TV Review: I Hate Suzie

‘I’m not depressed, I just need a new dressing gown…’

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It’s not often that I write a full review for a TV show. It normally indicates that I either loved it or I hated it. I nearly wrote a review for The Haunting of Bly Manor, but I decided the world wasn’t ready for such a vehicle of vitriol to be unleashed into the ether, and so I just grumbled about it under my breath before dropping to sleep in my easy chair. I Hate Suzie jolted me into action for altogether different reasons…

Suzie Pickles (Billie Piper) is a former child star and moderately successful actress whose world is knocked off its axis by the leaking of some intimate pictures from her past. Particularly affected by this indiscretion are her husband Cob (Daniel Ings) and her agent and best friend Naomi (Leila Farzad).

I Hate Suzie didn’t make it onto my best of 2020 list, simply because I didn’t get round to it until January 2021. Had I have watched it upon release, it would have probably threatened the top three. Piper is utterly sensational as the eponymous Suzie. At once confident, turbulent and vulnerable. The arena of consent and sexual politics was covered with great acclaim by Michaela Coel and I May Destroy You in 2020, but I Hate Suzie edges it for me. Whilst the former sometimes felt too focussed on delivering a message or a moral, sometimes at the expense of entertainment, I Hate Suzie is compelling and captivating first and foremost, the fact that it also has a lot to say about gender, fame and the media is almost incidental.

At 8 half hour episodes, Piper and Lucy Prebble’s creation never outstays its welcome, ensuring a race to the finish that saw me consume four episodes in one heady two hour spell during lockdown. This is bingeworthy TV that also has a beating heart at its centre.

Whether it be for a career best performance from Piper, a razorsharp script, or just flat out entertainment value, there are so many reasons to watch I Hate Suzie. Don’t wait six months like I did.

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