Bad Sisters on Apple TV+ review: Sharon Horgan’s new thriller with Anne-Marie Duff is a joyous, chaotic ride

·3 min read
Bad Sisters on Apple TV+ review: Sharon Horgan’s new thriller with Anne-Marie Duff is a joyous, chaotic ride

We’ve all wished that someone was dead. Or – let me revise that – we’ve all, perhaps just for a fleeting moment, wished that someone would be zapped from the earth, disappearing into the ether, no longer bothering us.

This is the premise of Bad Sisters, the new Apple TV+ comedy-thriller series coming out next week starring Sharon Horgan, Anne-Marie Duff, Claes Bang and Daryl McCormack.

Bang plays the truly despicable John Paul, the husband of Duff’s character Grace. He is possessive and quietly violent – crushing his wife and daughter’s spirit through gaslighting and manipulation.

When Grace wants to go swimming with her sisters on Christmas day, for example, a tradition she’s kept since she was a child, he claims she can’t possibly drive there because she’s had a glass of bubbly – when he was the one who gave her the drink, knowing very well her afternoon plans.

 (Apple TV+)
(Apple TV+)

Grace’s four sisters – played by the majestic Horgan, Eve Hewson, Sarah Greene and Eva Birthistle – look on, infuriated by her diminishment: she’s fading and it’s horrible to watch.

But John Paul isn’t content with controlling his own family. One of the sisters is having an affair and he gets involved. He plays with the life of another, pulling out of a deal so that she falls into financial instability. He tries to undermine a third at their shared workplace, when they go for the same promotion.

As his coercion becomes more apparent, John Paul goes from being ‘The Prick’ (also the title of the first episode) to being an acknowledged malevolent force. One that, perhaps, it is reasonable to put an end to? His health isn’t great, the sisters reason, so surely a little push in that direction would simply be giving nature a helping hand?

 (Apple TV+)
(Apple TV+)

The following is an absolutely joyous and chaotic thriller, where the Garvey sisters plot and then attempt to carry out the murder of their horrid brother-in-law. The first episode opens with John Paul’s funeral, suggesting that someone, somehow, has succeeded. Or did fate intervene, taking him off the girls’ hands?

Added to the mix is an ongoing investigation from two blokes from an insurance company. Brian Gleeson and Good Luck to You, Leo Grande’s breakout star McCormack play brothers who are investigating John Paul’s death. Their father’s company is in dire financial straits and they don’t want to pay out on his life insurance policy. They make a disorderly but lovable duo – a very welcome change from the typical curmudgeonly inspector.

 (Apple TV+)
(Apple TV+)

Set in Ireland, and with an almost entirely Irish cast, Bad Sisters has been produced by Horgan alongside a team of star writers and directors. Razor-sharp dialogue and laugh-out-loud moments create space for heavier themes, as the show investigates complex family structures, sisterly relationships and emotional abuse, all whipped up in a delicious Horgan melee.

The ten-episode series makes for brilliant TV, and like all good shows, Bad Sisters leaves you pondering the big questions: How do we protect the people that we love? How do families cope with loss? And is it ok to bump off someone who is really, really awful?

Bad Sisters will premiere on Apple TV+ on August 19