Spoilers were here just a second ago.
I wasn’t really looking for something dark, but something just came up. This is a rather somber, very serious adaptation of a crime thriller and drama with a rather peculiar reality twist. I must warn you, this one does not offer any particular lightness and tends to get heavy. That being said, it is intriguing although not for a casual audience. It’s one of those shows I’d rather watch only a few episodes at a time. You’ll see what I mean.
Shining Girls (2022) was created by Silka Luisa based on the novel of the same name by Lauren Beukes. In Chicago of 1990, Kirby Mazrachi (Elizabeth Moss) works at the Chicago Sun-Times as a research assistant. After a brutal murder, she learns the victim’s wounds resembles hers. She decides to confide on veteran reported Dan Velazquez (Wagnon Moura) and reveal to him that she’s a survivor and that she knows there are other victims. Kirby is not only haunted by the attack, her reality changes as she finds suddenly living in a different apartment, having a different pet or just living a slightly different life. Meanwhile we’re watching the mysterious and sinister character of Harper (Jamie Bell) as he seems to be able walking in and out of women’s lives knowing exactly what is going to happen next.
This is a rather more dark and complicated narrative seems we have a character that is apparently able to traverse time and affect the lives of people he runs into. Kirby herself has tried coping by keeping notes, which also change as things change. And yes, this sounds like I’m giving the entire thing away but it’s not really a twist. It’s the show’s very nature to keep you in the dark about what’s coming next. You are either going to find it intriguing or too jarring.
Elizabeth Moss’ performance as Kirby is central here. As long as you can find her engaging, it is quite an interesting albeit morbid series. Her performance has a calm nervousness where you can feel her anxiety rise underneath the surface but she manages to keep herself under control – just by a string. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Jamie Bell as Harper who provides the creepiest serial killer vibes I’ve watched on a show in a long time. The other performance belongs to Wagnon Moura as Dan Velazquez, who provides a third point of view as a veteran reporter struggling with alcoholism and trying to raise a son.
Recommended with reservations. It’s seriously dark. The time-bending concept used by serial killer does not offer any levity, and casual viewers will find it jarring. The performances are on point, but the atmosphere is so heavy I’d warn against trying to binge this one. Not a family show, not a casual watch but if you want something deep and dark this might be just the thing to sink your teeth into. It’s not altogether horror, but a rather dark, tense and imaginative thriller. Worth a watch, just make sure you limit your doses.
That will do for now.