“Bad Sisters” on Apple TV +: 5 women against a destructive pervert

A new creation by Irishwoman Sharon Horgan, the series follows the journey of five women linked by the surely non-accidental death of a man as perverse as he is destructive. A delightful thriller, in the line of “Big Little Lies”.

The month of August is no longer really a desert for series, as evidenced by the discreet, but exciting arrival on Apple TV + (probably the best current streamer) of Bad Sisters, a new British creation by the Irish Sharon Horgan. This late-blooming fifty-year-old – her first major series, the comedy Pulling, dates from the mid-2000s – remains one of the best-kept secrets of the moment, aside from seasoned series fans who identified it eons ago. She has established herself as one of the most original screenwriters and actresses, capable of bringing a point of view that is both consistent with emerging feminist narratives and absolutely personal. Disaster (2015-2019), the story of a couple in their forties created and performed with Rob Delaney, set the tone. His role in the very beautiful This Way Up confirmed his talent for everyday comedy, always tinged with the absurd and/or melancholy. In Bad Sisterswhich she adapts from the Flemish series ClanHorgan develops for the first time a captivating art of long-term storytelling, crossing genres and approaches.

This strange little sister of Big Little Lies and Boulevard of Death begins with the burial of an asshole. His name is JP and his coffin is not crumbling under the tears of those who loved him, to say the least. Very quickly, we discover that his death may not have been accidental, even if nothing is clear. The story focuses on five sisters, Eva (Sharon Horgan), Becka (Eve Hewson), Ursula (Eva Birthistle), Bibi (Sarah Greene), and Grace (Anne-Marie Duff), the last of whom was married to JP. Played by Claes Bang – seen in The Square by Rüben Östlund, in which he played the main role -, JP had taken out insurance, the payment of which could pose a problem. Two nickel-plated feet investigate to try not to pay the sum, trying to clarify the circumstances of his disappearance. This gives to Bad Sisters the look of a thriller, even if the main thing is in the multiple sidesteps offered by the series. Starting with his way of portraying the famous JP.

The mind-blowing portrait of a perverse and destructive macho

There is in this rather repulsive character something of the JR of Dallas heyday – in British and upper middle class version – except that we look at his “power” with contemporary eyes, which are not really amused by his disgusting acts. . This guy takes undisguised pleasure in depriving his wife Grace of everything that could make her happy. He multiplies the remarks, watches her, humiliates her every day and, whatever the situation, in a form of permanent harassment which extinguishes her little by little. And JP does not stop there, since he also attacks a neighbor whom he wants to eliminate from his life as well as Grace’s sisters, in often delirious proportions. His way of confusing the infidelity of one of them by hacking into her phone sends shivers down my spine. The quality of the series is revealed in its portrait of this perverse and destructive macho: even if, at times, the parody points its nose, even if the caricature lurks, it is first of all the terror of an existence under surveillance which is put forward, an unfortunately widespread mechanism of male domination. At the end of the day, realism wins out, including how the series shows how the sisters go about fixing the JP problem.

For a very long time in the season, it’s not possible to say for sure how this guy died. But from the start, Bad Sisters reveals the plans of the four sisters (all except Grace) to eliminate JP. These united women foment an assassination project necessarily amateur, why not based on poison. At times like these, the lightness of your tone outweighs the seriousness of the situation. Yet serious questions are being asked. Do we have the right to make an asshole disappear in the name of the sorority? Is revenge legitimate? Sharon Horgan and her co-writers respond to these questions with subtlety, assuming a form of die-hard fantasy, without losing sight of the credibility of feelings and affects. It’s a complex line to survey and despite a few small drops in speed, Bad Sisters holds it with authority and flexibility.

Often, the story manages to forget its investigative nature – insurance envoys are nevertheless omnipresent – ​​to take off and interrogate what its female characters (but also some fascinating guys) can continue to desire despite a complicated life. , sometimes crippled by dramas. Horgan excels in particular in evoking the sexuality of a woman beyond 45, the lack of love, the difficulty of building, motherhood and non-maternity (her character is nulliparous). In this “bigger than life” coating, hearts beat. It would be a shame not to dive in immersion with these Bad Sisters endearing.

Bad SistersAugust 19 on Apple TV +

“Bad Sisters” on Apple TV +: 5 women against a destructive pervert – Les Inrocks