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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Sharp Objects 1 and 2: Serial Tennessee Williams

Catching up with the first two episodes of Sharp Objects, the limited summer series on HBO.  It's distantly reminiscent of True Detective and Broadchurch, with a little Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and even "Eleanor Rigby" thrown in (one of the victims had a spider which she kept "in a jar by the door").

The victims are either two or three, depending on how you look at it.  One girl murdered, one girl missing for starters - she turns up a dead - and another who died a while ago.  She's the younger sister of the lead character, Camille Preaker, compellingly played by Amy Adams.  Camille's a reporter in St. Louis, assigned by her editor (always good to see Miguel Sandoval) to investigate the case of two girls in her home town, the fictitious Wind Gap, near Tennessee.

Camille comes loaded with problems, which likely came mostly from the loss of her sister.  She's an alcoholic and she cuts herself.  And it's unclear if she knows how and why her sister died - we certainly don't.  It could've been suicide, murder, accident, or death by natural causes.  The only thing we can likely rule out is death from old age.

So Sharp Objects is first and foremost a whodunit, and there are plenty of suspects.  The fathers of the two murdered girls are always possibilities, and the father of the first, well played by Will Chase, is clearly some kind of sub rosa psycho (now we see why Will left Nashville, which will conclude its run next week).   In addition to Camille, Detective Willis (played by Chris Messina - good to see him back after The Newsroom) has been called in to help by local police chief Vickery (Matt Craven). 

So who's my best guess for the killer at this early point?  I'd say Alan (Henry Czerny, notable in The Tudors), who's Camille's stepfather.  Why?  I don't know.  It's not a woman, because it's been established that the killer was too strong.  The character played by Will Chase (Bob Nash) is too obvious, I like Detective Willis, Chief Vickery seems harmless enough, and something about Alan - maybe those big earphones he always has on - bothers me.

Anyway, good dark - and sharp - mystery here.  And I'll be back with more.

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