Connect with us

Good TV

HBO’s ‘Sharp Objects’ Subverts the Dead Girl Trope

Published

on

Amy Adams gives a performance unlike any other in “Sharp Objects”

Image: hbo

“We are a culture obsessed with dead girls — so much so that the trope is now a wildly popular sub-genre.

The misogyny of Dead Girl narratives is evident in recent additions like Twin Peaks, True Detective, 13 Reasons Why, The Night Of, and countless others. Most use the corpses of beautiful young women as a vehicle for the growth of male characters.

And that’s just the surface-level issue.

I myself am guilty of an irresistible attraction to the Dead Girl genre. But I’ve always been baffled by its failure to engage with the reality and trauma of everyday violence against women.

Until the new must-watch HBO mini-series Sharp Objects came along, that is, and featured one of the most hypnotically compelling reversals of that cliché.

Starring Amy Adams in a raw and Emmy-worthy performance, the show isn’t just a slow burn. It’s the kind of mystery that festers inside you, like the half-remembered memories of girlhood trauma, boiling under your skin in the unforgiving Southern heat.

Adora (Patricia Clarkson) insists on whitewashing everything in “Sharp Objects”

Image: hbo

It’s the latest adaptation of another bestseller from Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, brought to the screen by Emmy-award winning Big Little Lies director Jean-Marc Vallée. Add the craftsmanship of creator and showrunner Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and you’ve got a story that deals equally in entertainment and profundity, in unrelenting dread and an ineffable aliveness.

The first seven episodes given to press unravel its well-controlled murder mystery, revealing the much more unruly underbelly at its core. Each episode adds to your mounting suspicion that something rotten lies beneath the white lace frills of Wind Gap, a small town in Missouri.

At the heart of that mystery is a single question, asked with faux concern by a gaggle of gossiping mothers: “How can someone hurt little girls?”

Or, in truth – who doesn’t hurt little girls?

Our introduction to Adams’ Camille Preaker finds the reporter drinking vodka in a beat-up car, face slick with sweat and some unknown horror, as her editor urges her to return home for an investigation. The brutalized bodies of young girls are piling up in Wind Gap, and Camille is the only one for the job.

Richard (Chris Messina) as the hunky outsider detective from the big city

Image: hbo

She agrees.

Meeting her estranged mother, Adora Crellin (Patricia Clarkson), is our first clue into what’s behind Camille’s mascara-smudged……..”

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/07/08/sharp-objects-hbo-review/

Good TV

‘Castle Rock’ preview: Four Episodes In and Already Creeped Out

Charmaine Blake

Published

on

Who is this mysterious ‘Castle Rock’ figure, played byBill Skarsgrd (who was also Pennywise in ‘It’)?

Image: Patrick Harbron/Hulu

“Imagine trying to fully process a version of The Shining that cuts off right after Wendy Torrance discovers her husband’s “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” writings.

That’s what it’s like trying to talk about Castle Rock right now. I’m four episodes in on the Stephen King collaboration with J.J. Abrams production banner Bad Robot, and the Hulu-exclusive series definitely has me on the hook… but it could just as definitely still go either way.

Castle Rock is an unusual beast. Rather than adapting a single King story, it weaves in and out of familiar locations, characters, and themes pulled from any number of the author’s works.

The series has a story of its own to tell, but that story involves Alan Pangborn, Shawshank State Prison, and the dark history of Castle Rock, Maine (to name a few). The nods to King lore even extend beyond the fourth wall: Sissy Spacek, the star of Carrie, holds a key role; so does Bill Skarsgård, the Pennywise of 2017’s It adaptation.

Castle Rock is, for lack of a better term, the start of a Stephen King cinematic mash-up universe.

Castle Rock is the start of a Stephen King cinematic mash-up universe.

The story laid out in the opening episodes doesn’t hinge on any knowledge of King lore, of course. The nods are hidden in plain sight, but they’re just that: A name. A vague reference. Fans of King will grin  knowingly at the mention of suicidal Shawshank wardens, but familiarity doesn’t make this story clearer.

The opening episodes of Castle Rock follow two main threads that converge more and more as the story unfolds. Shawshank is a primary setting, with the warden’s sudden and unexpected suicide setting of a chain of events that leads to the discovery of a secret inmate (Skarsgård).

The young man is discovered tucked away in a cage built inside some kind of underground tank, only accessible via a locked hatch. He’s apparently in good health, but there’s no record of his incarceration and he doesn’t speak — save for one name: Henry Deaver (André Holland).

The Deaver family has a history in Castle Rock, one that the opening episodes…..”

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/07/11/castle-rock-hulu-first-look-impressions/

Continue Reading

Good TV

June’s voiceover in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is the key to its endgame

Published

on

The power of June’s (Elisabeth Moss) story in “The Handmaid’s Tale” is that she’s telling it at all.

Image: Hulu

This article contains spoilers for The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2, Episode 11, and speculation about the plot for future seasons.

“More than any other episode before it, “Holly” made clear that June’s voiceovers in The Handmaid’s Tale are more than just a powerful storytelling device.

June is telling her story to someone, somewhere, at some time in the future. And that raises a whole mess of questions we might not even have thought to ask before.

Who is the “you” June is telling her story to? How is she even telling her story at all, when she lives in a society that forbids her from either speaking or writing? What does it mean for her survival — and Gilead’s? And what does this tell us about the show’s endgame?

Who is Offred talking to in the book?

Before Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood’s novel also left open the question of who the “you” might be. But there are important clues.

Some speculate that Offred (June, her real name on the show, is not confirmed in the book) is addressing her husband, Luke, because she refers to falling in love with Nick as “a part you will not like at all.”

Meanwhile, show fans might guess that June is speaking to her newborn daughter, since the voiceover kicks in at the end of “Holly” while she’s looking at the baby.

June is trying to preserve the identities of the faceless, nameless handmaids.

Image: Hulu

Ultimately, however, Offred herself tells us it’s more complicated than that. The first time the “you” is ever used in the book, she explains that she wants to tell her story to us like it’s a letter:

Dear You, I’ll say. Just you, without a name. Attaching a name attaches you to the world of fact, which is riskier, more hazardous: who knows what the chances are out there, of survival, yours? I will say you, you, like an old love song. You can mean more than one. You can mean thousands. I’m not in any immediate danger, I’ll say to you. I’ll pretend you can hear me.

The “you” is neither her husband nor her daughter, because the “you” is… us. All of us. Everyone who might hear her account of what happened, if the world survives Gilead. If she doesn’t survive Gilead.

She tells, therefore they are.

Throughout the book, Offred constantly worries about telling the story right and remembering the events accurately, especially…..”

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/07/03/the-handmaids-tale-voiceover/

Continue Reading

Good TV

I Am The Night is about Solving the Unsolvable

Published

on

Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins must really like Chris Pine and Connie Nielsen, because both of them were announced as cast members in her new TNT miniseries I Am The Night.

Pine plays a reporter who is sucked back into the ice cold Black Dahlia murder when a mysterious teenage girl contacts him with information about the famous case. There will probably be lots of creepy shenanigans and shots of Chris Pine looking pensive in rooms with blinds.

I Am The Night will premiere on TNT in January 2019.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/07/02/chris-pine-patty-jenkins-i-am-the-night/

Continue Reading

Trending