A Glimmer Of Happiness
Episode 1 of I Hate Suzie begins with a brief glimmer of happiness. This positive energy is short-lived but it’s enough to start our story from atop that mountain before the eventual decline. Episode 1 begins with 15 year old Suzie Pickles auditioning up on stage. Her singing completely blows the judges away. As rapturous applause rains down, she’s promised to be a big star.
20 years later, Suzie receives a big call offering her a position working with Disney. This could be just the ticket she needs to propel her career again. When her partner Cob is told the good news, he struggles to maintain his enthusiasm in the wake of Suzie’s erratic behaviour.
Things are only exacerbated in the wake of her cleaner Claudia arriving. Suzie immediately starts moving stuff around and checks her phone to see numerous missed calls. It turns out pictures of her have been leaked to the press.
As silence descends over her, this happens to be the proverbial calm before the storm. A knock at the door brings numerous members of the press inside. Eventually she composes herself long enough to answer a call from Naomi. She confirms the worst and that the photos are now online.
On the back of this, Suzie puts on a brave face. Or, more specifically, thick layers of make-up and a fur coat. As Cob learns the full extent of the hack, Suzie’s photo-shoot is cut short as they talk privately. They don’t get long though as the eager PR reps interrupt.
All of this builds up to a big climax of cacophonic voices talking over one another. Cob stands outside smoking. The photos are finally uploaded and Naomi stands with him and sees. All of this implodes in the worst way as Cob decides to change the door locks.
Eventually the photo-shoot ends and the press shuffle out Suzie’s house. As they do, Cob shuts the door and locks Suzie outside. Defeated, she sits with Naomi outside and learns that the scandal is worse than she initially thought. The man she’s with? It’s not Cob but someone else. Suzie was having an affair.
The Episode Review
If there’s one positive that comes from this opening episode, it comes from the job of simulating anxiety. It’s something that was captured beautifully in the claustrophobic hallways in Hollywood’s Mother! and here the same stylistic cues are used too.
There’s an awful lot of extreme close ups and the simmering tensions are beautifully captured through Billie Piper’s acting. The aptly titled “Shock” obviously plays on this emotion and the entire episode grabs this and runs with it.
Given Billie Piper started as a pop singer, it’s ironic that this show opens with her as a child singer. This plays back into that idea of the show feeling like a surrealist, exaggerated memoir and it leans into this nicely. It also leaves the door wide open for the rest of the season.