What I’m Watching: Bad Sisters and Kin, S1

In March, I canceled my Disney+ subscription so I could sign-up for Apple TV and finally watch Bad Sisters. In April, I cancelled Apple TV so I could sign up for Now and watch the last season of Succession. And also Yellow Jackets, The Last of Us and I Hate Suzie Too. Then I discovered that only the first series of Yellowjackets is available on Now. The second series is on Paramount+. When you need to pay for two different streaming services to watch one tv show, we have passed the threshold of too many streamers. (You can probably watch series 1 on Paramount+. I don’t know, I haven’t signed up for it yet.) I thought that by the time Succession ends, it will be summer and I will end my lengthy hibernation, cancel my tv subscriptions and start leaving the house move often. Now, I think I might first have to sign up for a 7-day trial with Paramount+ to find what happened in the woods.

I also watched Shrinking on Apple TV and really enjoyed it. It’s got Harrison Ford in it playing a grumpy old man which, unsurprisingly, he is really good at. He also has some very funny scenes with Jessica Williams who is also wonderful in it. I’d already watched Severance last year and loved it. It’s got a dark, twisty premise and the show looks amazing. There are some really beautiful shots which are almost like paintings, it enhances the sense of being trapped in this strange world.

This time, I signed up and paid money so that I could watch Bad Sisters. This is a show about five close-knit sisters who live in Dublin. One of them has a terrible husband who is so terrible that the rest of them hate him so much they want him dead. The series opens on the morning of his funeral and there’s a dual timeline running through the series, so the next nine episodes tell the story leading up to that point, and also what happens next.

The show is set and filmed in Ireland and makes Dublin, particularly the coastal towns, look stunningly beautiful. It’s got a really great ensemble cast, though it is a little bit distracting that each of the sisters seems to have a different accent. They also all have beautiful houses; even the littlest sister has a funky studio by the sea.

Like all of Sharon Horgan’s shows (She is one of the writers and developers. The show is based on a Finnish tv show.) the dialogue is very sharp and witty, but also feels truthful to the way people talk and relate to each other. It’s also very funny. I felt bad at the start for laughing at these murderous plans but the husband is such as absolute bastard that very soon, I was completely convinced that he deserved to die. Not only that, I hoped he died roaring! At the same time, some of the set-ups almost tip into farce. It’s a tricky balancing act in a show that deals with dark themes of domestic abuse, coercive control and murder. The husband is truly awful and his relentless cruelties are sometimes hard to watch. The style is a sort of heighten realism and sometimes the tone feels a bit off.

However I absolutely loved the characters. I wanted to spend more time with these people and that’s what kept me coming back to show. I would have liked more time seeing them hanging out, having their Christmas dinners and Easter egg hunts, slagging each other off, etc. I felt it was a shame that all the murdering got in the way of that. Apple have announced a second series and I’m glad. Even though the first series does conclude in a very satisfactory way, I’m still interested to see what happens next to these characters.

It also has a very catchy theme song – PJ Harvey covering Leonard Cohen’s Who by Fire that was stuck in my head for most of the two weeks it took me to finish the show.


Kin is also set in Dublin but it’s a very different show. This one is on RTÉ rather than Apple TV but the production values are still very high, and once again Dublin looks fantastic. It’s set in the city and there are lots of shots of the Dublin skyline, you can spot the Spire and Liberty Hall as the camera follows the river from above, while exterior shots of the family home in Dublin 4 have the Aviva Station squatting in the background, looking like an alien spaceship coming in to land.

When I started it, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to watch a programme about drug dealers but I got absolutely sucked into the drama. It wasn’t what I was expected and it surprised me in a good way. It helps that these drug dealers are not having a good time, and that it’s really all about the family dynamics. I love shows about families. From Arrested Development to Succession to Bad Sisters, there are such riches of comedy and drama in family relationships. They are messy and have illogical alliances and feuds. There’s always a shared history between people, for better or worse.

Kin uses all of that. Again, it’s a brilliant cast of wonderful Irish actors (and Charlie Cox) and lots of very meaty female roles. I also really like how they built the tension in each episode. In the final few minutes of every episode, something happens that turns things on their head. I really enjoyed the first series and how the story played out over the six episodes.

I’ve only seen the first episode of series two as far. It feels a little more gangster-y; there was an awful lot of shooting for an hour of television and I missed the family drama. Then just at the end, in the final few minutes, something happened that brought that back into play and meant that everything was going to change.

RTÉ seem to have already taken series 1 down off the player, which means I better hurry up and watch series 2 before it disappears as well. There are lots of other interesting shows on the RTÉ player at the moment. I haven’t watched any of them yet but I’m interested in Daisy May Copper’s Am I Being Unreasonable, Australian rom-com Colin in Accounts and the Irish sitcom The Dry written by Nancy Harris.


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