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Secret Diary of a Call Girl: Season 1 (2009)

Billie Piper , Iddo Goldberg  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Billie Piper, Iddo Goldberg
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: January 6, 2009
  • Run Time: 189 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001GCUBS2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,907 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Secret Diary of a Call Girl: Season 1" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Billie Piper stars in the hit series SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL, based on the real-life adventures of a high-class London escort. By day she's quiet and unassuming Hannah. But when night comes, she's Belle, the city's finest call girl. Juggling her own reality with her clients' fantasies can be difficult, but this savvy sweetheart knows every trick for doing it in style. Take a peek into SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL, the witty and provocative original series from Showtime. It's a good time you won't soon forget.

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Move over, Miley: There's another Hannah leading another, albeit way more provocative, double life. Her family and friends think she is a legal secretary, but this woman in the designer suit, known professionally to her clients as Belle, is, as she so delicately puts it, "a whore." Hannah/Belle isn't caught up in semantics. She's a very high-class London call girl who charges by the hour, and she charges a lot. "Be fabulous, but forgettable," she instructs early on about how to navigate hotel lobbies, but Billie Piper is anything but forgettable. Piper, best known as Rose Tyler, has gone from Dr. Who to Dr. Woo-Who! Based on an infamous blog and subsequent book, this British series is a cheeky insider's look at the world's oldest profession. It presents a much more glamorous picture than the grittier HBO reality series, Cat House, but like those happy hookers, Belle enjoys her work. "I love sex, and I love money," she directly tells viewers. But she does endeavor to keep her private and professional life separate. Not even her ex-boyfriend/now-best friend Ben (Iddo Goldberg) knows, which will change in episode five, and lead to an awkward close encounter when he insists on joining her on the job as part of a foursome. Piper's engaging presence and her posh-sounding British accent do take the edge off; the language is explicit, but the sex scenes are pure soft core. Several are played for laughs, but others do reach the desired hotness. Other than Hannah's conflicting feelings over Ben's impending marriage or her flirtation with taking her career to "the next step up the ladder" as a courtesan, there isn't too much drama in these eight episodes. But as a character study, Secret Diary of a Call Girl is of much more than prurient interest. --Donald Liebenson


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 80 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great show, horrible dvd January 16, 2009
By M. Shaw
Format:DVD
This is a great show, and Billie Piper does an amazing job as Belle. I was very excited that this show was finally going to be released in US/Canada only to find that the majority of the music has been changed during the show, to a bunch of music that doesn't remotely fit the show. Also the dvd quality itself is absolutely terrible. The show is out of focus and the lighting is horribly bright. None of these flaws were on the British version and I am thinking Lionsgate somehow majorly cheaped this down. I am very disappointed.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A more balanced than usual look at escorting... January 22, 2009
Format:DVD
The smart films and tv shows about sex workers realize and narratively utilize that there is a vast difference between a high class escort and say, someone you would pick up in the seedy part of town. It's like comparing a wealthy corporate lawyer to a struggling independent--similar enough, yet drastically different lifestyle/daily life. This show acknowledges that aspect from the start--quite literally in a voice over--and is about a high class escort who goes by "Belle." (It's based, though I'm not sure how closely, on the memoirs/blog of an actual London escort.)

Like most media about "courtesans" it tends to over-glamourize its material and is to an extent the traditional "happy hooker story," but it counter-balances that and partially justifies itself by developing an interesting, fairly well-developed protagonist--one who enjoys the money and the sex, but finds some inner conflict in leading a double life, dealing with various issues, etc. The most interesting parts of the show to me were the exploration of this duality/lifestyle, though for those of you also interested in its sexual content--there is plenty of that as well. I find the show quite addicting and very fast paced. i also am not usually a fan of british humor (i just usually don't "get it") but i find the show funny and the drama is balanced well (strong enough to be interesting, but not overwhelming in balance with the show's comedy--it's "drama-lite.")

I did want to say one last thing, about the DVD picture quality which someone said was a very poor treatment/transfer. I can only speak from my own experience, but in my case I found almost NO difference between the DVD played upscaled on my blu-ray player (PS3), and watching the show in HD on Showtime (using the same television for both viewings.) The picture quality in my experience, was quite fine, though not everyone has HD or upscaling and people's picture calibrations may differ.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great narrative and view of the modern courtesan January 10, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I've seen a few courtesan friendly movies, and this one is a wonderful series. Billie Piper does a wonderful narrative and lead heroine act, where she embraces the common taboos that society creates for itself, yet finds her own balance of the accumulation of pleasure, wealth, humanity, and even guilt. A great show, well written, well scripted, and yes, for those that appreciate the beauty of the female in general, you won't go wrong because this pretty much shows all her beauty, clothes and sans clothes, as well as her thoughts and hopes. I'm looking forward to seeing how this story unfolds with every episode. There is certainly more to this show than simple nudity, there is a humanity to it that is just as enjoyable.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Sexiest and Funniest Series on TV!!! May 29, 2009
Format:DVD
SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL is one of the most suprising and exciting comedic series to have ever emerged! Coming from SHOWTIME (the cable network resposible for the addictive and Emmy-nominated series WEEDS), the show, as the title suggests, is about a call girl and her daily struggles in balancing work and life in London. In Season 2, Hannah, played by the amazingly talented Billie Piper (of Doctor Who fame), is forced to balance a relationship for the first time with her work as Belle (the name she goes by with her clients). As the 10-episode season progresses, Hannah finds it to be increasingly difficult having a boyfriend, especially when he has yet to learn what she does for a living. Yikes! Witty and utterly charming, this series immediately captures your attention (given its subject matter of course) and holds on to it with great writing and captivating performances. Billie Piper truely shines in her role as Hannah and commands the audience's attention every single time she appears on screen. Piper brings a lot of heart to her character and is truely the driving force that makes this series so great. For anyone who wishes to get into this series, I would suggest watching Season 2 first and then maybe going back to revisit Season 1 later, b/c I found the second season to be much better than the first. Definitely check SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL out. I promise, you won't be sorry!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated and "Under-watched" June 21, 2009
Format:DVD
Some of you may have read (and agreed or disagreed) with my review of season one of this Brit import / Showtime broadcast series. I kept meaning to get around to championing season two, which is even BETTER, but it looks like I'll have to settle for being the second customer review.

It's very odd, whenever people find out I have (had) Showtime, they always ask about "US of Tara," as though that's the only good show. For my money, this is actually a better show (and I like Diablo Cody's "US of Tara") and it got even better in the second season.

I found the most interesting parts of season 1 to be the drama-lite, but realistic portrayals of juggling the Hannah/Belle dynamic (one is the girl everyone thinks they know, the other is a high class escort.) This season dives into that dynamic whole-heartedly with her attempts at having (gasp) a relationship, and at her having a "real" friend/co-worker of sorts, the delightfully dim Bambi. (Last season flirted with her having an escort friend, but it turned out to be a disappointment for her character.)

With the new characters, the same witty writing, the same fast-paced zing, you owe it to yourself to check out this criminally unmentioned, unwatched, and underrated series. It's a heavenly blend of witty comedy and drama-lite (it's engaging and affecting, but never "heavy") and this is coming from a viewer who traditionally avoids Brit-TV shows and movies. (Nothing personal, just not my favorite international locale for the moving picture.)

You can watch season 2 without having seen season 1, both are good, but season 2 far suprasses the original thanks to its attention to character, and realistic complications.
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