In lieu of telling you what Apple TV+'s is really about on a plot level, the core premise of the source material has been changed into a spoiler, I'll tell you what the eight-episode series is about on a practical level.
No single actor in the past 25 years has a more reliable television record than. Even though Shining Girls may not instantly stand as a key data point on her unimpeachable resume, it's further proof that when it comes to audience buy-in, whether the story is seemingly conventional or intimidatingly out-there, having Moss at the top of the call sheet is as close as you will ever get.
Airdate for the Friday of April 29 (Apple TV+)
Elisabeth Moss, Wagner Moura, Phillipa Soo, Amy Brenneman, Chris Chalk, and Erika Alexander are all cast members.
Silka Luisa, her creator, is inspired by Lauren Beukes' book "Creativity."
The concept of Shining Girls is shady and intimidating.
Kirby Mazrachi, a research assistant for the Chicago Sun-Times, was attacked and left for dead six years later by a vicious assailant, who was never identified, leaving her withdrawn and scarred, physically and psychologically.
Kirby begins investigating with the help of Dan (Wagner Maura), a reporter with his own demons. This sets off a cat-and-mouse with an untraceable serial killer (Jamie Bell) who may already have targeted his next victim (Phillipa Soo's Jin-Sook), a researcher at the Adler Planetarium.
Right, this is a little bit familiar, if not intrinsically common.
It's almost certainly that Kirby is experiencing unnoticeable changes to her reality. Sometimes it's simple changes, like discovering herself working at a desk across the room from her normal desk. However, sometimes Kirby is going home and discovering that she had a husband who certainly wasn't there before. That's the sort of thing that may, for some, be a result of your head already being dehydrated.
Anybody who has read Lauren Beukes' 2013 novel is already a little bit confused. The shifts to Kirby's reality have mostly been made from whole cloth, and the mystery of what's happening with Kirby and her pursuer on the page isn't much of a mystery at all. It's probably the first sentence of any summary.
The Shining Girls the "The" has also gone missing in the transition to TV as a clue to his survival trauma, however, I didn't think it really explored the implications of that hook.
Silka Luisa, a TV showrunner, has given the book a complete overhaul, but the changes are for the better. Shining Girls prefers to get viewers to see the shocking events with Kirby's eyes. There's a lot of chances that you'll catch up well before Kirby and Dan do the work, but there's no danger that their failure to answer the appropriate questions will become irritant. If you want a victim-seeks-vengeance drama, Shining Girls does
Kirby is a bit calm and happy, others are slouched and eyes downcast as she prepares to slip into a chair or join a wallpaper. Perhaps her actions have shifted her appearance to a supernatural level, but perhaps she was left unable to align actual reality with her actual situation. Perhaps her memories have become so warped that she can't connect the things she used to live.
Because of how convincingly Moss takes on Kirby's dilemma, it's completely possible to claim that the trippier genre elements aren't there at all or don't matter. Moss is often used to playing previously-and-after versions of characters, sometimes in the strict chronology of a Mad Men or West Wing, but equally frequently to falling between them, as she has done for years on Handmaid's Tale. This is so often and so well that you won't see Shining Girls as much revel
I discovered that regardless of the severity of Moss' character's torment, she will never skip steps or escalate abruptly in the name of an Emmy-reel moment. Kirby is smart and capable, but she is an open wound, and unlike the horrible scarring on her chest, the trauma cannot be covered with a baggy sweater.
The directors of The Shining Girls (starting with Michelle MacLaren and then executive producer Daina Reid) despise Kirby's characterization more effectively than the progression of the plot. Sometimes she lives in a situation of dexterity and tension, which we know is on the verge of something terrible. However, the series isn't monotonous. There are bursts of color and light, manifestations of hope or optimism. Soo's character is able to remain awake in the present
The nature of what is actually happening in the book is reduced to something mechanical. The series does not intend to permit that reduction to occur, but it lacks ironically, a clear sense of mechanics. Even if you know generally what is happening, the hows and whys never really materialize, which is something more likely to bother viewers as a thriller than as a character study.
It doesn't help that none of Moss' supporting players have much to play. Moura has a bad personality, but Dan isn't really scary or disturbing. Soo does as well as she can with a character who only shares a name with a figure from the book, but I doubt anyone else could. I enjoyed Chris Chalk in a gentle-but-underwritten role as one of Kirby's co-workers and Madeline Brewer as a dancer with a broad background, and
When I finished the book, my reaction boiled down to: "Well that was a good idea, but at least it's tidy." After watching eight episodes of the series, I felt that there was a desire to make it more nuanced. However, the ending is tidy enough to tackle bigger-picture questions (not the least of which relates to the title, which is blur on the page and nearly meaningless here).
Apple TV+ regards Shining Girls as an ongoing series, thus there's at least a possibility that Luisa and its employees will be able to regroup and assemble compelling answers. Even if I don't have a clue where the story will go, several years of Peak TV have proven that I'll likely follow Moss wherever it goes.