REVIEW: Dark Dramedy ‘Bad Sisters’ Excels at Every Level

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Bad Sisters - But Why Tho

Apple TV+ has quite the catalog of compelling original TV series as of late, and there are no signs they’re slowing down any time soon. Their most recent entry, Bad Sisters, launches Friday, August 19th, and believe me when I say you will absolutely want to add this one to your must-watch list.

The series, adapted from the original Belgian series Clan by writer and showrunner Malin-Sarah Gozin, follows the events of five sisters who, after their parent’s untimely death, form an incredibly close bond vowing to be there for one another no matter what. But when their malicious brother-in-law, Jean-Paul (Claes Bang) pushes the sisters past their breaking point, Eva (Sharon Horgan), Bibi (Sarah Greene), Ursala (Eva Birthistle), and Becka (Eve Hewson) decide to remove him from the picture before he can do any damage to his wife, and their sister, Grace (Anne-Marie Duff). The Garvey sisters will find that plotting murder is a hell of a lot harder than they anticipated.

There are so many wonderful things going on for this show. The story has a brilliant blend of comedy and tension, delivered by a sublime cast of well-written characters, with a story that continues to get better week after week. Believe me when I tell you I couldn’t get enough of it.

One of the most engaging aspects of the story is that it’s a split timeline covering the events leading up to Jean-Paul’s death, and the consequences after it. While the prior timeline covers the family dynamics and covers in great detail why Jean-Paul is an absolutely awful human being, the current time has the sisters working around the clock covering their tracks after two insurance agents begin sniffing around the circumstances of the death, believing this to be a murder, and not an accidental death as claimed. The duality of the situation only furthers the pressure of the narrative as you’re left guessing as to how the Garvey sisters kill Jean-Paul, and whether will they get away with it.

The acting in the series is on another level, but standing ovations have to go to the villain of the show Jean-Paul aka JP, or as the sisters affectionately refer to him “the Prick,” played by Bang. Bang, who recently played another villain in The Outlaws Season 2, dives into the recesses of a terrible man who takes pleasure in tormenting those around him to achieve a sense of grandeur. What is particularly devious about this performance, however, is not only in the callousness of his actions, but the deviant joy he extracts when his words or actions land. The interpretation is so evocative and emotive, in the darkest sense of the word, that by the end of the show you’ll find yourself rooting for the Garvey sisters, which is entirely the point. Without Bang delivering such a memorable performance, the story wouldn’t land with quite the same weight.

Meanwhile, in the current timeline it’s quite a different story altogether as the Claffin brothers, Thomas (Brian Gleeson), and Matt (Daryl McCormack) race to figure out a way not to pay the life insurance claim for fear of bankruptcy after their father mismanaged the business. To add insult to injury, Thomas’s wife is on bedrest expecting their first child any day now. The conflict in the situation is such a painful contrast, as all parties involved deserve their victory as their loss could lead to something far more devastating. Even as Gleeson and McCormack capture such an entertaining dynamic as male siblings attempting to save their struggling business in the most unorthodox of approaches you can’t help but laugh. McCormack always clocks in another splendid character performance hot off the back of his recent part in the exclusive Hulu film Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, and it won’t be long until the parts get bigger and bigger for this up-and-coming talent.

At the end of the day, the series is held up by the wonderful talents of Horgan, Greene, Birthistle, and Hewson as the Garvey sister’s stories and experiences are the very keystone for tying everything together. Their bond as sisters is complicated and heavy with the weight of the family, and their every experience is tied together. That familial tether is extremely tangible that you sense in every scene when they’re together through thick and thin, and it’s a driving force in the audience’s connection to the characters. I was incredibly impressed that the show finds time over the 10 episodes to give time and space to each of the larger characters to bind the audience to the larger story, and while some of it is very morally ambiguous it’s a candid tale.

Bad Sisters is an Irish comedy thriller that gets better episode after episode. An enthralling thrill ride that boasts an incredible amount of talent from its cast, with a horrific villain for the ages. At its heart, though the show has such a captivating mystery that is going to have everyone talking trying to guess who killed Jean-Paul. You won’t want to miss this series!

Bad Sisters is a weekly show coming exclusively to Apple TV+, with the first two episodes available on the streaming service now.


Bad Sisters
  • 9.5/10
    Rating - 9.5/10
9.5/10

TL;DR

Bad Sisters is an Irish comedy thriller that gets better episode after episode. An enthralling thrill ride that boasts an incredible amount of talent from its cast, with a horrific villain for the ages. At its heart, though the show has such a captivating mystery that is going to have everyone talking trying to guess who killed Jean-Paul. You won’t want to miss this series!

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