Secret Diary of a Call Girl

Some may see this show as a cheap laugh, not worth bothering with, but I found it strangely alluring at times! We follow a London prostitute/call girl/escort, Belle (Billie Piper), in her exploits, and she gives us an insight into what the London prostitution game is ‘really’ about. Though I doubt very much whether it is, in reality, anything like the show portrays.

We make our way through the Diaries very quickly, by virtue of the short (20 min) episodes but this doesn’t make it difficult to keep up, thankfully. There are more emotional ups and downs, mood swings and character changes in this show than in any other I think I’ve ever seen. My opinions on different characters changed with nearly every episode and by the end of series one I wasn’t even sure which way was up any more.

Many different sides of the human psyche are explored in Secret Diaries. It tries to explore and show the many aspects of sexuality, fetish and lust. And for the most part it does it excellently. Some of the characters are very deep, and their emotional development is interesting, if slightly bewildering, to observe throughout the shows 4 series. The acting from Billie Piper is exceptional, and she plays the unusual part of the sex-addicted escort, Belle, combined with the normal inner-London city dweller, Hannah, very convincingly.

Although the show is very good, there are a few niggling flaws that seemed to eat away at my enjoyment. The characters shift so quickly that its sometimes difficult to decide whether a person is even likable or not, which makes it difficult to settle into the show. Many of the characters apart from the lead are often not fully developed, leading to a somewhat frustrating situation where interactions between characters seem slightly false. This is especially apparent in the later series. Another slight issue is the ridiculousness of it all. Ok it’s not supposed to be a documentary. It’s not supposed to show us what the life of a call girl is ACTUALLY like, but at the same time, I seemed to come out of most episodes thinking ‘No way is that what an actual call girl would do’. Again this problem seemed to get worse as we moved through the series. This, I think, is the main problem with the programme. It makes it unbelievable, which in turn can make it seem a bit… Pointless.

Overall the show is worth a watch, if you can get over the constant character shifts, and especially if you start at the beginning, when the show was at its best. It fills a nice 20 minute gap in your day, and doesn’t make you think too hard. I’d steer clear if you were looking for a believable and deep insight into the life of a London prostitute, but if you fancy a quick little bit of fun, Belle’s your girl.

Overall Rating:    6/10


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Posted in TV Reviews

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