Nothing says happy holidays like an exploration of the uncomfortable dark side of show business! At least, not according to the critically acclaimed I Hate Suzie, which returns this month and aims to further explore its titular heroine's spiral into self-doubt and her struggle to remake her public image.
The series stars former Doctor Who companion Billie Piper as the titular Suzie Pickels, a problematic and often unlikeable former child star turned C-list celebrity whose life fell apart in the wake of a phone hacking scandal. The show's first season follows her journey through each of the stages of grief after her nude photos are leaked, subsequently destroying her marriage, damaging her professional reputation, and turning her life upside down.
The second installment of the critically acclaimed dark comedy—snarkily called I Hate Suzie Too—is being billed as an "anti-Christmas, Christmas special", and if the recently released trailer is anything to go by, Suzie's story will be far from festive as she attempts to rehabilitate her career.
Season 2 will see her join the popular reality competition Dance Crazee, in which she must dance for likes on Saturday night telly and hope she can stay on the show long enough to fund her new lifestyle as a single mom. But can putting herself out there for repeated public judgment and ridicule possibly be good for her?
"Are you happy with everyone hating you?" her agent asks at one point during the trailer. "Well, no, it's not lovely," she responds.
One of the best things about I Hate Suzie is its painful honesty about what life is like for women forced to exist in the public eye, and Piper does an excellent job conveying Suzie's pain alongside her desperation to be both liked and successful. (The snippets of various dance sequences throughout the clip are as disturbing as they are entertaining if only because it appears evident her involvement in the competition is entirely too tied to her own sense of self-worth.)
Alongside Piper, Leila Farzad (Landscapers) is back for Season 2 as Suzie's estranged BFF (and former manager) Naomi, as is Daniel Ings (Why Didn't They Ask Evans?) as her ex-husband Cob. New faces joining the cast include recent BAFTA nominee Omari Douglas (It's a Sin), along with Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners), Douglas Hodge (The Great), Layton Williams (Bad Education), Anastasia Hille (The Ipcress File), Angela Sant'Albano (The Nevers), Reza Diako (Tehran), and Yaz Zadeh (I May Destroy You).
I Hate Suzie Too premieres on Thursday, December 22 on HBO Max.