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Shows on streaming you may have missed: Bad Sisters (2022)

April 17, 2024

Courtesy of Apple TV+

The phrase “good for her” stems from an internet meme originally spoken in an Arrested Development scene, in which Lucille Bluth ironically shares the sentiment after hearing a news segment about a young mother releasing her car’s emergency brake, sending her and her children into a nearby lake. Since then, the term has been used to describe situations in media in which a woman may be legally in the wrong, but the audience roots for her nonetheless. She may be guilty of heinous acts, but the circumstances can’t help but make you think, “good for her.”

Having premiered a while back, Bad Sisters (2022) may have slipped under the radar for some viewers, but its darkly funny storyline and stellar performances are captivating, making it a gem worth discovering even now. It’s the perfect time to watch too, as season two is on the way. 

Based on the Belgian series, “Clan,” created by Malin-Sarah Gozin, the US version of Bad Sisters (2022) follows the death of a truly despicable man and the five Garvey sisters, all of whom are suspects in his murder. A twisted take on the classic “whodunnit” plot, the show infuses a fresh sense of dark humor that grasps the viewer from the moment the show begins. Even though we follow the possible murderers rather than the murdered, the undeniable charm of Bad Sisters will nonetheless have you cheering for the titular women, and possibly even thinking “good for her.”  brings a fresh sense of dark humor to the “whodunit” plot that’s noticeable from the moment the show begins.

In the first episode, fittingly titled “The Prick”, the audience immediately learns how much of an awful person John Paul Williams (Claes Bang) is, despite meeting him at his own funeral. We see him make cruel comments to each sister via flashbacks, which is just the start of his disgusting behavior and possible motives for his murder. As the season progresses,  you have less and less sympathy for JP, who proves himself to be a repulsive brother-in-law, horrid husband, and all-round loathsome man. 

Contrasting JP’s nastiness are the Garvey sisters, each of whom has a motive to get revenge on JP. Eva (Sharon Horgan), who took care of the others after their parents died, must see him daily at the accounting firm where the two work. Bibi (Sarah Greene), Ursula (Eva Birthistle), and Becka (Eve Hewson) each have their own reasons to find relief in the death of JP, each revealed throughout the season. But no one suffers at his hand quite as much as Grace (Anne-Marie Duff), his wife, who he controls, belittles, and ultimately seems to make shrink.

The cause of JP’s death is hidden until the tenth and final episode, but it is clear the incident has been ruled an accident due to the investigation of the Claffin brothers, Tom (Brian Gleeson) and Matt (Daryl McCormack), who inherited their father’s insurance firm along with his financial troubles. They are desperate not to pay out JP’s large life insurance policy that would bankrupt the firm just weeks before Tom’s wife is due to give birth, which would require proving that John Paul’s death was premeditated. And thus their investigation begins. 

Combined with the actors’ and actress’ performances, writers Sharon Horgan, Dave Finkel, and Brett Baer do a wonderful job of making you empathize with both teams. If one of the Garvey sisters did kill JP, you want them to get away with murder, just as you sympathize with the Claffin brothers, who have their father’s legacy and Tom’s child to worry about. 

It would be difficult to continue watching the series without shenanigans of the five sisters and the bickering between the two brothers along with the consolation that villain John Paul is truly dead. The extent of his evil would almost be comical if it weren’t so ceaselessly ugly; but a dead man who wrongs essentially every person he comes across is a captivating victim for a possible murder.

Overall, Bad Sisters is definitely binge-worthy, making you want to watch slowly just to enjoy each and every glorious detail—a task made near impossible by the never-ending urge to press play to discover what wild twist comes next episode. The unpredictable plot keeps you guessing, while the Irish accents keep you listening, and the Dublin setting, which is actually shot on location, doesn’t hurt either as it highlights spots most tourists miss out on, like the iconic swimming spot, the Forty Foot. 

Regardless, the satisfaction of seeing justice served to a despicable character like John Paul Williams is a guilty pleasure viewers can’t help but relish, reaffirming the notion of “good for her”.

With Apple TV having confirmed a second season in early December 2023 and filming having just wrapped up in March 2024, now is the perfect time to sit down and catch up on this fantastic show.

Ninabella Arlis
Ninabella is a sophomore studying International Business, Language, and Culture. Spot her working at the Center for Student Engagement or on the university's social medias!

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Andrew Swank

so cool!