In the first episode of the HBO mini-series Sharp Objects (created by Buffy the Vampire Slayer all-star Marti Noxon; based on Gillian Flynn’s page-turning novel of the same name; directed by Big Little Lies helmer Jean-Marc Vallée), star Amy Adams does the following: drinks, stares at a toilet in a dingy motel room, drinks some more, is a writer, masturbates while thinking of sexually violent photos, chain smokes, passes out in her car outside the local bar, sees a dead girl, walks out of a funeral, cuts herself, and continues to drink.
Point, Sharp Objects is a dark, dour show, where the closest thing to a joke is Adams, as Camille Preaker, calling herself “trash from old money.” It’s also, thanks largely to the canny writing and editing, naturalistic directing, and superb performances (shout out to Patricia Clarkson, who’s constantly on the verge of catching a mighty case of vapors), a very good show. It’s going to be hard to grit through seven more weeks of — mild spoiler for next Sunday’s episode — watching a pig teeth’s get pulled out with pliers, though. We’re here to help.
In Sharp Objects, Amy Adams is a self-harming alcoholic journalist who’s suffered extreme traumas, but sometimes, she gets to play fun characters, too! Here’s what I recommend: after every episode of Sharp Objects, you should watch a light and fluffy and amusing Amy Adams movie (there’s a schedule below). Or in Camille speak: the shot is Sharp Objects, the chaser is…
Episode 1, “Vanish” — The Muppets
Amy Adams was born to be in a Muppets movie playing a school teacher from Smalltown, USA (she also hung out with Elmo once). Here’s how she got the part: “When I heard they were doing a new one, I was really excited. Jason sent me a DVD where he and Kermit were inviting me to be part of The Muppets… Once Kermit asks you to do something, it is really hard to look at him and say, ‘No.’ So I was hooked!” Jealous. The Muppets is delightful, made with warmth and passion from Muppets superfans Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, and they wisely gave Adams her own song: “Me Party.” This is a smile of a movie.
Episode 2, “Dirt” — Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Between Doubt and Julie & Julia, two of her best-known movies, Adams appeared in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, which is definitely… the second best Night at the Museum movie. It’s mostly notable for Mr. Robot star Rami Malek returning as Pharaoh Ahkmenrah and Adams as Amelia Earhart, which is inspired casting. She plays the legendary pilot as Katharine Hepburn with a fun, adventurous spirit. Adams clearly had a blast.