I Hate Suzie shows that if there’s one thing that Billie Piper (Collateral, Two For Joy) knows about, it’s playing the role of a former teen pop star, as she first came to the fore with her single, Because We Want To, going to No.1 at the age of 15. And you wondered what attracted multi-millionaire Chris Evans to her at that age…
In this drama, it begins 20 years ago when she was Suzie Pickles, loved and respected by media moguls who wanted to get into her underwear. Along the way, she’s also starred in a long-running sci-fi drama… no, not that one, but one called Quo Vadis. But now, she’s 35, and someone’s leaked some dodgy photos from her phone, which is causing another pickle for her, especially as she’s just landed a job with Disney and she’s about to be interviewed in her own home.
So, she’s forever worried that while all these people are there, they’re also about to spot what’s online; and it’s quite frantic as they try to cover things up before all those people discover it. Will she manage it? And even if she does, what will come next?
Safe to say, that in the second episode, she’s still having a bad time of it, and when she asks where her phone is, the reply comes: “The police still have it”. Ooooh, dear…. And what about when the topic comes up during a Comic Con-style event?
It’s a bit odd that her character is also in a show called After Death (perhaps a callback to Netflix’s Afterlife?) but when she asks her agent, Naomi (Leila Farzad), why no fans ever want to talk about that show as if it has no audience, the answer comes that it’s all about who clicks on it and that “viewing figures don’t matter”. Meanwhile, I Hate Suzie IS a conventional TV show, broadcast at the same time each week, but at the same time, all episodes are online from the first day.
Overall, this works well with a handheld camera often being used, with the camera constantly swinging round and keeping its eye mostly on Suzie, and all in order to build tension. Plus, it’s engaging, but after two episodes, I’m not 100% sold on it completely. It’s interesting, so I may give it some more Suzie.
In fact, the only major problem I found is that there’s a fair bit of quick and muffled dialogue, and the preview I’m watching didn’t have any subtitles.
I Hate Suzie begins on Sky Atlantic on Thursday August 27th at 9pm, with all episodes available on demand at the same time. The series isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Check out the trailer below and a review will be online nearer the time:
Episodes 1 and 2 Score: 7/10
Director: Georgi Banks-Davies
Writers: Billie Piper, Lucy Prebble
Producer: Andrea Dewsbery
Music: Johnny Lloyd, Nathan Coen
Suzie Pickles: Billie Piper
Naomi Jones: Leila Farzad
Cob Betterton: Daniel Ings
Lorraine: Kate Cook
Frank: Matthew Jordan-Caws
Claudia: Eve Polycarpou
Benjamin Detroit: Dexter Fletcher
Rose: Julie Cowan
Raptor: Luke Franks
Guy at the side: Christopher Pegler-Lambert
Juliet: Alison Thea-Skot
Nadia: Zita Sattar
Golden Android: Paul Bradley
Dory: Lily Nichol
Clive: Tom Andrews
Em: Molly Harris
Belinda: Elly Condron
Chloe: Sarah Seggari
Colin: Aliston Kirton
Teenage Suzie: Molly Jackson-Shaw
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.