I knew this show is a slow burn but where’s the heat? No episode except “Ripe” (#4) has approached the pilot in quality. “Closer” flirts with shifting action before closing up any major inflicted wounds. It’s a shock any disaster at the Calhoun Day festival seems like business as usual for Wind Gap. Amma runs off to the woods high on drugs and a fight breaks out. The only shock to me is the stupidity of our co-leads that audiences and even the actors themselves agree on. Its dispiriting to see so much stock put into characters that are complex and then have them be this stupid. Rust Cohle was an anti-social detective but he at least had valuable insight. Camille Preaker and Detective Willis do not have any redeeming qualities. They aren’t as unlikable as they could be, but still make questionable decisions, as broken as they are. Willis does not dress up for the town’s biggest day and complains nobody will talk to him looking to lock one of them up. He’s smart enough to get a haircut for the day but dumb enough to wait until the day of to do it. He doesn’t take part, that’s fine, but neither he does he keep enough distance.
The biggest disappointment of “Closer” is how it flirts with game changing material. There are frenetic point of view changes, then the show disposes that tension . The only move for the show to make is for something to have already happened and tie in its significance later. That’s likely the fight that breaks out between the Bob Nash (the first victim’s father) and John Keene (the second victim’s brother). We don’t know enough about either of them to care. There’s been too little narrative progression on this show. Viewership has slipped rather than generating heat to fuel a summer hit. I maintain there is a weakness in the old format of more than one writer. To me it creates a lack of specificity and depth. I remain optimistic. There’s no reveal that tells us anything we don’t know, except Camille dated the drama teacher Amma hit on. The clothes shopping incident is effective but introduces ideas we don’t care about. Is a loner murder detective who agreed to finger you in the forest before kissing you, is aware of your traumatic upbringing, and has now had sex with you, going to care much about the physical scaring that’s a result of those traumas? HBO is betting on that tension. Maybe they can provide an interesting answer.
Sharp Objects is running out of room to make an impression. At this point it has to have a double climax physical and emotional in episode 7 “Falling” and 8 “Milk” to be a satisfying trip. The next episode #6 “Cherry” will have to do some real digging beyond the surface the show has shown. I still however remain hopeful in the entertainment prospects of Wind Gap.
Rating: “Something Better Happen Soon!”