TV Review: Sharp Objects “Dirt” S01E02 ⚰️

Old habits die hard for Camille Preaker.

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CREDIT: HBO

This post for Sharp Objects “Dirt” contains spoilers.

As I have read the original novel by Gillian Flynn, I’m getting a little impatient waiting to see what’s going to happen next in this TV series. “Dirt” (2018) focuses on the aftermath of Natalie Keene’s death and shows how the town is grieving with their loss; Camille continues on with her investigation and finds information that the police has overlooked.

In “Dirt”, the tension between Camille (Amy Adams) and Adora (Patricia Clarkson) are high; the flashbacks showed us why the mother and daughter have such a tense relationship. Camille turns back to her old habits of self-harm with the pocket sewing kit that she bought at a kiosk. What I appreciated about this episode was how I got a closer glimpse into Camille’s mind and why she turns to alcohol and self-harm to contain her issues.

My demons are not remotely tackled, they are just mildly concussed.

– Camille Preaker

The flashback scene of young Camille (Sophia Lillis) and Adora at the funeral home was heartbreaking for me to watch. It was sad to see how a mother would distant herself from her daughter; Adora’s actions felt so purposeful, it’s almost as if she hates Camille and blames her for the death of her younger daughter Marian.

This episode features more hidden words just like the first episode. Vulture is compiling those words for every episode—it’s super helpful to read, especially since I didn’t notice all of the words the first time I watched the episode. “Scared” and “Whatever” stood out to me; the latter word was brought up by Camille to her editor, as she thought it might be related to the Keene household.

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“SCARED” CREDIT: HBO

As for the music in “Dirt”, one particular scene that featured the song A Woman’s Hands by Joe Tex stood out to me. The intercut scene featured Camille talking on the phone with her news editor Frank Curry; after he hangs up the phone, he plays A Woman’s Hands in his living room; his wife, who does not appear on-screen and instead, shouts from the kitchen (or wherever she is), “Yeah right” to the first lyrics of the song, which goes:

You and I have come a long way together? Haven’t we baby?

Frank’s wife’s response to the lyrics also suggests the playful relationship that they have; and it allows audiences to understand the emotional connection that these characters have. I loved how music is being used as an “active participant” in this scene. In most TV shows, music is just background noise and is used to complement a particular scene; but in this case, music is included as a diegetic sound where the actor directly interacts with it. I guess this is what I love about Jean-Marc Vallée’s work; he does this as well in multiple scenes in Big Little Lies; and he also worked with the same music supervisor Susan Jacobs for both shows.

Rating: 4/5

Sidenotes on “Dirt”:

  • I know how Marian dies, so I really can’t understand why Adora is like that. Even in the books, she behaves like a b*tch.
  • I recognised Camille’s stepfather Alan (Henry Czerny) from the TV show Revenge!
  • Are the hidden words in every episode going to lead up to anything or does it represent Camille’s thoughts and emotions in those particular scenes where the words are shown?

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