Memories are fragile, but nothing is quite as breakable as a slippery reality after surviving trauma.
In “Shining Girls,” Elisabeth Moss stars as newspaper archivist Kirby, whose ambitions to become a journalist were halted following a brutal assault. Yet Kirby’s expertise with past newspaper clippings comes in handy after a recent murder mirrors her own attack, and she begins to unravel the century-long mystery behind multiple women’s deaths over decades, as the trailer hints.
Apple TV+’s “Shining Girls” premieres April 29 with the first three episodes, followed by weekly installments. The eight-episode series is based on Lauren Beukes’ novel of the same name, with Moss serving as director and executive producer along with showrunner Silka Luisa.
The metaphysical thriller also stars Wagner Moura as Kirby’s co-worker and journalist who helps solve the mystery; Jamie Bell as the elusive killer; and Phillipa Soo as Kirby’s confidante. Amy Brenneman plays Kirby’s mother and roommate.
The trailer states, “Memories are fragile,” as Moss’ Kirby feels reality slipping from her grasp.
“Shining Girls” is also executive produced by Appian Way and MRC Television. Michelle MacLaren directs the first two episodes, followed by Daina Reid and star Moss’ installments. Lindsey McManus additionally executive produces through Moss’ Love and Squalor Pictures, and Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Davisson, and Michael Hampton executive produce through Appian Way. Director MacLarson executive produces with Rebecca Hobbs for MacLaren Entertainment, and Reid also directs and executive produces. Author Beukes and Alan Page Arriaga serve as executive producers as well.
IndieWire’s Ben Travers wrote in his review of the series that “Shining Girls” may be the “dead girl mystery to end all dead girl mysteries,” thanks to Moss’ expert turn in a “howdunnit.” The series premiered at SXSW 2022.
“Tracking her mounting courage amid unceasing confusion is exciting, but seeing Moss find a through-line for a character almost completely adrift is even better,” Travers praised the “fully engaging thriller,” adding, “The first four episodes are built with a precision worth appreciating on its own. Trust is earned steadily. Each narrative choice feels purposeful. So when events shift from what’s expected of prestige crime thrillers, you’re already on board.”
“Shining Girls” premieres April 29 on Apple TV+.