Bad Sisters, Ella Flame and the Nighthawks, Community & More

Four women surround a dining room table in Bad Sisters
Apple TV+/Screenshot

Give me some rope, tie me to the dream, and strap in for our staff recommendations! This time around, Cat spills virtual ink over Bad Sisters on Apple TV+, Tim has the new Ella Flame and the Nighthawks EP (Avenue of Sorrows) on repeat, Robin is finally watching Community, and Clay offers another edition of their ongoing series “Clay Discovers Musicians Everyone Else Already Knows”—who will it be this time? I’ve heard rumors…

TV Recommendation: Bad Sisters

Cat Smith: I’m not likely to watch Bad Sisters again. But you definitely should.

It’s not Apple TV+’s fault that far too much of my youth was wasted on damagingly bad boyfriends. It’s not the show’s fault that watching spousal abuse in the form of gaslighting and general dickishness just isn’t stuff I need in my brain. And it’s certainly not Claes Bang’s (he of the REALLY great name) fault that he is distressingly good at playing The Worst Human Being Ever (like, seriously—I’m imagining an all-women writers’ room, and the brainstorming session going like “okay, what ELSE can we do to make sure this guy is completely and utterly detestable?”).

My sister leaned on me to watch it, and it’s not really my kind of thing, even without all the personally upsetting factors. And gradually it became more and more something that I had to power through to finish…but I had to finish it, because I had to know what happened next. And here I am, telling you that despite all the ways in which it wasn’t my dish of strawberry jam, you should definitely watch it. That should tell you something…about quality, or something.

Two women sit next to one another, dressed in black
Apple TV+/Screenshot

I’ll say this right off the bat, without being too spoilery—there is a website called, and if you are anything like me, it is your best friend. Nuff said.

The plot of Bad Sisters is delivered to you right at the off. Grace Garvey was married to a man named John Paul, and he’s dead, and absolutely no one is sad about it except her, because he was The Worst Human Being Ever. Grace is one of five sisters, and right there in the trailer it is established that the reason JP is dead is because somehow, Grace’s four sisters thought that would be not just a good idea, but a service to humanity in general and their sister in particular. The show is billed as a comedy, and it’s definitely one of the blacker of black comedies (I’d call it more dramedy than even a black comedy—when I think black comedy, I think Death to Smoochy).

The series is ten episodes, and once the decision is made to shuffle JP loose his mortal coil, we get to sit there in increasing frustration as swing after swing is missed—no one ever said these sisters were competent assassins. And there’s plenty of collateral damage and unintended consequences to add to the desire to reach through the screen with a baseball bat and lend the women a hand. But it’s that frustration that makes this one of those “everyone leave me alone for the next two days while I binge the heck out of this” things…you have to know what happens next, and it’s only the knowledge that YES HE IS STILL DECEASED that makes you feel better as flashback after flashback reveal him to be increasingly awful.

Sharon Horgan plays Eva, the oldest sister, and she’s also the showrunner. Apparently the idea for the thing came from a Flemish show called Clan, and that showrunner, Malin-Sarah Gozin, was on the development team for Bad Sisters as well. The cast is fantastic and gorgeous, top to bottom (if your favourite sister isn’t Bibi, I will be very surprised), including the men who aren’t John Paul…the insurance agent investigating his death, that agent’s very cute half-brother, Grace’s sweet next-door neighbor whom JP frames as a pedophile for no particular reason other than that he can (and how absolute DARE this guy be friendly to Grace, clutch my man-pearls in shock), proving that JP’s awfulness isn’t limited to women.

A special shout-out has to go to the opening sequence, which is one of those that is so good that you find yourself never skipping it. It’s this gorgeous stop-motion Rube Goldberg-style “better mousetrap” thing, which, as the episodes build up, you begin to recognize is full of hints to the methods of attempted murder tried by the sisters. The whole thing is set to a ridiculously earworm-able cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Who By Fire” that’s done by PJ Harvey, and the whole thing is LUSH.

I also feel like, before I close, I need to send out some love to Claes Bang (again, what a great name), who I’m sure is a very nice person in real life, and I hope that every evening after the day’s work of filming in which he was The Worst Human Being Ever, he and the rest of the cast would have drinks or something together, and there would be lots of hugging and laughter.

So anyway, if Apple TV+ is a thing you have access to, you should definitely watch Bad Sisters. It’s fun and satisfying and smart. It will make you appreciate the women in your life for that sisterly bond that women can get (sometimes blood relation is a factor, sometimes not), and it will make you appreciate the men in your life.

Music Recommendation: Fleetwood Mac

Clay Dockery: As promised last time, I am here to recommend yet another musical act that I know very little about but that has been among the most popular of all time since before I was born, Fleetwood Mac. As with Springsteen, it isn’t that I had never heard of the band or listened to the music, I just realized when Christine McVie died back in November of 2022 that I had not listened to them in a long time and never heard anything outside of Rumors and The Dance. So of course this time… I listened to a lot of Rumors and The Dance.

I know that the band went through many iterations over the years, and it wasn’t the original lineup but the grouping of Christine and John McVie, Lyndsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, and Stevie Nicks that just had the undeniable aura that makes a band feel special. I feel that most people think of that group and the songs of Rumors in particular when they think of the band. (Though Christine McVie’s death led to a lot of searching and listening to the songs she wrote in particular, and they were really great.) But of course, the romantic drama in the group, particularly this grouping, is what creates the most indelible memories—and the best music.

The McVies may have been married, divorced, and somehow become friends, but their drama seems like nothing sometimes when you think about them being there with Buckingham and Nicks. Stevie Nicks is also a mystical, nearly mythical, figure in her own right and more so than anyone else she certainly had and continues to have the most cultural impact. But that’s all that makes those songs on Rumors so insanely amazing. Nicks was only just creating her own image that would last more than 40 years, it was like a magic spell out of the dust and destruction of the band and its relationships. Nicks’s “Silver Springs” was the B-side to Buckingham’s “Go Your Own Way” and somehow they sang those songs at each other, for years.

And it was never more intense to see, or electric, as when the band played “Silver Springs” during The Dance. The Dance was the reunion concert for the band, one of the few times that this lineup had played together in 10 years, and the entire thing is absolutely intense and amazing, and highly recommended. But “Silver Springs” is the song I can’t get out of my head, and Stevie embodies the very essence of the voice that will haunt Lyndsey forever as she stares at him with an intensity rarely seen outside of an asylum.

Basically, that’s my recommendation. Watch this version of “Silver Springs,” see that stare, and hope that it never comes for you.


TV Recommendation: Community

Robin Moon: Now, I’m rather late to jump on the Community bandwagon; it was cancelled eight years ago. But my rapidly lengthening watchlist isn’t going anywhere, so I thought I’d start somewhere. The sitcom, set in a community college, revolves around a cast of quirky characters who start studying together, the only collective thing they have in common being their Spanish class. Currently, I’m still on Season 1, so the show is relatively tame so far—I’ve heard it gets more and more farcical as it goes on.

What I like most about Community is the characters and dynamics between them. On paper, there aren’t any indications they’d be friends at all. There’s a playboy ex-lawyer, an uptight girl-next-door, a deadpan nerd, a middle-aged divorcee, to name a few… Despite their differences, they each find grounds to connect with one another. In fact, their wildly varied experiences and views on life help them to improve as human beings, as they balance each other out. I must admit, I’m a sucker for The Power of Friendship trope, cheesy as it may be, so this show is right up my alley.

Characters aside, Community is a solidly well-written show. The plot of each episode (so far) is self-contained, in a perfect, bite-sized format. Not to mention, it’s hilarious. On the surface, the comedy is typical of a sitcom show, but there is a delightfully absurdist edge to it that I can imagine only escalates in future seasons. Even in Season 1, there have been some great subversions. For example, in S1E17, “Physical Education,” the group (minus Jeff) attempt to coach Abed, the autistic-coded nerd, in flirting with women. However, it turns out he has no issues in the romance department, and has self-professed high self-esteem in these situations. Although it’s done for comedic effect, the message ends up being rather uplifting and challenges perceptions of people like Abed.

It’s a bit redundant recommending Community so long after it aired, but I can certainly say I’m looking forward to watching the rest of it!

Annie, Shirley, Pierce, Troy, Abed, and Britta sit at the study room table watching Jeff give a speech in Community

Music Recommendation: Ella Flame and the Nighthawks, Avenue of Sorrows

Timothy Glaraton: It’s been an agonizing four-year wait, but Ella Flame and the Nighthawks—the best band I know that no one has ever heard of—have finally returned with a brand new short and sweet four-song record, Avenue of Sorrows. Thankfully, not only is the group’s jazz-singer-meets-surf-rock-band sound intact from The Cracked Bell Rings, but the new EP also keeps that record’s vibe intact as well, once again playing out like a short, intimate set that brings to mind any number of cover bands found in any number of seedy nightclubs.

Every single track on Avenue of Sorrows absolutely rips. The storming, sensuous “Killing Time” leads straight into the slinky strut of “There Is An End,” moving into the slow smolder of “Cross My Heart and Hope To Die” and wrapping up with the swinging “LouLou” before the group seemingly vanishes once again into the night. Needless to say, it’s basically all I’ve listened to for the last week or so, and I’m right back at the first step of the cycle of waiting for another release from the group. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take another four years for the next one.

Written by TV Obsessive

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