HBO’s shifty mystery Sharp Objects is now over, and fans may fear the dreaded show hole. And, really, how can you replace such a dark, smart series? Two words: The Act. According to Deadline, this upcoming series from Hulu is getting closer to fruition — and it is already shaping up to be just as twisted (and addictive!) as Sharp Objects. Bonus: The always-brilliant Patricia Arquette and up-and-comer Joey King are set to star.
With a build-up like that, you’re probably wondering what the show’s about, right?
The Act is a seasonal crime anthology series with a disturbing backstory. Written by Nick Antosca and Michelle Dean, the series is rooted in real-life events. It’s based on a 2016 Buzzfeed article written by Dean, “Dee Dee Wanted Her Daughter to Be Sick, Gypsy Wanted Her Mom to Be Murdered,” in which a young girl struggles to escape the toxic — quite literally — relationship with her mother.
According to Deadline, King (The Kissing Booth) will play Gypsy, a “cheerful and gracious” girl who uses a wheelchair because of her illness. Arquette will play Gypsy’s overprotective mother; she’s sure to bring a tortured nuance to Dee Dee’s oppressive control over her daughter.
Things take a particularly dark turn when Gypsy, who has begun to explore her sexuality, stumbles across the truth that her lifelong illness has been an illusion created by her mother. She ultimately decides she wants her life back — and she wants to take her mother’s away.
If this stranger-than-fiction true story sounds familiar, you may have already seen the 2017 documentary retelling, Mommy Dead and Dearest — produced by HBO, ironically, the same network responsible for Sharp Objects. The documentary focused on Dee Dee’s Munchausen syndrome by proxy and the tragic toll it took on Gypsy’s life. Does that ring a bell, Sharp Objects fans?
More: Patricia Arquette Pointed Out a Huge Error in the Oscars In Memoriam Segment
This sort of external exposition about The Act’s main characters only adds to its intrigue. Although Gypsy is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for murder, she has said she feels at peace, arguably for the first time in her life. “I get to start over,” she said in the documentary. “I’m newly born.”
Gypsy will be 32 years old when she is eligible for parole in 2024. As for The Act, a premiere date hasn’t yet been released.