Apple TV+ is back at it with another head-scratching sci-fi thriller that’ll have you at the edge of your seat. Shining Girls, based on Lauren Beukes’ 2013 novel, follows a newspaper archivist at the Chicago Sun-Times and wannabe journalist in the 1990s, Kirby Mazrachi (played by The Handmaid’s Tale‘s star Elisabeth Moss), who has survived a brutal attack at the hands of a man she never saw, only heard.
As more women are targeted around Chicago, and she uncovers a pile of possibly-related cold cases, Kirby begins to hunt the killer who tried to take her life. But there’s a catch — viewers will also see the story from the perspective of this murderer, Harper Curtis (Jamie Bell), who is using time travel to track his victims and disappear off the grid afterward. The time travel aspect brings an interesting, albeit confusing, layer to the drama as Kirby’s reality goes through major shifts as her past is altered and revisited (her cat becomes her dog, and she inexplicably gains a husband at one point). “She basically has to figure out why is this happening, who is doing it, and how is this happening,” says Moss, also an executive producer and director on the drama.
The eight-episode series is set to debut worldwide on April 29 with its first three episodes, followed by new episodes weekly on Fridays. And if the mystery at the center of this metaphysical drama doesn’t draw you, Bell’s creepy killer certainly will. “I think as a culture, we have this weird, kind of morbid fascination with people like [Harper],” Bell says. “I think mostly because they terrify us, but the question always is, how and why is it possible that people do these kinds of things?…and I wanted to explore that [as an actor].”
And what motivates this guy? Anger towards an entire gender, according to Bell. “Harper’s incredibly threatened by specifically, women, who I think he has a deep hatred for, and he’s threatened by their success, or by their potential, or by their achievement, all of those things he doesn’t possess himself,” he notes. “So, he extinguishes that in them. He takes away their shine.”
Aiding Kirby in her adventure is tired journalist Dan Velazquez (Wagner Moura), who has just returned to the Sun-Times after a leave of absence. “What I like about [Dan] is his connection with Kirby,” says Moura of the bond the coworkers form. “They recognize each other as people that have similar wounds and scars and they know that that other person is going through something that the other understands, which is trying to get their lives on track.”
Watch the video interview above for more intel from Moss, Bell and Moura.
Shining Girls, Series Premiere, Friday, April 29, Apple TV+