on life, music etc beyond mainstream


Sharp Objects (season 1)



Looking back on my „televisionary“ evenings of 2018, it all started with some older shows. I didn‘t believe the old Western genre still had too many fires to open till I had seen the seven episodes of Godless. The final season of The Leftovers still lingers on in all its surreal glory. Many critics said the crime and court drama series Seven Seconds would be a slow shot and way too long, but I strongly disagree. And, David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: The Return is the most radical way of undermining nostalgia and well-trodden paths of mythology. Depending on your free time schedule, your dreams of traveling, dancing and making love in the coldest season, it‘s always a pleasure to dive, in between, or all night through, into some of the best things this year has delivered on TV in ways of deep thrills, catharsis and widening horizons. My number 1 is Sharp Objects. Best melange of sound and vision since the days of Mad Men. It‘s mesmerising. 

(Michael Engelbrecht) 


01 Sharp Objects (season 1)*

02 Americans (season 6)

03 Succession (season 1)

04 The Deuce (season 1 & 2)

05 The Sinner (season 2)

06 Killing Eve (season 1)

07 Bodyguard (season 1)

08 Unforgettable (season 3)

09 Homeland (season 7)

10 Shetland (season 4)


Why was it important to have each opening credit sequence of SHARP OBJECTS feature a different song?


Sue Jacobs (music supervisor): It doesn’t actually feature a different song. Everybody is gonna go back and go, ooooooh.


What! Really?


It’s the same piece of music interpreted in eight different ways. Now you’ll go back and check that out, girlfriend. Some people have gotten it, but most people haven’t figured it out. For Jean-Marc, title sequences always come late with him. He always starts it with the end. It was the same with Big Little Lies, too. In Big Little Lies, the ocean was the power of the women, and that’s where he wanted to build his main titles from.


In Sharp Objects, the one thing that’s very consistent is Alan, who’s always in that record room, playing records all the time and trying to deal with his dead-end marriage. He loves Adora and loves living there, but it’s not a loving relationship. It shows what a painful existence he’s in. So he has his music, and so does Camille. With the titles, we started with Alan’s music and a piece from the score called “Dance and Angela,” which is very much something Alan would put on. We put that through machinations of all the different mirrored textures of music we have in the show. You’ll hear that same melody in solo piano, in solo voice, in hip-hop — really representing the vibrations we have musically throughout these characters. Once you pick up on the melody and play them all back-to-back, you’ll start to hear it’s an interpretation of the same thing.


One of the things I admire about your Sharp Objects work, and you brought this up earlier with Camille’s iPod, is that it’s always presented diegetically. [Diegetische Musik im Film ist ein Bestandteil der im Film gezeigten Welt; Anm. MHQ] Why do you think presenting music in this way is more effective than cueing it up as background noise for the viewer?


It definitely goes back to Jean-Marc’s intention of not having a composer. Everything is intentional to pace and move the internal narrative along, which is what a score does. All of those things are happening and that’s really the Jean-Marc storytelling style — he’ll call me way before we shoot a show going, “Record player here, iPod over here,” so we know where we’re going. His commitment to this faces a lot of challenges, though, especially when you get something tension or thriller-y. You read the book and are like, “Well, how do you do that without a score?” Because people use [the] score for tension and the unknown and all that, and we don’t do that. Never!


(from: Vulture‘s telling interview with Sue Jacobs on creating the killer soundtrack for Sharp Objects. Before reading it, apart from these two passsages, one should see the series which, by the way, is telling one story from start to end. There will be no season 2.) 

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