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Bad Sisters Is The Family Feud Drama That's Even More Fiery Than House Of The Dragon

The TV streaming wars have just finished a major battle that saw Harfoots and Hulks go toe-to-hairy-toe with one another. And yet, even with another Marvel series and Amazon pulling out the most expensive show ever made, one contender clawed its way back to reclaim a legacy that had since been lost, turning millions of heads in the process: "House of the Dragon," the prequel to "Game of Thrones," overcame a besmirched name to gather similar numbers to the show that preceded it, with the Season 1 finale bringing in 9.3 million views alone. An impressive feat, undoubtedly, and kudos to Queen Rhaenyra (Emma D'Arcy) and company for their effort.

However, "House of the Dragon" isn't the only show to handle deathly in-house events this year, and get away with it so well. There's one show that may well have gone under the radar and manages to dispose of unwanted branches of the family tree in an even showier fashion — a "Big Little Lies" from the Emerald Isle, this series doesn't require knights, queens, or excessively pointy seating to fight for. All it needs is five loving sisters ... and a monstrous jerk, the latter of whom is competing to be one of the best small-screen villains in years. 

That series in question is called "Bad Sisters," and it might just be the best show of 2022 that didn't make your watchlist. Here's why it should.

Family matters more on Bad Sisters than on House of the Dragon

"Bad Sisters" is produced and stars Sharon Horgan as Eva Garney, the eldest of five sisters, three of which unite with her to kill their brother-in-law and husband of their sister, Grace, played by Anne-Marie Duff (more on that later). Besides planning such a heinous crime, each sister has their drama to match even the royal affairs of the folks in Westeros. None of them are perfect, but their chemistry together blows that of any house in the "Game of Thrones" world clean off the map.

Actors playing house always work better if the cast has chemistry. Even the little time the Starks had together was enough to make it so that when things went south in Season 1, the dread set in if we'd ever see them together again. That's never really been the case with "House of the Dragon," no matter how many matching wigs are applied. Some might share a spark, whether familial, romantic, or both (shivers), but it's nothing like what came before. That can't be said for "Bad Sisters." This cast of women feels like they've lived under each other's feet forever, and it raises the bar for everything else. The Garveys are at their best when a word isn't uttered. It's in that shared look around the table only siblings can read. Of course, it could be argued that "House of the Dragon" has a timeline to wade through, but the Garveys have their own timeline, as well.

Bad Sisters' time management beats House of the Dragon's handling of family history

The aforementioned jerk is dead, to begin with. That's no spoiler. J.P. (Claes Bang) has kicked the bucket from the start, with only his wife in mourning. It's here where — taking from "Clan," the Danish 2012 the show is based on — we're transported back when J.P. was alive and kicking the spirit out of any soul he came across, including his loving wife. It's a functional bit of storytelling that comes into play after two insurance agents (Brian Gleeson and Daryl McCormack) begin to pick apart the cause of death, suspecting foul play. The more they dig up, the more we're sent back to see just how much of a gaslighting scumbag J.P. was. 

This storytelling application could have been more beneficial if it had been used in "House of the Dragon," as well. While the performances of the younger Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and Alicent (Emily Carey) kept us hooked, the first season felt like it was their moment to shine rather than their grown-up counterparts. The time shift after the first few episodes took some getting used to, with Olivia Cooke's iteration of Alicent feeling more seamless than Emma D'Arcy's take on Rhaenyra. In hindsight, maybe flying around the timeline would've helped. Joining the dots as to how Aemond lost his eye or why Rhaenyra was so set on her "duty" to become queen could've had even more impactful and perhaps made picking sides that much harder.

Bad Sisters villain beats any Game of Thrones baddie to date

It's an understatement to say "Game of Thrones" has hosted nefarious characters. Houses Lannister, Bolton, and Targaryen have borne some very bad eggs, but all of them would crack next to "Bad Sisters" villain J.P., aka John Paul.

Somehow, Claes Bang, who once played Dracula, has conjured a character even more monstrous than the Prince of Darkness. Every episode hosts a J.P. moment that will invoke a visceral "up-off-the-sofa" reaction. What makes it all the more insufferable, though, is that unlike any wrong doer in Westeros, John Paul's actions and mindset make him all the more loathsome because when all is said and done, people like him truly do exist.

John Paul is a toxic, gaslighting charmer of women you hope your friend never introduces to you as their new partner. He's no rogue prince following his own rules or a treacherous "allying" Lord planning a takeover. Rather, he's a snake in an office shirt sharper than any sword, who sometimes doesn't even face the consequences of his genuinely despicable actions. Given that the world of "Game of Thrones" is rife with characters whose moral compasses are constantly on the fritz, John Paul is a classic antagonist that is permanently facing south, and you're praying the Garveys get him there as soon as possible ... so much so that, when it happens, it feels all the more rewarding.

Bad Sisters' doesn't outstay its welcome the way House of the Dragon still might

Some of the best televised tales have been a one-and-done gig that made them all the better to go back to, and "Bad Sisters" fits that bill perfectly from beginning to end. The narrative of these sisters plotting against this horror in hiking boots ended in the most satisfactory way possible, with plot turns just as compelling — if not more so — than any in Westeros.

 And while yes, sure, "Bad Sisters" and "House of the Dragon" may be working within the confines of totally different genres, the core of each story is the same: Both focus on family legacies and keeping an eye out for your own to ensure it stays intact, no matter what. "The lone wolf dies, but the pack survives," and all that. While this theme definitely applies to both shows, "House of the Dragon" struggles from having to follow the same formula as its predecessor, and while the comeback has been triumphant so far, there are many fans still weary that the "House of the Dragon" could fall just as "Game of Thrones" did. We don't want to be goblet half-full about this, but this series still works from the same rules as its predecessor and could break just as quickly. 

"Bad Sisters," while it will never gain the notoriety of "Game of Thrones" is nonetheless a compelling series about families, legacy, and betrayals that shouldn't be underestimated. Send all the armies and dragons you like this year — they don't hold a candle to the Garvey girls.