Tuesday, May 31, 2022

TV Tuesday: Shining Girls

Sometimes, I just want to start a review with, "OMG, I am LOVING this so much!," and that is true of Shining Girls, a new Apple TV series based on an excellent novel. My husband and I both read the novel back in 2014 (my review is at the link but contains spoilers that are revealed early in the book but not in the TV show, so I recommend reading it after you are partway through the TV series). We both thought the book was so good that I also bought it for my dad for his birthday, and he loved it, too. So far, the TV series is capturing what made the book so outstanding.

Kirby, played by Elisabeth Moss, is living a somewhat limited life, where she is clearly trying not to bring attention to herself. Though she used to be an up-and-coming reporter, she is now working as an archivist clerk for the Chicago Sun-Times, usually hidden away in the basement. She lives with her mother, though something strange is happening to Kirby. She keeps meticulous notes about the details of her life because sometimes things inexplicably shift. For instance, she comes home and has a cat named Grendel, except that some days when she comes home, her pet Grendel is a dog. She was brutally assaulted years ago and ever since, this uncontrollable, random shifting has been occurring in her reality that constantly keeps her off-balance. Then a new woman is brutally murdered, and Kirby sees unmistakable similarities with her own attack. She feels compelled to look into it and gets a reporter named Dan, played by Wagner Moura, involved in helping her to investigate. Dan has his own issues, with drinking and being deemed unreliable by his colleagues, but together, they begin to find other cold cases going back decades that match Kirby's attack and the recent murder. Meanwhile, the audience sees--but Kirby is unaware of--a creepy, mysterious man, played by Jamie Bell, stalking another woman and lurking around the city.

As I mentioned, some key aspects of this mystery are spelled out early in the novel but are only hinted at in the first episodes of the TV show, so I've been careful not to include any spoilers in my review. We've watched four episodes so far (of eight planned), and the suspense and mysteries are mounting. Of course, Elisabeth Moss is outstanding here as Kirby (is there nothing she can't do?), and the supporting cast is excellent also. We already knew from reading the book that the premise is wonderfully imaginative (and chilling), and it's fun to see the secrets beginning to unspool. We are completely hooked so far, and it's quickly become my favorite TV show among the dozen or so we are currently watching. Like I said, I LOVE this show! It's a mystery/thriller unlike any other.

There are currently seven episodes of Shining Girls available on Apple TV, and the final episode drops this Friday, so it is definitely bingeable! Just leave the lights on ...


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