If you like Katherine Ryan as a stand-up comedian (Glitter Room) or tv host, then you will love The Duchess. This is the story of a single mother in London trying to her best to raise a great daughter. But instead of being all sweet and nice, Katherine is a largely unlikeable character. She is brash, rude, unfiltered and selfish. And she is only reined in by her very polite and well-mannered 9-year-old daughter Olive, who she adores.
Over six episodes, the story plays out that Katherine got pregnant after a one-night stand. The father is an ex-boy band singer who is now basically useless. Having done all the hard graft raising their child, Katherine still refuses to ever say anything bad about Shep (the dad played by Rory Keenan) despite all of his failings. And boy do they hate each other. This is the part where I tell you that if you're easily offended, then the language in The Duchess may not be for you!
Her problem is that she wants to have another baby so Olive can have a sibling. However, she point blank refuses to commit to her boyfriend Evan and instead decides that both her children should have the same father. So trying to decide between Evan and convincing Shep to have another baby, is her main dilemma. And her daughter is getting picked on in school! Balancing all of that plus her career as an artist has Katherine very confused about the right path to take.
The Duchess is the kind of show that you will either love or really hate. It will be laugh-out-loud funny or just too crude but it is essentially a British comedy and they do tend to push the boundaries a lot more. I actually really liked the story. Ryan didn't create a character based on likeability. But what she did create was a complex, driven woman with plenty of faults so at least she's real. Even if you can't understand some of her choices, you can't argue that she only ever has her daughter's best interests foremost in her mind.
It's different and funny and I hope there's a season two in the works.