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'Secret Diary of a Call Girl' Season Three - An Early Look

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 1st 2010 7:00PM
Secret Diary of a Call GirlBillie Piper returns in the other role that's made her famous, only this one definitely isn't for kids of all ages. UK fans caught the premiere of the third series of Piper's 'Secret Diary of a Call Girl' last Thursday, January 28 on ITV2. But this time, stateside fans won't have to wait nearly as long for their first glimpse, as Showtime's season premiere is tonight, Monday, February 1, 2010 at 10 PM ET.

The network was kind enough to send along all eight episodes of the third season for me to look at, and I have to give credit in two areas right off the top. After spending much of last season trying to have a normal romance, Belle wrapped things up by publishing 'The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl,' ironically the very book the television series is based on.

The first kudos goes to the show for pushing us into uncharted territory with both Belle and Bambi this season, as Bambi gets deeper into the world of escorting and Belle struggles to find inspiration for a follow-up book.

The second round of applause has to go to Billie Piper herself. Not just for her acting, which is always so cheeky and perfect on this show, particularly when she breaks the fourth wall to confide with the audience directly, but for getting herself into "call girl" shape less than two months after having the baby that led to some production creativity during the second season. She looks fantastic in these episodes, and it is nice to not be taken out of the fiction of it all by noticing a baby bump, or a strategically placed lamp, or a noticeable body double.

Replacing the nice doctor, who didn't know her real profession, from last season is a new man for Belle to potentially fancy, in the form of her book editor. It puts her in an interesting spot romantically, because here's a man who absolutely knows what she does for a living. It also raises the question: "Can any man truly be okay with being in a relationship with a whore -- no matter how high class she may be?"

The character of Bambi actually explores the exact same issues as Belle throughout much of the season. Bambi as a fellow escort in the early, naive days of the job makes for a great contract for Belle's experienced cynicism. As it turns out, they can both stand to learn a thing or more from one another.

The narratives are even more fun, if possible, since we now have the conceit of Belle actually writing new chapters for her follow-up book while the events of the episodes play out. And in each of those episodes we get more of the crazy and wacky sex clients we've come to love and wonder about.

The series does a great job of looking at the bizarre and sometimes uncomfortable sexual proclivities of people, and manages to do so in a way that doesn't judge them their desires, as Belle doesn't. In fact, it finds humor and sweetness in looking both at the fetish, and the fetishist. Sometimes, the man even knows that what he's into is socially awkward and is a little embarrassed about it. Belle, though, she's up for almost anything... though in one case it did take her two tries to be able to get into the spirit of one particularly messy fantasy.

I don't want to spoil things for anyone who wants to watch it, and I really think you should. If you can handle (sometimes weird) sex, then it really is a show worth watching. 'Secret Diary of a Call Girl' is a show about sex, without being about sex at all, really. Here's some more things to look forward to:
  • Belle makes sheep sounds and plays with her food
  • She goes to a male escort as a client
  • Her sister stops by, and causes all kinds of drama
  • Ben gets into an unexpected relationship and isn't sure how to get out of it
  • Bambi gets into an unexpected relationship which goes in a very unexpected direction
  • Belle discovers what Stephanie (her madame) is into, and it's a little... weird
Belle falls in love again, and much like season two, the relationships runs through most of the episodes. But there are major differences in the nature of the relationship, which secrets are being held, and how things eventually play out. It's not yet clear if there will be a fourth season, so it was wonderful to see that the writers ended this third season on a note that could easily spell the end of this wonderful run, while still leaving open the possibility for more stories.

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Happy to finally see the interview with the real Belle De Jour. Disappointed in Billie Piper's reaction. The judgement and anger leaped from Piper's face. And her sarcasm, "And you know when you've nailed a man?" Ooh, catty! Belle's eyes blinked in shock, her chin jerked back feeling the sting. I mean Piper was interviewing a former prostitute, she knew she had to leave her hang ups at the door. Belle's life gave Piper the role of a lifetime--uh, respect please...I used to think Piper was an edgey actress with some feminist gusto for taking the Belle role in "Call Girl" role, but now...I dunno.

February 13 2010 at 8:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Absolutely brilliant, and is totally relevant and truthful to what a life of a high class escort is actually like. . .

February 08 2010 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ooh, totally didn't realize that started tonight. ::dashes for the DVR remote::

February 01 2010 at 10:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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