I Hate Suzie Too shines an 'honest' light on the unspoken 'frustrations' of life
Billie Piper returns as former child star Suzie Pickles for a second season
Watch: The cast of I Hate Suzie Too talk to Yahoo about the new series
Described as an anti-Christmas Christmas special, Sky's I Hate Suzie Too — launching on 20 December — sees Billie Piper returning as child star Suzie Pickles, who’s intent on restoring her public image.
Talking to Yahoo about the show's themes, creators Billie Piper and Lucy Prebble explained that the new season hopes to shine a light on many of life's unspoken truths.
"We both have a quest to be honest about the things in life that affect all of us," says Piper.
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"That aren't spoken about. It seems to be a frustration we both share."
The duo also shared a dark sense of humour when creating their second instalment.
“I think on a personal level, you will often make each other laugh by saying things like: “You won't believe what I did next,”” said Prebble. "That sort of self-lacerating, dark 'Oh my gosh, I'm such a whatever,' we can translate that.”
“We wanted it to be sort of more ambitious, certainly visually, but even in the ideas to be honest,” adds Piper. “How do we improve on series one, how do we keep pushing that?”
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The return also sees the introduction of two new characters — reality TV show contestant Danny Carno (Blake Harrison), and Suzie’s estranged ex-husband Bailey Quinn (Douglas Hodge).
For both Harrison and Hodge, joining the show was a no-brainer.
“I think that what Lucy and Billy have done so well is create this likeable but flawed antihero, and you don't see many female characters like that,” said Harrison.
“I think the fact that they've done that makes this show feel very fresh and innovative.”
“They're fearlessly looking into those subjects, which is unusual on television I think,” Hodge agrees.
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With the first season so well received, there was still some hesitancy for the two.
“The first series was so well done, and the acting in it from everyone was so brilliant, that it was a slightly nerve-wracking thing to come into the series,” explains Harrison. “But when you read the scripts, any fears like that are alleviated just because it's so good.”
“Billie and Lucy are a force of nature,” says Hodge. “To see them in the corner, planning the scene and then rewriting it, it's inspiring.”
A big hook for I Hate Suzie Too is how Suzie chooses to resurrect her career — competing on a reality dance show, Dance Crazee.
For all three of the stars, it meant a great deal of dance training.
With a somewhat autobiographical feel to the show, it’s not too far-fetched from Billie Piper’s Honey To The Bee days. “I just couldn't wait to do the dancing. I couldn't wait to get into rehearsals — that was personally satisfying.”
For the boys, the struggle was slightly more apparent.
“I am a terrible dancer. I was dreading it,” said Hodge. “I lost my mom before (filming) and I really didn't want to work.”
“We did two weeks of just sitting there dancing every day. It was fantastically good for you and good for the soul and therapeutic.”
Describing creating the special as 'visually ambitious' and a 'less safe' experience, there was one show in particular that stood out as an inspiration to Prebble and Piper.
“Visually, we were very inspired by a show like Euphoria, which manages to use the camera in such an exciting way,” Prebble explains.
“I love it so much,” says Piper. “Shoutout to Zendaya — my son Eugene is a big fan and apparently you have compatible horoscopes. He told me to say that!”
I Hate Suzie Too is available on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW from 20 December.