Pick of the week: “I am…” on channel 4

Kat Nicholls
By Kat Nicholls,
updated on Aug 18, 2021

Pick of the week: “I am…” on channel 4

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Sometimes social media ads get my blood boiling, especially if they’re about dieting or weight loss (not interested, thank you), but sometimes… they get it spot on. Recently I’ve been seeing ads for Channel 4’s TV series I am… and I got intrigued.

After looking it up, I realised I was fashionably late to the party, with season one airing to great critical acclaim back in the summer of 2019. But with season two airing now, this is the perfect time to catch up.

Each season is three episodes long, following different women as they experience pivotal moments in their lives. Created by Bafta winner Domonic Savage, every episode is created through collaboration between Savage and the actors. Inserting elements of the actors' real experiences into the stories makes every performance raw, unfiltered and unflinchingly authentic.

The series is shot in an incredibly intimate way, with close camera work and dialogue often created by the actors on the spot. Starring talent like Hannah Chan, Surrane Jones and Letitia Wright, the range in topics covered is broad. Here's what to expect:

Season 1

  • I am Nicola explores the realities of being in a coercive relationship, the highs, the lows and the difficulties of doing what you know is right.
  • I am Kirsty looks at single motherhood, financial troubles and the sacrifices made to protect your family.
  • I am Hannah comments on the experience of being a woman in her 30s and dealing with societal and family expectations of having children.

Season 2

  • I am Victoria reveals the mental health struggles beneath apparent ‘success’.
  • I am Danielle delves into what can happen when you fall in love in a modern world.
  • I am Maria opens up a conversation about getting older and finding acceptance.

Even if you haven’t experienced the challenges the women face in this series, there’s a sense of empathy that’s hard to shake. There’s a high chance that you’ll either relate to a character, or know someone whose story they tell, and there’s an even higher chance you’ll be moved by the performances.

The common thread running throughout the series seems to be that appearances can be deceiving. We women very often present ourselves in a certain way to the rest of the world. Strong. Happy. Successful. OK. Sometimes this is the case of course, but as this series so eloquently shows - sometimes it isn’t.

When we dare to let our masks drop and accept that we’re not OK, when we accept our vulnerabilities and let that make us stronger… everything changes. We ask for what we need, we find an inner strength, we do what we thought was impossible.

And that’s what I feel this series is ultimately about - the strength of women.

You can catch up on season one and two of I am... on All 4 right now, and when you’re done we recommend listening to Surrane Jones’ brilliant interview on Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place podcast where the actress discusses her role in I am Victoria and the mental health battles she faced herself.

If you’re struggling and looking for someone to talk to, you might find counselling a helpful space. Learn more and find a counsellor on Counselling Directory.

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