I Hate Suzie

TV review by
Marina Gordon, Common Sense Media
I Hate Suzie TV Poster Image
Funny, raw, mature show is frank about sex, drugs, aging.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

This is a pretty selfish lot, but by the end, Suzie and Naomi have made significant realizations about their choices by listening to their guts.

Positive Role Models

Not much to emulate here overall. One notable exception: Suzie's seven-year-old son is deaf and it's intriguing to see how little is made of this difference and the arguments for and against his going to a school for deaf children.

Violence

In one lengthy scene, Suzie's guts are ripped out by zombie (she's in character on her TV show). Her seven-year-old son kills a pet rabbit, and it's unclear if it was intentional. Throughout the series, Suzie's husband, Cob, is a physically menacing presence though not necessarily physically abusive. In a university classroom scene, he play-acts sexually harassing a student.

Sex

Though there's very little nudity in the show, the show's premise is about how Suzie's life is affected when images of her giving a blow job to an affair are released to the media. Viewers don't see that act (other than some pixelated images), but we do see implied blow jobs; clothed masturbation; implied masturbation; implied erection; fantasy sex; memories of sex). Suzie has a dream about swimming through a sea of comically large penises.

Language

"F--k" in many different forms, "c--k," bitch, slut, "d--k," and others. Often the characters swear in front of Suzie's seven-year-old son, Frank, who is deaf.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters are often shown drinking wine and alcohol; there are many instances of cocaine use; Suzie says she took four sleeping pills in an implied suicide attempt; Cob and others smoke; he takes an ecstasy pill on their date, which Suzie gives to another woman in the restroom.

What parents need to know

Parents should know that I Hate Suzie is a dark comedy about an aging teen star. It delves into the adult topics of sex outside marriage, sex in marriage, the complex emotions in long-term relationships, the sacrifices of parenthood, and other thorny issues. There's no nudity in the show other than a sea of comically large fake penises that appear in a dream, but Suzie and the other main characters talk about sex extensively, and one episode is entirely about masturbation and fantasy. Expect lots of foul language ("f--k" "c--k," bitch, slut, "d--k," and the like) and plentiful drugs and alcohol (cocaine, wine and hard liquor, ecstasy and other pills).

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What's the story?

Suzie Pickles (Billie Piper) should be on top of the world. In I HATE SUZIE we meet her 20 years after she became a teen singing sensation on a TV competition, then languished in second-rate TV shows. Now her career is on the upswing -- she's just been cast as an aging Disney movie princess. The high doesn't last: After she gets that news, Suzie is assaulted with a flurry of texts; she learns that her phone has been hacked and compromising images are out there at the same moment that photo crew shows up to shoot her (she's the star of a zombie show) for a profile. In a panic, she has to keep that scandal from everyone -- her mainsplainer husband, Cob (Daniel Ings) 7-year-old son, Frank (Matthew Jordan-Caws), the photo crew, the cleaning lady -- for the next second, minute, hour. Once the story in on everyone's phones, the season's eight episodes explore how the scandal affects Suzie's already messy, complicated marriage, sex life (inside and outside of her marriage), career, friendship (her agent, Nicole [Leila Farzad] is also her best friend from childhood), motherhood, and more.

Is it any good?

Billie Piper, as Suzie Pickles, has mined her own life (teen singing star, actor on shows with obsessive fans) in a tour de force performance, with seemingly every human emotion played out in closeup. Before this series, Piper has enjoyed a successful, multi-faceted career, with multiple hit singles before she could drive and starring roles in well-received shows (Doctor WhoPenny Dreadful). Her latest feels raw and personal -- in good company with the long list of funny, often emotionally wrenching series that their stars created for themselves (e.g., Insecure, I May Destroy You, Fleabag, Better Things). 

Piper's performance is great -- from the outsized physical reactions (only heightened by her huge eyes and mouth) to her career and personal life in a nosedive to the subtleties of her interactions with her condescending, sometimes menacing husband and possibly troubled son. I Hate Suzie looks at life from the mid-30s rather than the 20s, a view that can feel like a non-stop panic attack -- an exaggeration of reactions familiar to many viewers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about marriage and relationships. Is love the only good reason to be in a partnership or get married? What are some of the other reasons people get together and stay together? What does this series suggest about some of these points?

  • How does the media portray casual sex and related themes? Is there a connection between the sexual content we see on TV and the decisions we make about having sex and protecting ourselves?

  • How does the media portray adults who were child stars? How does early fame seem to affect actors and singers?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dark comedy

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