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October 1, 2014

Secret Diary of a Call Girl: Episode 1-02

by Kristin Sample, posted Jun 24th 2008 7:39AM
(S01E02) "Sometimes I get paid to do the things I've always wanted to do." -- Belle

Like have sex with old Scottish men who have a penchant for horses? No, wait, that was last week. This week Belle went to an exclusive adult party (think Eyes Wide Shut, but not as creepy) and meet her favorite author. She also got to wear a black wig (think Chicago) and some feathers around her neck (think Big Bird).

Check out my review of Secret Diary of a Call Girl after the jump. I promise, no more references.Tonight Belle went to an orgy, a very exclusive one -- with rules even. You had to be under forty, educated, beautiful to get in. Most importantly, you had to be invited. She was paired with an Eastern European scientist who researches sustainable resources. Seems like a good date and easy money for our London call girl. However, Belle was informed right away that she's not to engage in any sex during the party. This poses a big problem when she meets her idol, author Jay Lorre, who wants to have sex with her at the party. (Oh, and his wife is into it too.)

I thought this episode could have been stronger. Firstly, I would have liked Cheri Lunghi who plays Stephanie, Belle's agent to be involved. Stephanie makes 1/3 of Belle's wages. I was wondering when Belle told her client that he'd be reimbursed what Stephanie would say. I was waiting for the angry phone call from her agent. Afterall, Stephanie did her job. Why should she get cheated if Belle wants to go home with her literary crush? It also seemed rather unprofessional of Belle, especially when you hold the decision up against the season premiere where Belle explains all her "rules."

And secondly, I didn't like the hokey "personal reasons" angle. She used it to get out of work. Then, in an ironic twist of fate, Belle's sister gives birth and Belle tells Jay that she can't go home with him and his wife for ... personal reasons. I thought it was too neat for a witty show like this. It was a bit sitcom-esque in fact.

I know people have commented on whether or not the show is a "comedy." Showtime seems to think so but many of you readers disagree. I'm with you. The show isn't conventionally funny in a Everybody Loves Belle way. It's witty and sarcastic and a little gritty, but not laugh-out-loud funny. For example, I giggled a bit when Billie Piper tried to think of who Jay Lorre was. She said that she had to go through her "mental Rolodex" of everyone she's slept with. Then she turned to the camera and blurted out, "This could take awhile." That was well-delivered. But, things like Belle's lying to the client coming back to bite her is just hokey because Call Girl is not that kind of show. What do you think?

Other Comments:
  • I loved how "Anything Goes" played at the end of the episode.
  • The name of the book was Jay Lorre's The Irony Engine.
  • I like the stylized establishing shots they do at the beginning. But, I could do without Belle saying something about London to start things off each week. Last time she said something glib about how she loved London's anonymity -- a quality rather conducive to her line of work. Tonight she said that everywhere in London people are having sex and some people are getting paid for their services. I already feel like Showtime is touting this show as a Sex and the City, making the city itself another character in the series. I'm not sure it's working though.
  • Best line of the episode: "But of course you should never meet your heroes. Everyone knows that."
  • How does Belle get away with not drinking with clients? I could see not getting inebriated, but not drinking at all?
Do you think Secret Diary of a Call Girl is funny?
Yes35 (26.5%)
Sort of63 (47.7%)
No34 (25.8%)

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Ashley Boyd

"I already feel like Showtime is touting this show as a Sex and the City, making the city itself another character in the series. I'm not sure it's working though."

Sigh.

Showtime aren't doing anything. This show was made by ITV last year.

Besides, I see it more as someone loving where they live. Nothing wrong with that really.

June 24 2008 at 6:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LRS62

I agree.
But I'm up in the air if it's intentional on the part of the writers to show her as full of crap on the "2 sides" she claims she has or just big glaring holes in plotting.

June 24 2008 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kellie

On another TV board they mentioned how everything she says seems to contradict what she does on screen. If you go back and watch the first episode, it's all over the place. She does it here to a few times (she sips her champagne after saying she doesn't drink, she says never meet your idols but then she goes and introduces herself, etc etc). I thought it was an interesting angle this show was taking. As for funny... no. Amusing... yes?

June 24 2008 at 9:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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