I’ve always considered myself a bit of a geek. Or is it a nerd. A geeknerd. A…neek? Anyway, there’s been a monumental shift in popular culture over the past few years. All the nerds and geeks that got picked on and teased, say twenty years ago? Yeah, they run shit now. Which is cool. Part of that geek culture is why we’re living in a ‘golden age’ of television. But I’ve felt a little left out.
I played baseball in high school, but I was never a jock. Not even close. I was way too nerdy and shy to fit in with the jocks, with their letter jackets and cheerleader girlfriends. I got along okay with my teammates, but I wasn’t really friends with them, except for one or two. No, my friends were the ones who didn’t care that I was such a goof—in fact, many of them were goofs themselves. So in high school I found myself hanging out with skaters, metalheads, and yes, the nerds/geeks (which sounds like they’re opposites, but in their own way all those groups were outcasts). As the years progressed after high school, I kept it nerdy where my friends were concerned. I met new friends who read comic books and played D & D and Magic; I’ve never played those games even once, and only read a handful of comic books in my life, but I’m at least partially familiar with the culture. And I felt like I got them; the ones who didn’t fit in anywhere else.
I bring all that up to say this: It’s been a little weird the last few years—Marvel damn near owns Hollywood, and Game of Thrones is one of the biggest things on TV, and I don’t have much interest in any of it.
I’ve been outgeeked.
Worse still, there hasn’t been much for me to get geeky about. I really liked Hannibal, but the second season is still sitting on my DVR unwatched. It’s just not can’t miss, oh-my-god-did-you-see-that?!? worthy. Other than that, I watch TV, and I like my handful of shows, but there hasn’t been anything to get me too fired up. The last show I really just could not wait to watch every week was Lost. I didn’t hate the ending, but it was Season 5 when I was in up-to-my-eyeballs geekdom. For me, that was when the show was really firing on all cylinders, letting their freak flag fly, and keeping me guessing as to what the hell could possibly happen next. And, mystery of mysteries, I missed out on Breaking Bad as it was happening. That’s priority #1 when I finally pull the trigger and get Netflix.
But now, finally…something for me to geek out about.
If it seems like I just wrote about Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, it’s because I did. I just read the book last month and really enjoyed it. After I finished it, I checked the IMDB page for it to see if it was headed to theaters anytime soon and found nothing. So imagine my surprise when new recently broke that the novel’s being turned into a TV show.
This excites me for a number of reasons.
- It’s a good book. If it’s a completely faithful adaptation, it would make two (or maybe three, if they’re short) riveting seasons of television.
- Gillian Flynn doesn’t seem to mind playing around with her work. She’s reportedly written an entire new third act for the big screen adaptation of Gone Girl, so I wouldn’t put it past her to give the okay to completely screw around with the plot, if she’s not involved in said screwing around herself.
- The characters are weird, weird people. If the decision is made to tweak the book, it would be great fun for whoever is in that writer’s room. Depending on which direction they’d like to take, they could play it pretty straight, like a CBS-style procedural, or (I’m kind of crossing my fingers here) go a little more out of left field and play up the eccentric, neurotic nature of the characters and the town itself. They could easily make Wind Gap, Missouri the strangest, most surreal city on TV since Twin Peaks. The book is full of psychos, sickos, and stepford wives, and I’d love to see them turn up the bizarre to eleven.
- The showrunner (and one of the principal writers) is Marti Noxon. Marti’s a talented writer and producer who’s worked on Mad Men, Glee, Prison Break, and Grey’s Anatomy. That’s all well and good, but the reason her name makes me all tingly is because she was (along with Joss Whedon, of course) one of the primary writers and Executive Producer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, number 2 on the official BoJ list of greatest TV shows of all time. Her involvement with Sharp Objects takes it from merely a “Hmm, that could be interesting,” to “Oh my god, when does it start?!!?”
The biggest variable may end up being which network snatches the project up. If it ends up on network TV, it would be at least slightly hindered but could still work. As Hannibal has proven, the boundaries for the networks are being pushed to new limits constantly.
A cable channel, like TNT or AMC would be better, but my ultimate choice would be HBO or Showtime—preferably the former, as we only have Showtime temporarily, thanks to a promotional deal courtesy of DirecTV.
Who knows? The show could disappoint me immensely, and a few months from now I could be on here bitching and moaning about everything that’s wrong with it. But for now, it’s the unknown, the speculation, that’s so exciting.
What about you guys? What TV shows or movies have you all foaming at the mouth in a geek-induced rabies?