BILLIE Piper doesn’t want you to like the lead character she plays in I Hate Suzie (Sky Atlantic, Thursday, 9pm, 9.45pm). You could probably guess that from the title.

The new eight-part drama is built around a former teenage pop star with an eventful love life, who goes off to live in the country only to find happiness is not to be found there either. Any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental, the twice-married Piper (Chris Evans, Laurence Fox) told the Radio Times.

As for her character, she says of Suzie: “She’s not always likeable or a great mother. She’s quite often monstrous and hysterical and tightly wound. But that’s in all of us. I find it incredibly frustrating when I watch anything and I’m not getting that from a female character.”

Created and written by Piper and Lucy Prebble (Succession), I Hate Suzie is being punted as one of a new breed of women-led dramas that want to be anything but sugar and spice and all things nice. Well, maybe the spice part.

Think Fleabag by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Russian Doll, penned by Amy Poehler and Natasha Lyonne among others, and Michaela Coel’s truly outstanding I May Destroy You. The Hollywood Reporter magazine has called the phenomenon “the rise of the anti-heroine”.

We meet Suzie when she is on a high, having just heard she has landed a plum role as a princess in a mega-budget family movie. Before she can sign on the dotted line, however, pictures emerge of her doing something very un-princessy. Her phone has been hacked, her life is up-ended, and all is chaos.

Piper is right about her character being tightly wound, so much so that I Hate Suzie makes for stressful viewing at times. While Suzie is having her umpteenth nervous breakdown, for example, there is a photoshoot going on in her home, complete with lots of annoying meeja luvvies. As the camera homes in on Suzie’s face she looks in absolute agony, so much so it almost seems cruel to look.

Times may change, and dramas made by women become more authentic. This is to be welcomed, but ultimately the viewer has to get something pleasurable out of the deal. That holds just as much for male characters as female. Two episodes in, Suzie, hopefully, is over the worst and ready to fight back. Worth a taster just to see what a fine actor Piper is, even if you don’t ultimately stay the course.

It is always obvious when a programme has been filmed pre-lockdown. In The Truth About Cosmetic Treatments (BBC1, Tuesday, 8pm) everyone is getting up close and personal without looking like they are about to enter a nuclear contaminated zone or perform open heart surgery. Happier, more carefree days … but should they have been?

That is just one of many questions asked by Mehreen Baig and Michael Mosley (above, right) in this two-part examination of an industry valued at £3 billion. This is not the beauty business of old, offering facelifts and liposuction. Major surgery is out and “tweakments” such as fillers are in.

Despite the cutesy label, some of these procedures can be risky if carried out by the wrong person. Yet the industry in this country is almost completely unregulated, says Baig.

Mosley, as is his way, is not afraid to put himself forward as a guineapig. He once tried botox for a programme. When he asked his wife for her verdicts she said he looked “different, not better, just weirder”.

This time, he tries another process that promises to get rid of wrinkles. Game soul that he is, he has it done on just one half of his face. “Blimey. Quite painful,” is his initial assessment. But when he goes back in three weeks’ time, will it all have been worth it?

I won’t spoil the surprise (or non-surprise, as the case may be). These lips are similarly sealed on what happens when six women try laser treatment, microneedling, and collagen drinks in a bid to look younger. Enough to say it is not for the squeamish.

Why do women and men put themselves through all this stress, pain and expense? For most, it seems to be about confidence. If they feel better about themselves they are more at ease with others. But once you start with one treatment, how long until you go back for another, and where does it stop? According to one young woman vox popped in Manchester, the list of must-haves is growing ever longer. “Big lips, square jaw, big bum, big boobs,” she reels off.

There is a fascinating experiment at the end to see how this new kind of “beauty”appears to the eye of the beholder. One to definitely watch if you are contemplating having “work” done. Think I’ll confine my dreams to replacing the upstairs windows.