I Hate Suzie review: Billie Piper is back on the box in one of 2020s best new series – NME.com

Posted: August 28, 2020 at 6:01 am

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Billie Pipers new comedy-drama series, which she co-created with Succession writer-producer Lucy Prebble, is being billed as excruciatingly honest. Thats a bold claim, but anyone whos read Pipers incredibly candid 2006 memoir, Growing Pains, will be able to believe it. Piper plays Suzie Pickles, a singer-turned-actress who found fame as a teenager and went on to act in a popular sci-fi series. Its a role which consciously reminds us of Pipers own career trajectory (90s chart-topper and then Doctor Who star), but never becomes too on-the-nose or knowing. Suzie Pickles is such an exasperating mess of a human being that theres no reason to doubt Piper whose own acting career has continued to blossom when she says I Hate Suzie isnt really autobiographical at all.

Billie Piper and Leila Farzad in the new Sky drama. Credit: Sky

Episode one begins with good news Suzies landed a Disney role she thought she was too old for followed by bad. Her phones been hacked and intimate photos of her performing a sex act are pinging across the Internet. Worse still: the penis in the pictures clearly doesnt belong to her husband Cob (Lovesicks Daniel Ings). Suzie has no chance to process the bombshell because a small army of magazine staff are arriving at her plush country cottage for a photo shoot that she seems completely unprepared for. Prebble captures the trivial hysterics of the photo shoot perfectly its fine for Suzie to wear a fur coat, everyone decides, because its vintage but this show isnt really an Extras-style celebrity satire. Instead, its a fascinating and discomfiting portrait of a woman whose development was arrested when she became famous at a young age. Two decades on, she lacks the life skills and self-awareness to deal with a major personal and public crisis.

Billie Piper and Dexter Fletcher in I Hate Suzie. Credit: Sky

Piper and Prebble previously worked together on late-noughties hit Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Both have said while promoting I Hate Suzie that the showdidnt turn out quite as gritty as theyd hoped. Theres no similar sense of compromise here and no attempt to smooth off Suzies jagged edges. Episode two shows her making a bad situation worse by lying about the leaked photos when shes cornered by a reporter at a sci-fi convention. She then starts flirting with a fellow sci-fi actor (Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher in a fab cameo) and sends her put-upon bestie-slash-manager Naomi (Leila Farzad) to score some coke for them. I Hate Suzies daring storytelling is generally very gripping, but also results in the odd jarring moment: episode one ends with a weird song-and-dance number which Piper super-impressive throughout just about pulls off. Then again, maybe the odd jarring moment makes sense for a series as prickly as this one, which has no intention of slipping down easily. It might be too spiky for some viewers, but those who invest will find I Hate Suzie is one of 2020s most riveting new shows.

I Hate Suzie premieres on Sky Atlantic this Thursday August 27 at 9pm all episodes will arrive on Sky and NOW TV on the same day

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I Hate Suzie review: Billie Piper is back on the box in one of 2020s best new series - NME.com

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August 28th, 2020 at 6:01 am

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