Review: ‘Sharp Objects’ Episode 2, ‘Dirt’


HBO’s limited series, “Sharp Objects,” is starting to drift a bit farther away from the novel. Whether or not that’s a bad thing (to those who read Gillian Flynn’s debut work) will be in the eyes of each beholder. I have no major objections to the differences so far, and some are very necessary for any television adaptation.

But, for those who have not read the novel, I am a little worried that the story has not been changed up in a way that speeds up the story. If Episode 3 does not move a bit more quickly, HBO may lose the audience that is just now being introduced to the characters in Wind Gap.

The major differences in Episode 2, “Dirt,” are scenes that do not involve Camille (Amy Adams). The novel is told in the first person and has no other points of view, so she is in every scene. In “Dirt,” we watch a couple of scenes without Camille. This is standard for television and movies these days and generally (in my opinion) makes on-screen storytelling better.

A couple of those involved Detective Willis (Chris Messina), which was good. He is a good actor worthy of every second of screen time as HBO will give him. The best non-Camille scene was Willis pulling teeth from a pig’s head. He tells Camille he did this later, leading to the best bit of dialogue in the series so far regarding the southern ties between the phrases “fuck you” and “bless your heart.”

I also very much enjoyed the different approach Natalie Keene’s mother took during the eulogy. In the novel, she was polite, as one would expect a Wind Gap woman to be. In the TV show, her speech was much more full of pain and a desire for vengeance. A change for the better, in my opinion.

On the other hand, I did not see any need for the scene between Adora and her husband, Alan Crellin. It did not make me feel anything, and I thought it just took up screen time.

I am also not a fan of how hard the show is trying to sell us on Ann Nash’s father as a suspect in the girls’ deaths. The novel does this just a tiny bit, but so far they are basically pointing to Mr. Nash with a giant arrow that reads, “RED HERRING.”

I was glad we were finally able to see the floor of Adora’s room and then cutting straight to Amma polishing her miniature version.

I also noticed that Jodes was not the member of Amma’s crew that was written out of the show. I assume they are going to keep her around for her small piece of significance at the end.

I am still enjoying the series and like spotting the differences and easter eggs (such as more words written on objects rather than flaring up on her skin as they do during internal dialogue in the novel), but I fear HBO may start getting increasingly negative reviews if the series doesn’t get a little darker a little quicker.

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