Once upon a time, long, long ago, the biggest scandal a celeb could go through was being caught having an affair, the evidence being a few grainy long-lens photos. Now, the scandal is more likely to be having your racy photos stolen by some creep with unnecessarily good hacking skills, who then decides to be the worst person ever and publish them online for everyone to see.
Here lies the dark and compelling premise of Billie Piper’s new show, I Hate Suzie. Written by Lucy Prebble, who also created Secret Diary of a Call Girl, and co-wrote another very talked about show Succession, this new one is equally an absolute treat. It opens with beautifully shot chaos, as the protagonist, Suzie Pickles (Piper) finds out she has been offered the role of a lifetime as a Disney princess, about 20 minutes before she finds out her nudes have been leaked. What a pickle. Cue intense close-ups of a grimacing Suzie who tries, and naturally fails, to hold it together. This tone of quiet personal unrest bubbling up to the surface continues, as we follow Suzie on her journey through grief – each episode named after a different stage: Shock, Denial, Anger etc.
Prebble has told how she received rejections from multiple broadcasters who said that they already had ticked the “woman-having-a-breakdown” box, and we hope they are now sat in some dark studio somewhere, ugly crying and kicking themselves watching the overwhelmingly positive press roll in about this show. One publication full of praise is The Guardian. Lucy Mangan calls the show, “a wild ride that feels like an absolute gift,” and says “as well as wit by the bucketload…the series has the thrilling confidence of a collaboration between people who trust each other implicitly.”
This element of intimacy between creator and lead is also mentioned by Chris Bennion in The Telegraph, who calls the show “a series of love letters between Piper and Prebble,” saying it is a “glorious mess of ideas, a potent, fizzing monument to the creativity of its makers.” The Independent’s Ed Cumming says the show is “dark comedy at its most frantic” and comments “Piper has a rare gift for eliciting sympathy, even as Pickles keeps making new mistakes in her effort to disguise the old ones.”
If unlike the bitter broadcasters, you’ve got room for another woman-having-a-breakdown type show, then this is the one for you.
First shown August 2020. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.