Review by Sean Boelman
Actress and writer Sharon Horgan has partnered with Apple TV+ for a first-look deal, and the first series to come out of that is the dark comedy Bad Sisters. A fascinating take on a familiar formula, the series is both funny and surprisingly endearing, a solid crowd-pleaser that is genuinely intelligent at the same time.
The series follows a group of sisters who, tight-knit since the passing of their parents, find themselves torn apart when their brother-in-law mysteriously dies. And while this seems like a setup for a mystery, the intrigue doesn’t come from what you don’t know, but the bizarre way in which it unfolds.
There are two storylines in the show: one set in the modern day as two insurance investigators look into the suspicious death of the brother-in-law, and the other following the sisters as they scheme to murder him. The dark comedy comes from all of the failed assassination attempts, each one of which gets more and more ridiculous in nature.
The suspense in the show is a result of not knowing whether or not the sisters actually succeeded in committing the murder, or if it was just by freak chance that he died. But in the scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter. The more compelling aspect of the series is not the mystery, but the characters.
The dynamic between the sisters is written fantastically and is a large part of what makes the series so effective. Not only do we get fully invested in this sisterly relationship, but each of them is quirky in their own way and it makes them all relatable. Every viewer will have one sister that will resonate with them the most, and that just shows how well they are all written.
All of the actors in the entire ensemble are fantastic, but Eve Hewson and Sarah Greene likely give the most fun performances. However, it is the unit as a whole that is the real beating heart of this show. The chemistry that all of the actresses share with one another is fantastic and makes the more far-fetched moments believable.
Yet somehow, the supporting cast manages to shine even brighter. Claes Bang yet again proves that he is one of the most underappreciated actors working today. He is absolutely detestable playing this despicable character, and it’s perfect. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Daryl McCormack is endlessly charming.
Bad Sisters takes a decent premise and makes the most out of it to deliver a show that is much more nuanced than it sounds on paper. Fantastic performances and sharp writing make this one of the best new dark comedies of the season.
Bad Sisters debuts on Apple TV+ on August 19 with new episodes streaming subsequent Fridays. Seven out of ten episodes reviewed.