Thursday, 5 January 2017

Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Season 2 (2008)

Almost no-one knows that supposed legal secretary Hannah Baxter is actually a high-priced call girl under the nom de guerre "Belle de Jour".  Other than the lady herself in fact, it's pretty much just a couple of other people in the sex industry and her best friend, Ben.

The challenges of juggling the world of Hannah - stuff family gatherings, hanging out with friends and (mostly centrally for this series) pursuing a relationship - and the world of Belle, which is rather more about boob jobs, butt plugs and girlfriend experiences.

It's pretty safe to say that of the two, our protagonist finds her work life much easier to manage than her personal.  Belle has the singular advantage of not only being very good at her job, but also of thoroughly enjoying her work.  She's careful about the clients she takes on and expert at providing them with an experience that both she and they enjoy.

Being Hannah, on the other hand, is something she finds rather more complicated.  This is particularly true of romance, which lacks the clear-cut roles and rules of prostitution (at least prostitution the way Belle does it), relying instead on unspoken conventions and intuitions.  Plus of course, there's the sticky question of what to say when a guy asks what she does for work ...

In addition to these questions, Belle's also taken a new working girl under her wing and is showing her the ropes: not always easy when dealing with an impulsive young neophyte.

The second season of Secret Diary of a Call Girl is sometimes shocking, sometimes touching, often funny, and always entertaining.  It must have been quite a demanding show for lead Billie Piper, who is in almost every scene.  Fortunately, she is up to the challenge of making time with Belle worth spending.

Obviously the subject matter is not going to be to all tastes, but if you're pretty open-minded, this is worth checking out.  It'll help if you've seen season one of course, but even if you haven't, the few paragraphs above should give you all the context you need.

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