This article contains spoilers for the first three episodes of Bad Sisters, including the indisputable fact that Daryl McCormack is fine.
Daryl McCormack’s latest role in Bad Sisters confirms what so many people already knew to be true: The guy is one of 2022’s greatest on-screen crushes.
The 29-year-old Irish actor kicked off the year by reprising his role as Isaiah Jesus in the sixth and final season of Peaky Blinders. From there, he went on play young male sex worker, Leo Grande, opposite Emma Thompson in the charming drama, Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. And now McCormack is back as Matthew Claffin, an insurance agent in Apple TV+‘s new dark comedy starring Sharon Horgan.
If you were intrigued by the actor’s performance in Peaky Blinders or swooned over his hotel room scenes in Leo Grande, we’re pleased to report that Bad Sisters will decidedly fuel your Daryl McCormack crush.
The sharp, suspenseful, witty watch seeks to uncover the true cause of John Paul’s (Claes Bang) death. When JP’s late wife Grace (Anne-Marie Duff) submits a hefty insurance claim, McCormack’s character Matt and his half brother Thomas (Brian Gleeson) set out to find malicious intent. Over the course of the show they interview JP’s widow and her sisters Eva (Horgan), Ursula (Eva Birthistle), Bibi (Sarah Greene) and Becka (Eve Hewson). But when Matt falls for Becka, the investigation grows significantly more complicated.
Minutes into the pilot, the insurance agent and massage therapist share a rather painful meet-cute that lays the groundwork for their unconventional romance. As a flustered Becka is running late for her brother-in-law’s funeral she sprints into the street and almost hits a man on a motor bike. That man crashes to the ground and screams, “What are you doing, you walked right in front of me. Did you want to get hit?” in a beautiful Irish accent. He takes off his helmet, reveals a pair of piercing green puppy dog eyes, and before you even learn his name you’re smitten.
Becka, who’s endlessly endearing throughout the season thanks to a sparkling performance by Hewson, apologizes and picks his cracked cell phone and gravel-filled sandwich up from the street. After one of the most precious reactions in television history, Matt — in all his leather glove/earring/messenger bag wearing glory — puts his helmet back on and rides away in silence, nearly getting hit by a car during his dramatic exit.
Later in the episode, Matt arrives at his family’s insurance office where his brother explains they’re off to JP’s funeral to suss out the situation. Despite Thomas’ commitment to a ruthless hunt for foul play, Matt remains a voice of reason and always advocates for boundaries. He leads with morals, never wants to be intrusive, and is extremely self-aware while doing his best to respect the sisters’ privacy.
At the funeral, Matt becomes so mortified by his brother’s refusal to read the room that he escapes to a bar where he runs into Becka again, still unaware she’s a Garvey sister. They share some delightful flirty banter, she calls him “Sandwich Boy,” then gets him to buy her a drink. He reveals he’s a bassist who had a band in London called Exile in Babylon, shoots a series of sweetly seductive close-mouth grins, and bats his sex eyes. Before Becka leaves, she puts her number in his phone under “Sandwich Girl,” and in Episode 2 Matt calls and asks her out on a date.
Episode 3 shows the two on an incredibly wholesome first outing at the beach. From Matt’s G-rated cheek kiss to the main date event (a game played in the company of elderly men) it’s apparent he’s a reserved, upstanding young man who’s wildly unaware of how attractive he is. And of course, that only makes him hotter. As the series progresses, Matt opens up in the relationship and we see more of his palpable chemistry with Becka.
What’s so refreshing about McCormack’s Bad Sisters role is Matt lacks the confidence and charisma the actor’s other 2022 characters exuded. Bad Sisters gives us a glimpse at McCormack’s range and shows a softer, more vulnerable side of the actor on screen. Matt is funny, shy, insecure, and wounded, and McCormack does a remarkable job of balancing conflicting emotions, such as the internal struggle of wanting to help his brother while longing to follow his heart and protect Sandwich Girl.
Make no mistake: The Garvey girls are Bad Sisters’ main draw. But McCormack crushing it up is definitely a bonus. The actor may be a newcomer to major roles, but we can’t wait to see more of him.