television role and has a team behind it that includes the director of 'Big Little Lies' (Jean-Marc Vallée) and the producers of 'Get Out' (Blumhouse Productions).
So does it live up to expectation? Well yes, but it's very much clear that this is a slow-burn of a show that probably didn't so much leave you with questions after its opening episode last night, but more so left wondering just what exact questions you should be asking.
Adapted from a best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn ('Gone Girl'), the premise initially seems simple, we've seen this before - main character arrives in a small town to investigate a mysterious murder. So far, so 'Twin Peaks', 'Broadchurch', 'Top of the Lake', the list goes on. Camille Preaker (Adams) is a self-destructive reporter forced to return to her home town of Wind Gap, Missouri to get a story behind two missing girls there.
What's different about 'Sharp Objects' at first is the eerie and discomforting style it's shot in. Director Vallée abruptly takes us from one scene to the next and has jarring images flash by in a way that leaves us wondering what in fact is real and what is not.
From the word go we know that Camille is a troubled character. In between slugs of whatever alcohol she can get her hands on she is having intense childhood flashbacks, with 'It' actress Sophia Lillis playing a young Camille (she couldn't look any more like her if she tried). We know there was a little sister, we know that she died, and we know that her death haunts Camille, but there's seem to be so much more to it than that. Also, eh, why does that little sister keep showing up in the background throughout the episode? Did you catch her swinging her legs on the chair in the landing when Camille was saying good night to her mum? CREEPY.
And the mother! The wonderful Patricia Clarkson does a fantastic job in portraying just how strange and slightly disturbing Adora is, down to the high heels while making breakfast and her ethereal dancing in the background as Camille snuck out. The show also introduces Eliza Scanlen, who plays Camille’s rebellious 13-year-old half-sister, Amity '"Amma" Crellin.
Adams delivers a flawless performance once more and is perhaps the female TV anti-hero we have been waiting for. She may be just about functioning but she's got a job to do and gets on with it. You're left constantly wondering just what is going on in that mind of hers and what exactly went on in her past in this quiet little American town.
Although this show was pitted to be the next 'Big Little Lies' it couldn't have felt further from the sweeping shots of Monterey, California, and if anything, the bleakness and mystery of 'Sharp Objects' seems more akin to 'True Detective' than anything else.
So far we have no idea who could be behind the murders in that town of Wind Gap, and at this stage, it oddly seems unimportant. We're sticking around for Camille, for her story and for whatever it is she is burying under all that vodka.