FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE YET TO SEE BAD SISTERS, THIS IS A NON-SPOILER REVIEW.
While most people will know Sharon Horgan as Nicholas Cage’s ex-wife in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent or as one part of the ensemble of Game Night… I originally fell in love with the Irish Comedienne in Amazon’s incredibly underrated relationship series Catastrophe. There is just something so utterly likeable and relatable about Horgan, whose sly wit can elevate any project. So, when I saw that she was not only starring in, but one of the creators of this new Apple TV+ series Bad Sisters… I was all in. To add the cherry on top, she would be leading an ensemble with Good Luck to You Leo Grande’s ever-so charming Daryl McCormack in the mix. Basically to put it lightly, my expectations were extremely high. And much to my delight, Horgan has not disappointed with this deliciously dark and twisted comedy.
WHAT IS BAD SISTERS ALL ABOUT?
The Garvey sisters are bound together by the premature deaths of their parents and the promises they made to always protect one another. When their brother-in-law winds up dead, his life insurers launch an investigation to prove malicious intent — and set their sights on the sisters, all of whom had ample reason to kill him.
WHAT WILL KEEP AUDIENCES COMING BACK FOR MORE?
The biggest draw here and what will keep audiences coming back for more, is this cast and their electric chemistry with one another. There is not a single weak link in this ensemble, and each and every one of them get numerous moments to shine. While Horgan was obviously my reason to get on board, I have to give a big shout-out to Sarah Greene who steals every scene she is in as the one-eyed, tough-as-nails lesbian with a heart-of-gold Bibi. Still, I found myself feeling connected to each one of these five sisters throughout the season, at different times… From Ursula’s affair with a younger man, Bibi’s past trauma due to a near fatal injury, Grace’s unwillingness to see that she is trapped in her marriage, Eva’s complicated relationship with alcohol and finally to Becka’s struggle with always picking the wrong guy…
HOW IS THE ENSEMBLE CAST’S CHEMISTRY?
These five characters, in such a short amount of time, have been given such richly detailed story arcs. That are all captivating on their own, but even more so when you add their family dynamic into the mix. The biggest compliment I can give Bad Sisters is that television shows usually spend years trying to cultivate the kind of chemistry these performers already have with one another, in just its first season. One can only imagine the magic this cast will be able to come up with in future outings.
IT’S A MURDER MYSTERY TOO!?
But of course, this isn’t just a family dramedy. We are also treated to a murder mystery of sorts. One that jumps us back and forth in time to before and after our victim’s death. And while I think this adds another layer to what makes Bad Sisters so special, it’s also where my only issues lie, as well.
What works with the mystery is that Claes Bang is absolute perfection as our victim (and that’s not giving anything away, as that reveal is in the trailer). His John-Paul is such a despicable and vile human being that our sisters’ plight to murder him actually seems reasonable. Bang could have gone so over-the-top here, but smartly he keeps this character grounded and believable… and in turn, John-Paul’s evil burns even brighter. I also think the thriller aspect keeps the show moving at a brisk pace, with constant tension and slow reveals making it impossible not to want to binge. It’s an interesting dynamic, because we’re not necessarily concerned about the whodunit of it all, but rather the howdunnit.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ISSUES HERE?
Which leads me to what bothers me a little bit… and that is how repetitive the show can get. Without revealing any details, there are a whole lot of failed attempts at this unspeakable crime. And while these blunders add some inspired moments of pitch black comedy… I couldn’t help, but think that because of the repetitive nature, the series begins to ere on the side of implausibility. I also think that this time-jumping framing device works in some cases… But, I think it could have been tightened up more. There were moments I got completely lost in what was happening in the past and then when we all of a sudden get thrown back into the present… I was a tad thrown off because I was totally tuned out from what was happening there. Then again though, these are very minor gripes.
IS BAD SISTERS A WIN FOR APPLE TV+?
I was pretty devastated when the seventh episode ended… And I learned that there were three episodes left that I’m going to have to wait for. I’m curious to see where the showrunners take this mystery, as I left off at a climax that was hinting at it going full-on shock & horror. Wherever they take it though, I’m far more concerned with just making sure that I get to spend way more time with the Garvey Sisters, even beyond the life and death of John-Paul. I feel as if Bad Sisters could have a long and successful run… To become one of Apple TV+’s biggest hits. Horgan and company have created one helluva dynamite show that centers on an Irish clan worth rooting for. Even if they are cold-blooded killers.
Bad Sisters will be premiering on Apple TV+ August 19th, 2022.
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