Starring Michelle Monahan in a dizzying twin position, “Echoes” options equivalent twins Leni and Gina, who’ve spent years perfecting the strangest sister act conceivable: Going away collectively for his or her birthday every year, then buying and selling locations to spend the subsequent 12 months dwelling one another’s lives.
When one among them goes lacking, nonetheless, it opens a door not solely to doubtlessly exposing the ruse however raises thorny questions on their previous, which comes dripping out in a sequence of flashbacks — together with the dying of their mom and a deadly fireplace — and attracts the eye of the native sheriff (Karen Robinson), the one character who appears to be having any enjoyable.
As is so typically true of those excessive ideas, although, the sequence feels more and more tortured down the stretch, to the purpose the place the alternating which-sister-did-what beats do not essentially change into troublesome to comply with however fairly problem your persistence by way of being motivated to strive. That is regardless of Monahan’s newest addition to the lengthy checklist of actors who’ve carried out either side of a dialog to some stunt double.
Netflix will get quite a lot of mileage out of those sort of mysteries, however for all its contortionist-worthy twists and turns, “Echoes” begins trying like an attractive plunge and does not fairly pull itself out of the shallow finish of that gene pool.
“Unhealthy Sisters,” in the meantime, is a way more intricate assemble, however boils right down to a easy query: Who and what killed the horrible husband of one among 5 unusually shut sisters, all of whom have motive to despise him separate from the truth that they hate the best way he treats their sibling?
Created by and co-starring Sharon Horgan (“Disaster”) because the eldest of the bunch, the present additionally options Eva Birthistle, Sarah Greene and Eve Hewson because the plotting quartet.
Darkly humorous, the present operates in several time frames, with the later half involving a pair of insurance coverage brokers (Brian Gleeson, Daryl McCormack) satisfied that foul play was concerned in John Paul’s demise. Sadly for them, John Paul is such a dedicated jerk the sisters aren’t alone in having motive to need to see him out of the image.
There’s an nearly Rasputin-like high quality to the sisters’ initially hapless efforts, with Eva at one level noting — when somebody proposes staging a work-related accident — “What are we gonna do, paper reduce him to dying?”
For all that, “Unhealthy Sisters” supplies a stronger payoff than “Echoes” and feels much less far-fetched, which fits a great distance in serving to justify the funding. Within the realm of streaming, as with household, these are the sort of ties that bind.
“Echoes” and “Unhealthy Sisters” premiere Aug. 19 on Netflix and Apple TV+, respectively. Disclosure: My spouse works for a unit of Apple.