3 Reasons to Watch: 'Bad Sisters' Irish comedy on Apple TV+ | Cult of Mac

3 Reasons to Watch: Bad Sisters, the outrageous Irish black comedy on Apple TV+

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Sarah Greene, Anne-Marie Duff, Sharon Horgan, Eva Birthistle and Eve Hewson in
If you're not acquainted with the Garvey sisters, you're missing out.
Photo: Apple TV+

In this installment of 3 Reasons to Watch, we look at Bad Sisters, the Irish black comedy that racked up awards after its spectacular first season.

The acidic series follows the five Garvey sisters, who are complicit in a crime … but not in the way it initially appears. Here’s why you need to stream Bad Sisters yesterday.

3 Reasons to Watch: Bad Sisters on Apple TV+

Created by Sharon Horgan (Pulling, Catostrophe), Brett Baer and Dave Finkel, and based on the Flemish series Clan, Bad Sisters follows the attempted murder — and an increasingly desperate investigation into the same — of a horrific man named J.P. (played by Claes Bang). Dubbed “the prick” by his in-laws, J.P. ruined the lives of an entire extended family (and several innocent bystanders) in his incessant quest for control of his little world.

The five sisters (played by creator/writer Horgan, Eve Hewson, Sarah Greene, Anne-Marie Duff and Eva Birthistle) are heartbreaking, funny and exciting characters. Watching their pitch-dark antics was one of the highlights of 2022.

1. Bitterly dark humor

Sharon Horgan and Claes Bang in "Bad Sisters," now streaming on Apple TV+.
Eva Garvey (played by Sharon Horgan, left) has yet another unpleasant run-in with J.P. (Claes Bang) in Bad Sisters.
Photo: Apple TV+

In the finest tradition of Irish comedy, Bad Sisters takes the piss out of everything from marriage to death to grievous bodily harm.

The pilot finds three of the five Garvey sisters begrudgingly going through the motions of mourning on behalf of their eldest sibling’s dead husband. They let their contempt for the deceased show in everything from their barely concealed laughter to their miserable expressions. And this is episode one. This show’s unending deadpan morbidity is a blessing.

2. Sarah Greene, charisma machine

Sarah Greene in "Bad Sisters," now streaming on Apple TV+.
Eyepatch and all, Sarah Greene brings the character of Bibi to life in wickedly funny fashion.
Photo: Apple TV+

Sarah Greene plays Bibi, the second youngest of the five sisters, and she is a force — a new goth icon. After J.P. caused a car wreck that cost her her eye, she sports an eyepatch and a “f*ck you” expression for most of Bad Sisters’ run time. The kind of woman not to be trifled with or underestimated, her viciousness serves as the show’s impetus.

Bibi’s the one who hatches the idea to kill J.P., and she’s the most excited to see him die. The show’s cast members are all superlative, but Greene’s star power burns brighter than the sun. The character’s an indelible creation given the treatment it deserves.

3. The amateurs’ guide to murder

Sarah Greene and Sharon Horgan in "Bad Sisters," now streaming on Apple TV+.
There’s more than one way to (try to) kill a prick.
Photo: Apple TV+

Week after week, the sisters dream up new ways to ax J.P., with wackier and wackier results. Watching the five brainstorm ways to put him on ice, while living otherwise normal lives, is a never-ceasing bizarro delight.

From trapping him in a freezer to shooting him to drugging and drowning him, each harebrained scheme brings the sisters closer to madness as the prick, like Wile E. Coyote, just keeps bouncing back. It’s a wild conceit, given exactly the gravity it needed to survive its 10-episode run without devolving into anything too cartoonish.

Watch Bad Sisters on Apple TV+

You can stream the entire first season of Bad Sisters on Apple TV+. A second season is in the works.

Rated: TV-MA

Watch on: Apple TV+

Get it on Apple TV

Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of the long-running video essay series The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He has written for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Nylon Magazine. He is the author of Cinemaphagy: On the Psychedelic Classical Form of Tobe Hooper and But God Made Him A Poet: Watching John Ford in the 21st Century, the director of 25 feature films, and the director and editor of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.

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