Saturday, August 2, 2008

Secret Diary of a Call Girl: Last Page, First Season

I saw the remaining episodes of Showtime's Secret Diary of A Call Girl on a publicity copy a few days ago, and have been meaning to write about them.

As I said in my initial review, Billie Piper is appealing as Belle (the call-girl) as well as Hannah (her real-life identity). She not only looks the parts, but has a winning humorous touch and a good range of emotion. Her narrative technique of looking into the camera for deadpan effect works just fine.

The episodes are pretty good, but uneven in quality. My favorite was Belle being paid to spend all night with a client, being more than willing to sleep with him as often as he wanted, but not wanting to actually fall asleep in his arms or even in bed with him. That would have violated one of her cardinal policies (she has many, and they are in many ways the heart and soul of the show). Convinced that the guy is sound asleep, Belle goes down to the bar and can't resist another customer - hey, we live in a world of multitasking.

The final episode of Belle considering a move up from call girl to courtesan was good, too - but highlighted the one weakness of the series: not much of a continuing, overarching story to animate the episodes. I guess I've been spoiled by everything from Lost to The Wire, and even Curb Your Enthusiasm, but a TV series without an ongoing story seems lacking to me.

I think Belle/Hannah has more than enough going to carry a continuing story. If the sassy series comes back, I hope it goes in that direction.

See also: Showtime's Sassy Hour of Sin






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