‘Bad Sisters’ on Apple TV+ is another darkly comedic and brilliantly written series from Sharon Horgan
In bad sisterscreators Dave Finkel (new girl, happy endings), Brett Baer (United States of Tara, 30 Rock), and Sharon Horgan (Disaster) rounds up a row of killer Irish actresses to play the Garvey sisters.
Anne-Marie Duff (the OG Fiona in the UK Shameless) plays Grace, a sweet housewife who has been battered by years of emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of her obnoxious, misogynistic, mean and horribly cartoonish husband, John Paul (Claes Bang). No longer able to watch their sister suffer under JP’s thumb, the other Garvey sisters decide the only way out is to kill him.
The series, in fact, opens with the death of JP. We know he dies, but we don’t know who killed him or how. Besides wanting to protect Grace, each of the sisters also has their own reasons for wanting to kill JP. He makes work miserable for Eva (Horgan); he is responsible for the accident that cost Bibi (Sarah Greene) her eye; he continues to threaten to reveal Ursula’s (Eva Birthistle) affair to her husband; and he stopped investing in Becka’s (Eve Hewson) massage therapy business. They all hate him, they all want him dead, and as viewers, so do we.
Adapted from the Belgian series by Malin-Sarah Gozin, each episode spends time in both the present and the past, where the sisters make various unsuccessful attempts on JP’s life. Meanwhile, in the present, two insurance agents, brothers Thomas (Brian Gleeson) and Matthew (Daryl McCormack) desperately try to prove that the sisters murdered JP so they don’t have to pay the police. life insurance because it would bankrupt their family business. It’s a little complicated, though, because Matthew and Becka started dating — and possibly fell in love — before Bekka realized he was an insurance agent and before he realizes that he was investigating his family.
That’s the premise, but bad sisters is so much more than configuration. It’s darkly comic as you’d expect from Sharon Horgan, and with the exception of JP the characters are drawn so well; it’s hard not to root for all of them. If JP were a little less gruesome, viewers might feel a moral conflict around his murder, but he’s mostly played for dark laughs – there are real ones Throw mom off the train energy here.
But it’s also, as they say, a fun hook: these are the kinds of characters (and actors) that are enjoyable to watch separately from the plot itself, and with a steady diet of laughs, there’s also an occasional dose of pathos that makes the Garvey sisters all the more likeable. The mystery gives stakes to the series: who really killed JP? How? Will these brothers lose their shirts? Or will one or all of the sisters go to jail? Or maybe the sisters end up turning against themselves? It doesn’t matter how it ends, because I’m confident Horgan will make sure it’s an entertaining ride to a deadly end. With bad sistersApple TV+ continues to have the best hit/miss record in all of streaming.
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Header image source: AppleTV+