Meanwhile, Pyre is a family man and church member, whose faith is tested by the grim nature of the crime and the defensive response from local officials. Balanced by his grizzly partner (Jill Birmingham), he’s an outsider who’s more than willing to play the bad cop if that’s what’s required.
However, the central puzzle provides a strong hook, and the material is levitated by an extraordinarily good staff, with Sam Worthington, Wyatt Russell and Rory Culkin as Allen’s older brothers, with Allen saying adorably, “I couldn’t hear the Holy Spirit in the same way that Allen had My brothers do it” after they told Bear, “You may not be as good of a Mormon as you think.”
Not only is “Under the Banner of Heaven” a great show, but it’s a very good one, which is more than can be said for “Shining Girls,” which mostly squanders a cast under the titles of Elisabeth Moss, who also serves as producer. .
Jimmy Bell co-stars as a mysterious time traveler, while Philippa Sue (“Hamilton”) is another potential victim. However, the interpretation of this sci-fi-style spin on a serial killer story is left somewhat murky despite the obligatory flashbacks – it’s not clear what the rules are – and not that these details make much of a difference as the project begins putting the thriller down a stretch.
Moss is clearly a draw, but she can only do so much with a thin, confusing material. While “Shining Girls” may seem intriguing at first glance, by the time one has watched its disappointing eight episodes come to an end, its light has begun to flicker, and for viewers it will be too late to hit the reset button.
“Under the Banner of Heaven” premieres April 28 on Hulu.
“Shining Girls” premieres April 29th on Apple TV+. (Disclosure: My wife works for an Apple division.)