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How Sharp Objects Is Doing What Other Shows Aren’t

As of late in film and tv shows, female characters have been portrayed as the complete definition of empowerment and at the forefront of every movement. They are depicted as fighting for rights, rising above her mistakes, taking the world by storm, and defeating the patriarchy that stands in her way. As beautiful and dreamy as that sounds, it’s just not realistic.

There has been a surge of female leads that embody this while always sneaking in that catchphrase, “girl power,” and then calling it a day. Now, I’m not trying to say that this type of woman is a bad thing; it’s great for young girls, and even older women, to see these types of female characters on the screen. But this phenomenon has created a stagnant female character that people aren’t buying anymore.

Sharp objects is quite the opposite in their depiction of a female protagonist and, honestly, that’s why it works so well. Camille Preaker is a journalist who goes to her hometown to investigate the murder of two young girls. Camille eventually discovers just how twisted the people who live in her hometown are and worst of all: her family.

Camille is not the hero of this story. There actually isn’t a hero, which might turn some people off, but it shows reality in its messiest and truest form. She is unapologetically sad and broken. Her life is falling apart in front of her, and she is figuring it out as she goes. She makes many mistakes and at some points, you just want to shake her and ask, “what are you doing?” But that doesn’t diminish her character or make her weak. She is in control of her actions; consciously doing what she wants to do on her own terms. Even though those actions might not have the best outcomes. She’s figuring things out as she goes and not everything turns out perfect. Actually, it turns out to be the opposite of perfect.

Another reason this show stands out from most is the abundant amount of female character with depth and complicated stories. Everyone in town assumes that a man was responsible for the deaths of the young girls, however, as the story dives deeper it reveals the mysterious antics of the women, leaving you with more and more questions as you go. 

There are three main plot twists that change the entire story and the way we view female characters. The female characters drive the story; the story doesn’t drive them. They are multidimensional and do things you would least expect. Especially when you find out who the actual killer is. But I won’t spoil that for you because you’ll have to go watch it yourself. 


Carrie Shaheen

Miami (OH) '19

Miami University President/Writer
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