‘Bad Sisters’

The east coast of Ireland and four quietly jubilant sisters attend the funeral of conniving brother-in-law, John Paul (Claes Bang). The fifth of the clan, second eldest Grace (Anne-Marie Duff) mourns his accidental death. Or was it? Insurance brokers Clafflin & Sons are less than convinced, although the unscrupulous eldest son Thomas (Brian Gleeson) has his own reasons for not paying out the million Euros.

Over ten episodes, Bad Sisters mixes the current with the immediate past as we witness the bullying John Paul totally control and isolate Grace. The other four siblings can only look on in dismay as Grace loses confidence and slowly withdraws from their sisterly activities. There’s only one course of action according to fourth sister, Bibi (Sarah Greene). Get rid of him.

With each of the four having their own reasons to despise their brother-in-law, the reasoning behind such drastic measures are, by combining drama and comedy, entertainingly explored. It can be patchy (the insurance brokers’ detective tactics to avoid payment quickly wears thin) and occasionally overreaching for a small coastal town. But with the distasteful and judgemental John Paul splendidly ‘bad’ and the sisters actions ‘justified’ in accordance with the narrative, Bad Sisters is an irreverent dramedy with a sharp, incisive script and packed with rounded characters (as eldest sister Eve, Sharon Horgan is also the creator of this adptation from a Belgian television series).

Rating: 74%