You Should Really Watch Apple TV+’s ‘Bad Sisters’

Bad Sisters asks: what if the March sisters from Louisa May Alcott’s novel “Little Women” had a horrific brother-in-law and plotted his murder?

Run, do not walk to your couch to watch Apple TV+’s Bad Sisters, a moody murder mystery that is uproariously funny but simultaneously a thorough study of women’s trauma. Filled with gorgeous Irish landscapes, staggering performances, and cozy sweaters, Bad Sisters is a perfect fall binge.

The series follows the Garvey sisters, a family of five sisters in Ireland. Their sister, Grace, is married to John Paul, an asshole who treats their sister horrifically. Grace’s sisters plot to kill the man, seeing it as the only way to free themselves, but more importantly, their sister, who is stuck in an abusive relationship with a monster. Meanwhile, an insurance agent, following the mysterious death of John Paul in a future timeline, suspects the sisters in his death and is on a mission to prove it.

The black comedy from Sharon Horgan, Dave Finkel, and Brett Baer is based on the Flemish series, Clan. All ten episodes of the Irish black comedy are available on Apple TV. Here are all the reasons why you should watch it.


Ireland’s tourism either was behind this or it owes the show a debt. The beautiful, incredibly green island of Ireland has never looked more appetizing than it does in Bad Sisters, which is set in a small, charming town on the coast. The homes, ranging from cottage-core to modern minimalist, are gorgeous against the greenest grass you’ve ever seen and the rocky beaches will make you want to dive off a cliff into the water even if it’s freezing.

Class Bang

Bad Sisters accomplishes the impossible: it gets its audiences to not only root for people who are plotting a murder, it gets its audience to agree that it is completely reasonable and rational, the only way out. Danish actor — and star of 2017’s The Square — Claes Bang plays John Paul Williams, the nightmare brother-in-law whom the Garvey sisters spend most of the series trying to kill. It is not hyperbolic to say that John Paul is one of the vilest characters to appear on any screen, and he is probably among the most horrific characters in any story ever written since the beginning of storytelling. John Paul is an abusive misogynist pig, to say the least, but he knows precisely when to turn on the charm. It’s not an easy role for an actor to take: this character truly makes Joffrey Baratheon seem like Tom Hanks, but Bang took it and went as far as possible.


One of the most iconic moments in modern cinema is Saorise Ronan as Jo March saying “Women, they have minds, and they have souls, as well as just hearts. And they’ve got ambition, and they’ve got talent, as well as just beauty,” in 2019’s Little Women.

Bad Sisters, being about sisters, truly embodies this. The story centers on five sisters, all who have their own storylines within the main plot. Sharon Horgan’s Eva is a child-free career woman, who essentially took on the role of parental figure after their parents died in a car wreck. Ursula is struggling in her marriage and motherhood. Bibi is still suffering from the trauma of losing an eye in a car wreck (that was John Paul’s fault). The youngest, Becky, is trying to get her sisters to see her as an equal, not as the baby. Grace, the wife of the dreaded John Paul, suffers verbal and physical abuse and has complex and realistic feelings and reactions to it. The series gives each character her own thoughtful, unique arc, without using any stereotypes. Although each sister has her own individual story, the show is essentially about their unbreakable bond despite their differences. Jo March would be proud.

Clever use of managing multiple timelines

I can’t help but make references to Little Women. Remember back in 2019 when some people (mostly men) complained that Greta Gerwig’s Little Women was confusing because of its multiple timelines that shifted throughout the film? Bad Sisters moves forward and back in time similarly from scene to scene, but instead of using Florence Pugh’s bang status as a marker of the time, the frame pulls back, revealing a reel of film. The film moves forward or backward, then focuses back on the scene. Depending on whether the film moved, you know exactly where you are in the story immediately. This is by no means meant to suggest that Pugh’s bangs were a bad way of telling time: both strategies are perfect in their own unique ways.

Gleeson Family Supremacy

At this point, the Gleeson family is to Ireland what the Skarsgård family is to Sweden. In Bad Sisters, Brian Gleeson – son of Brendan, brother of Domhnall – plays Tom, the manic insurance agent who will do anything to avoid paying Grace’s insurance claim following John Paul’s death. This includes breaking into homes, stealing trash, and generally cosplaying as a goofy but weirdly savvy Irish Sherlock Holmes.