“An HBO thriller miniseries based on a novel by Gillian Flynn and starring Amy Adams” is a promising start to any show, but the network is reminding viewers to watch responsibly.
Sharp Objects is HBO’s latest drama, set to roll out tomorrow, Sunday, July 8, at 9 p.m. EST. The show centers on Adams’ character Camille Preaker, a reporter struggling with mental illness and self-harm who had recently been discharged from a psychiatric facility. At the start of the show, Preaker returns to her small Midwest hometown to investigate the murders of two young girls.
Due to the potentially triggering nature of its premise, it appears that the network is following the lead of other shows that also deal with heavy, sensitive topics, including Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, by giving viewers a heads up about the show’s content and offering resources for viewers who might be affected by what’s on-screen.
Final episodes of Sharp Objects will be accompanied with an end card directing viewers to additional support, reading: “If you or someone you know struggles with self-harm or substance abuse, please seek help by contacting the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).” The message will include the number to SAMHSA’s 24-hour national helpline for reference: 1-800-662-HELP (4357). On the official Sharp Objects show page, HBO also directs audiences to Shatterproof, a nonprofit working with families dealing with addiction, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the country’s largest mental health advocacy organization.
Sharp Objects has already been buzzed about as one of, if not the darkest show HBO’s ever made. Based on Flynn’s 2006 bestselling novel of the same name, the show is in many ways a vehicle for female rage and a progression of the #MeToo conversation. Talking to Refinery29, Flynn said a show like Sharp Objects, shaped in the surgical precision and compelling drama of the true crime genre, gives women a “way in to talk about the violence that's directed at us every single day, and in many different ways, small and large.”
Adams leads an all-star cast for the eight-episode limited series, including Patricia Clarkson, Chris Messina, Eliza Scanlen, Elizabeth Perkins, and Matt Craven. Flynn herself is on board as an executive producer and co-writer with Marti Noxon. Sharp Objects is directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.