‘Shining Girls’ review: Apple TV+ reinvents crime TV with a genre-changing show

Apple TV+ continues its impressive content streak with an all-new series of crime thrillers, shiny girls, based on the novel by Lauren Beukes. It stars Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Wagner Moura (Narcos), with Jamie Bell, Phillipa Soo and Amy Brenneman rounding out the impressive cast.

Let me start by saying that I have never been bitten by the “criminal entertainment bug”. And when I watch a fictional crime thriller, I’m usually disappointed with the lackluster endings. However, shiny girls crime genre adventures to get into the supernatural, and while it might seem like a mix that might border on (or knock down) campy, it’s anything but. It breathes new life into an oversaturated lineup of crime television with its metaphysical plot that actually seems perfectly plausible thanks to excellent storytelling and even better performances.


One of the show’s most notable triumphs is that it’s perfectly paced. The early episodes are enigmatic and mysterious enough to keep viewers coming back for more, and the carefully crafted dismantling of the mystery begins before it gets frustrating. A good ending is hard, with so many shows leaving too much to wrap up in one last episode, and that was a flaw. shiny girls was not a victim of. Silka Luisa’s screenplay tells this story so masterfully, with every plot point wrapped up in a concise, well-told arc.

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Perhaps the greatest hidden magic in the series is the culmination of the forced resilience that society imposes on survivors. It was a heartbreaking metaphor for the loneliness survivors feel as they go through their trauma, usually alone. While the plot is gripping and thrilling, the real beauty of this story lies in exploring how, with the help of one person who believes in your story, and your ability to overcome, you can find yourself .

Elisabeth Moss gives a homerun performance, but when doesn’t she? She is without a doubt one of the greatest actresses working today, and this performance is no exception. Much like its longtime incarnation of The Handmaid’s Tale‘s June Osborn, she finds vulnerable strength in Kirby’s trauma. Her raw and honest performance pays homage to the history and similarities some can draw from the traumas of their own lives.


I’m sure I won’t be the only one, but I was thrilled to have Wagner Moura on my screen again. Narcos was the last of his performances that I had seen, where he made me doubt my morals by making me feel sorry for the madman that was Pablo Escobar, so I was excited to see where he would take veteran, downtrodden journalist Dan Velazquez. Needless to say, he’s still a force to be reckoned with, and at least Dan is one to root for. Moura has this hypnotic ability to convey so many emotions without a single word, and it’s on full display here throughout this series. The way he and Moss play each other in each of their shared scenes is electric and undoubtedly one of the many secrets to the show’s undeniable success.

Once considered the underdog, Apple TV+ is truly solidifying itself as one of the best when it comes to reliable quality content. While they may not produce new movies and series like Netflix, it’s a prime example of quality over quantity. Apple is having a hard time missing out on hosting on its plans, and shiny girls is no exception.

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shiny girls premieres with its first three episodes on Friday, April 29, and each subsequent episode will debut weekly until the finale on June 3.

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