Netflix’s ‘The Duchess’ Is a Charming Comedy Exemplifying Modern Motherhood

Created by and starring stand-up comedian Katherine Ryan, The Duchess is a  semi-autobiographical comedy series about a single mother and her daughter Olive (Katy Byrne) living in London. Olive’s father Shep (Rory Keenan) is a former rock band member who lost all of his money and now lives on a boat. 

The Duchess elicits a bit of nostalgia for mother-daughter classics like Gilmore Girls while maintaining something entirely its own. A blend of comedy and drama, the series is the perfect mix of funny and serious, making it a good watch for any mood. While some of the jokes may be a bit provocative and over-the-top, they are done just right.

At its core, The Duchess is a depiction of what it means to be a mother in modern times and shows us that it doesn’t matter how messed up you are as long as you give it your all. In the show, Katherine certainly gives it her all when she discovers Olive is being bullied at school by a girl named Millie (Beau Gadsdon). She takes matters into her own hands by going face to face with Millie’s mom, but perhaps took it a bit too far by planting nudes in Millie’s dad’s office and claiming she is having an affair with him– but it was all for the sake of Olive right?

Later on, when Katherine comes to the conclusion that Olive needs a sibling, she wonders if the best thing for Olive might mean sleeping with Shep so if she dies the children will stay together — even though she hates his guts. Unfortunately, this idea doesn’t go over well with her current boyfriend Evan (Steen Raskopoulos). 

Katherine may do things in an unconventional way but it is always abundantly clear that Olive is her number one priority. Not only is she a boss at being a mom — but she does it all with a sense of humor. The Duchess has not yet been renewed for a second season, but I hope it will be. I would love to see Katherine and Olive’s story progress.

The Duchess is now streaming on Netflix.

By Blair Krassen @blairlyawake

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