Cast: Katherine Ryan, Kate Byrne, Steen Raskopoulos, Rory Keenan Creator: Katherine Ryan Genre: Comedy, Drama Duration: Six 30-minute episodes Now Streaming: Netflix
In The Duchess, stand-up comedian, Katherine Ryan plays a single parent who is navigating being a mother and pursuing a new relationship. That is what the series summary says. Yes, the show really is about that but there is more to the story.
Katherine — the leading woman, is also called Katherine Ryan, and is unapologetic about her parenting style and the relationship with her daughter, Olive (Byrne), is the most important. That plays into some of the things she is pursuing in the series. From a relationship with her current beau to desiring another child and the dynamics involved in getting one, we get to see different facets of her life.
Considering that it is a show written by a comedian, yes there are laughs to be had. However, if you are familiar with Ryan’s brand of comedy, it might not be your cup of tea. She has had two shows on Netflix with the most current being Katherine Ryan: Glitter Room. Her on-stage persona is brash and never measures her words. She uses explicit language with ease and will talk about the most uncomfortable topic without batting an eyelid. This is the persona Ryan brings to the character in The Duchess.
However, Ryan’s character just comes off as plain mean and plain ill-mannered. The Duchess plays right into the seemingly popular narrative that is being woke when you say what you are thinking, no matter the consequences. There is barely any thought about what the other person feels. Do you. The scene where Ryan has a fight with another parent and then proceeds to involve said parent’s personal life is uncalled for. It goes without saying that this is PG content.