For a debut scripted comedy series, Katherine has hit the mark with style with The Duchess — it’s hilarious.
This review of Netflix’s The Duchess season 1 contains no spoilers. The comedy series by Katherine Ryan will be released on September 11, 2020.
We recapped every episode — check out the archive.
With two Netflix specials against her name, Katherine Ryan is adding to her Netflix roster with the comedy series The Duchess. Starring as herself, it’s easy to wonder if the comedy series is loosely based on her life as she veers from scene to scene dropping her outrageous language effortlessly. While Variety claims the series is a “tasteless misfire”, I would argue that this British comedy is as arrogantly British as it gets, despite the comedian’s Canadian tinge.
From the first episode, Katherine slaps a coffee from another mother’s hand because their daughter is bullying hers. This leads up to a threat, stating she will have sex with her husband if her daughter continues to bully her sweet Olive. It’s an aggressive opening but it’s written with purpose — it gives the audience scope of what to expect for the rest of the 6-chapter series.
And while the other characters do well to merge in this gritty comedy, Katherine is the star of her own debut and self-scripted series; she’s benchmarking her writing and platforming her talents — like Ricky Gervais and his variety of projects, like Jason Bateman for Ozark, Katherine Ryan has laid a heavy hammer to stake her claim as a storyteller while starring in her own series. The Duchess is indicative of her comedic talents.
The story follows Katherine while she considers having a second child. While absolutely doting on her daughter Olive, Katherine has to battle with a shabby ex and her partner, who she loves but casually keeps at bay. The second season is centered on having this second child and the repercussions to Katherine’s life. Netflix’s The Duchess makes a mark for women’s choices; Katherine makes a valid point that women can have both — a career and a child; her character epitomizes the modern woman where she controls the outcome of her life, which at the same time, negatively means shunning genuinely caring men.
With each episode around the 25-minute mark, The Duchess season 1 does not feel like a chore — it’s a laidback comedy that relies mostly on dialogue rather than setting. It’s quite clear that with the on-the-surface dialogue that some outlets will put their nose up at this Netflix series and it might not be everyone’s taste. For a debut scripted comedy series, Katherine has hit the mark with style with The Duchess — it’s hilarious.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.