This show contains depictions of domestic and animal abuse and familial death.

(Apple TV+) BAD SISTERS has a very simple premise: five orphaned sisters, held together by the eldest, realize that the husband of the second eldest is actively trying to undermine their sisterhood, and they take action to try to get her back into the fold.

Under the surface, it’s a fraught story of power, age, and personality dynamics. Apart from EVIL, I haven’t seen another show tackle the disparity of so many interpersonal sibling personas with such tact. There’s a well-worn cadence between all of them — a familiarity but also distancing at times — that feels so incredibly authentic while they’re basically trying to erase this avenging angel of a man — John Paul Williams (the ever tall Claes Bang) — from splintering them.

As standard with ensemble pieces like this, casting needs to be perfect, and thankfully the show is masterminded by the terrific multi-faceted Sharon Horgan (CATASTROPHE), who also leads in it, alongside her sisters who are a litany of faces you’ve seen if you’ve watched any European TV in the past ten years: Eve Hewson (THE KNICK), Sarah Greene (NORMAL PEOPLE, DUBLIN MURDERS), Anne-Marie Duff (THE MAGDALENE SISTERS) as John’s unfortunate wife, and more.

It’s also extremely Irish, all lush greens and cliffs and inflections, with brilliant sweeping camera work, and one moment that reminds me of THE DROWNING GIRLS, but I might reading a bit too much into that.

It has been renewed for a second season, but whether that materializes is questionable.

Lastly, make sure to watch the very cleverly constructed title sequence, as it deftly utilizes a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Who By Fire” in a manner that absolutely recalls ELEMENTARY‘s title sequence (although ELEMENTARY is a bit more overt about its MOUSETRAP origins, but BAD SISTERS is doing something a bit different here):

KILL BILL VOL. 1 (2003)

There are a lot of memorable moments in Tarantino’s KILL BILL, but the most memorable for me is:

“Wiggle your big toe.”

Yes. I know Tarantino definitely has a foot fetish and isn’t necessarily the greatest dude. No shit. It’s not subtle. Also, I realize it’s probably a riff on a film I’m unaware of — I can’t watch ’em all, folks!

However, I love that he features a grounding technique so prevalently in an action film, and it’s something I think about constantly, despite definitely not having a foot fetish. (No shame in that as long as there is consent and understanding: I’m just stating!)

“Wiggle your big toe.”

Some days I just feel mentally incapacitated. I can barely summon the strength to even move in bed, much less get out of bed.

“Wiggle your big toe.”

Thinking of The Bride motivating herself stupidly helps. That struggle, the pain she’s gone through, the trauma. I can’t help but to relate to it, even if I haven’t lived through that exact sort of pain.

“Wiggle your big toe.”

All you need to do is convince yourself to commit to one small act, and then another, and another, and before you know it, you’re presenting as a functional adult for as long as you need to.

“Wiggle your big toe.”

I realize I’ve been spending a lot of time — perhaps too much time — writing about media as therapeutic means and I don’t love that about myself, but it really fucking helps; to watch, to realize what is a salve, a personal balm.

“Wiggle your big toe.”


(Apple TV+) BOYS STATE is a documentary that’s a deep-dive into The American Legion’s yearly effort to prep teens for a political career via a week-long camp that mimics a trial electoral run. It was filmed in the middle of the Trump Administration, and this film focuses solely on the Texan Boys State program so you can expect teen boys trying to impress other teen boys, doodling Pepe the Frog, and shouting many slogans they’ll (hopefully) come to regret in the coming years.

Despite that, it’s still a documentary that shows this isn’t just about MAGA trolls or narcissistic right-wingers. It’s a fascinating look at political youth that made me realize that many are basically theater kids that feel like they’re on a higher mission, in more ways than one, and when they feel the warmth of the limelight, they just want more.