Billie Piper shines in ‘I Hate Suzie’

Natasha Lynch

Billie Piper excels in her hilarious and poignant portrayal of an actress whose private photos are exposed after her phone was hacked.

Billie Piper’s character Suzie Pickles’ career mirrors Pipers’ own as she plays a singer-turned-actress in the eight-part series ‘I Hate Suzie’.

Piper is a co-creator of the show along with Lucy Prebble, a second collaboration from the duo since ‘Secret Diary of a Call Girl’ in 2007.

Suzie is impulsive, narcissistic and needy but at the same time loving, witty and extremely funny.

The portrayal of Suzie is realistic. She desperately tries to avoid all of her problems including a turbulent marriage, living in a village she hates and the larger issue of her exposed nude photos.

Suzie’s childhood best friend and manager Naomi (Leila Farzad) acts as her conscience. When Suzie’s life is upended, Naomi demonstrates a sharp, no-nonsense approach to life.

Each episode is titled with a stage of emotion Suzie experiences as she deals with the scandal of her nudes being leaked; shock, denial, fear, shame, bargaining, guilt, anger and lastly, acceptance.

The first episode reveals that the other person in the leaked photos is not Suzie’s husband Cob (Daniel Ings). This leads to a justified reaction of Cob locking her out of their house.

She frantically scrambles around the cottage and tries to get her young son Frank, who is deaf, to throw her phone out the window.

The show is unpredictable; at one point Suzie breaks out in song as she meanders hopelessly through the streets, coming to the realisation that she has hit rock bottom.

Every feeling she has is apparent on screen as we see each grimace and tear that she tries to suppress in the close-ups.

Piper, mostly known for her role as Rose Tyler in Doctor Who (2005), is the only actor to have won all six of the UK theatre’s best actress awards for her performance in the 2016 adaptation of Yerma.

This show is an addictive dark comedy-drama with excellent writing and authentic acting.

‘I Hate Suzie’ and ‘Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag’ successfully depicts a woman in her mid-30’s navigating life. A protagonist that is uncommon in today’s TV.

Piper’s portrayal of the chaotic Suzie is outright hilarious and utterly convincing. ‘I Hate Suzie’ is available to stream on NOW TV until the 31st of December.

Natasha Lynch

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