Sharp Objects is a brand new show on HBO starring Amy Adams. Sharp Objects has already earned strong reviews not just for being a compelling drama, but for how it deals with the main character, Camille Preaker, and her mental health and addiction issues.
Television Shines a New Spotlight on Self-Harm, Addiction, and Mental Health
Sharp Objects was created by Gillian Flynn, the author of Gone Girl. She’s a woman who clearly knows dark subjects. Sharp Objects is hitting the airwaves right after Shirley Manson, the lead singer of Garbage, has come forward and admitted that she’s “a cutter,” or someone who practiced self-mutilation. The title of the series Sharp Objects is clearly a reference to the disorder. This disorder can also fit under the term “self-harm,” and it’s a subject that is not getting as much attention as it should.
On the show, it is revealed that Adams’s character wears baggy clothes to hide the scars she has inflicted on herself. While the character’s demons drive her to cut herself, she’s an alcoholic as well.
HBO knows that this show is tough stuff to watch, and at the end credits they’re running the phone number for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (They’re also directing viewers to a website where they can seek out further resources if they need help.)
Rooting For a TV Character to Combat Addiction and Self Harm
Looking at herself in scar make-up from head to toe, Adams could understand the shame that someone could feel when they practice self-harm. Everyone on the crew was professional while she looked at herself naked, covered in scar make-up, but she told The Fix, “To me, there’s such a humiliation to it…I had to confront my body and I’d stopped working out to play Camille because I thought, ‘She’s not gonna be toned…’”
Despite Camille’s addictions and mental health troubles, fans of the show will probably be rooting for her to come out of her dark tunnel. Author Flynn is hoping Objects will make the audience aware of the character’s addictions, and she told the Hollywood Reporter, “I hope they take comfort from (the story). I think Camille is someone who’s undergone a lot of psychic pain and out of all the characters I’ve created, Camille’s the one that people talk to me the most about…I think people can really connect with her and really root for her.”
Sharp Objects and Family Trauma
The show also looks into Camille’s family background. Many times addiction, mental health issues and trauma can be linked back to your family, and this is clearly the case in Sharp Objects. Eliza Scanlen, who plays Camille’s sister, told the Hollywood Reporter, “It’s about a multi-generational family dealing with trauma, and we see what happens behind closed doors. I think that’s a very delicate topic to explore, hence why it’s never really explored. Hopefully this show and the trauma that we see and the coping mechanisms that people use to overcome their trauma, hopefully, it will open up conversations to mental health and mental health awareness. That’s all I could ever hope for.”