Pop Diary: Bad Sisters, Orson Welles, Don Perlin

What I'm digging these days...

"Bad Sisters."
This dark who-done-it, set in Ireland, is hilarious,  disturbing and thought provoking all at once. Developed by the brilliantly funny Sharon Horgan ("Catastrophe" and more), it focuses on four sisters scheming to kill the husband of a fifth. 

We know from the first episode that the vile misogynist John Paul is dead, but it's not clear exactly how he died. The show's action switches back-and-forth between the past and present. Flashbacks reveal the depths of John Paul's emotional abuse of not just his own wife, but of all the Garvey sisters. The present-day scenes, meanwhile, center on the clan's desperate efforts to cover up the facts of John Paul's apparent murder from  a zealous insurance adjuster who's eager not pay out on a life insurance policy. 

The more we see of John Paul's behavior, the more we learn about all the ways in which men can diminish and mistreat women. Our sympathy for the sisters grows, even as wince at some of their foiled, Wiley E. Coyote-like attempts to kill off the bad guy. How John Paul dies is as big a mystery as who killed him. The rapport between the five actresses playing the Garvey sisters is delightful, even as their behavior grows more dastardly. 

Apple TV+ is doling out new episodes weekly and each one instantly leaves you wanting more.

Orson Welles.
Our neighborhood cinema is in the midst of a Welles retrospective, featuring 35mm screenings of several of his films. So far, we've seen the funnier-than-I-remembered "The Magnificent Ambersons" (I recalled it as pretty, but somewhat slow) and the more-bonkers-than-I-remembered "The Lady from Shanghai" (I remembered it as grim, dark and perverse, but this time I was captivated by the over-the-top, near-camp performances by Everett Sloane and Glenn Anders, not to mention Welles' hilarious Irish brogue). Repeated viewings, particularly on the big screen, can reveal new layers even to familiar films, I guess. Next up: "A Touch of Evil."

. The most recent issue of Roy Thomas' comics history mag spotlights Bronze Age great Don Perlin, co-creator of Moon Knight and Werewolf By Night, both of which are having a bit of a moment on the small screen these days. The package includes lots of nice art and long interview with the artist. There's also a fun, photo-packed feature on Marvel's ill-fated Marvelmania fan club of the 1970s, which is most famous for not sending fans stuff they paid for.

What are you digging these days?