Recommended: Bad Sisters on Apple TV+
What's Bad Sisters About?
The Garvey sisters are different as can be, but their commitment to one another knows no bounds. When their odious brother-in-law suddenly dies, his life insurers launch an investigation and set their sights on the five sisters, all of whom had motives to kill him.
Why (and to whom) do we recommend it?
There’s no shortage of morally ambiguous figures on television, but it’s rare to find a character more straightforwardly despicable than John Paul Williams. Bad Sisters never presents JP as anything other than a pure, unadulterated villain — he makes crude jokes about Eva’s inability to bear children, denies his daughter the pleasure of dancing to Lizzo, and gaslights and manipulates his wife. Even in death, JP is, quite literally, a prick: the series opens with a scene of Grace attempting to hide his post-mortem erection as she scrambles to prepare for his funeral.
It’s this dark comedic sensibility that drives Bad Sisters, which is less laugh-out-loud funny than Sharon Horgan’s previous ventures, Catastrophe and Shining Vale, but just as biting.
Horgan, who adapts the show from a Belgian series, gives herself the opportunity to flex her drama chops as Eva, the de-facto leader of the sisterhood who finds herself in the unfortunate position of being both JP’s sister-in-law and co-worker. Eva clearly detests JP, but it’s not until he humiliates his daughter, with whom Eva shares a special bond, that she considers putting those feelings into action. With JP so clearly positioned the show’s bad guy, Horgan doesn’t have to do much to endear herself to the audience, but as she’s done in the past, the creator and star goes above and beyond as she deftly navigates her character’s conflicting feelings of obligation, loathing, and morality.
Despite Horgan’s strong presence, Bad Sisters is an ensemble, and performances from Anne-Marie Duff, Eva Birthistle, Sarah Greene, and Eve Hewson only elevate the dark comedy. Much like the Garvey sisters themselves, the actors each bring something different to their respective roles, be it Greene’s jagged edges or Birthistle’s quiet desperation. With so many characters to develop, Bad Sisters is a balancing act, but it succeeds by unfolding like an onion, delivering its story in layers that reveal something new about the five women and their sordid tale.
Pairs well with