Don’t Miss Shining Girls, Elisabeth Moss’s New Mind-Bending Thriller

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Shining Girls premiered on Apple TV+ on April 29, 2022. It’s a mind-bending American thriller…enough to spark your curiosity and demand attention throughout the streaming series. Even without the indelible Elisabeth Moss in the starring role as Kirby Mazrachi (once known as Sharon Leadst), it’s still a must-watch on Apple TV+! (Subscribe to Apple TV+ to watch this thriller series.)

The Shining Girls series is based on the 2013 book by Lauren Beukes. Silka Luisa created and wrote the adaptation for TV, then she was the Executive Producer and Showrunner. With Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson signed on as Executive Producers, the show was bound to get some attention. Even bestselling writers like Stephen King have raved about Shining Girls

So, what is the series all about, and why is this special brand of mind-bending alternate reality so compelling? 

Shining Girls: Is It All About Kirby?

Sharon (aka Kirby, played by Elisabeth Moss) is a woman who appears to be on the verge of a journalistic career, but her dreams are stalled when a serial killer slices her up and leaves her for dead. When she recovers from her near-death experience, she changes her name, but she experiences inexplicable changes in her reality (work, home situation, etc.).

The apparent incoherence in her grasp of reality makes her an unreliable witness in the police’s search for the would-be killer. It means that everyone, including her mother, thinks that she’s crazy. The thriller series weaves in and out of alternate realities as the past and present blur for Kirby and the serial killer, Harper Curtis (Jamie Bell). 

Kirby is at the center of the series, but she’s not the only “shining girl,” she’s just the only one who survived. Yes, she’s broken. She questions her own sanity, and she expects to be seen as a pariah. She makes mistakes, and she undermines her own credibility, but she also has the courage to continue to dig into the past, even with all the roadblocks and danger. 

What Does Time Have to Do With Shining Girls

Shining Girls references the series of girls who were butchered by Harper, but the plot is driven by Kirby, who reinvented herself even as she watched as those she knew and loved slip through her fingers. Everyone might think she’s crazy, but she has a firmer grasp of reality than anyone. She knows Harper better than anyone, so she’s the only one who can fully face him and his shifting realities. 

Kirby is the only one who is willing and able to grasp what the threads of reality really mean. She can’t take anything at face value, and she’s already seen that none of the traditional paths to justice will ever stop Harper, so she loses herself completely and reclaims her own history. She rewrites reality to “save” the shining girls and put an end to Harper’s sadistic killing spree. So, Kirby reclaims a sense of empowerment as she revives what’s been lost for so many years.


What are your thoughts on Elisabeth Moss’ new role in Shining Girls? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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