Secret Diary of a Call Girl is an ITV show that has been imported from the U.K. by Showtime. It's a loose adaptation of the blog of real-life call girl named "Belle de Jour" which was later turned into a book. The first season aired in June 2008, and season two recently completed.
Billie Piper (Doctor Who) stars as Hannah, a London call girl known professionally as Belle. Hannah works at keeping her profession a secret from her family and friends who all believe that she works as a late-night legal secretary. During the first season we see Belle in various situations with her agency giving her stranger and stranger clients, and by the end of the season Belle has had enough and leaves the agency, deciding to be an independent call girl.
Continuing where the first season left off, Hannah is now an independent call girl, and has a protégé, Bambi (Ashley Madekwe), who wants to become a call girl because she thinks she can make lots and lots of money. Bambi is eager, headstrong, and good at getting into trouble because she won’t heed Hannah’s advice. One of the continuing plots involves Belle playing the role of mentor and either joining Bambi on certain calls which all seem to end badly or rescuing her from said situations because she didn’t listen to Belle’s veteran instincts.
A new situation has arises for Belle. She meets Alex (Callum Blue), whom Belle thought was a new client, but was just a random guy in a bar. After a series of comedic events she realizes her mistake, but also realizes she’s falling for Alex. This cause Belle to want to go legit and get a real job, but before she can tell Alex what her current job is, he catches her on a job. He’s willing to forgive her if Belle gives it all up, which she does, but is miserable in the “real world.” To complicate things more her best friend Ben has developed feelings for her and doesn’t care she’s a call girl. This creates the classic love triangle in which Hannah must decide not only who she wants to be with, but what job she wants to do.
Once again Billie Piper does an excellent job as Hannah/Belle and through her asides to the camera breaks the fourth wall and talks directly to the audience. The asides range from a cynical look to a full-blown explanation of what’s going on. These asides are exceptionally well done by Piper and change the audience's experience from simple voyeurism to participation.
The extras are slightly better than on the first season DVDs. There’s another short interview with star Billie Piper called “Billie on Billie” where she discusses the show, the response from feminists about a sexually empowered prostitute, and her discussions with the real Belle and the differences between her character and the real Belle, who is older than the Belle Piper portrays on screen. There’s also a short series of webisodes that were originally available online which include favorite drinks and recent tricks. It would be nice if there were some commentaries for the episodes with Piper, the writers or directors of the show or even Belle herself and her opinions on the show and how the show compares to her real life experiences.
It was rumored that since Piper was pregnant during the filming of this season that it would be its last. However shooting recently started on the third season, so not only will we get more escapades with Belle, but maybe that DVD release will include more extras the fans would like to see.