TV Review: Call girl 'Diary' opens with a yawn

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Showtime's "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" (10:30 tonight) doesn't reveal many secrets. The new series, a British import inspired by the memoir of a real-life, high-end prostitute, introduces viewers to Hannah (Billie Piper, "Doctor Who"), who sells her body, time and companionship using the pseudonym Belle.

'Secret Diary of a Call Girl'
  • When: 10:30 tonight, Showtime.
  • Starring: Billie Piper.

But Belle's innermost thoughts -- heard in narration or direct address to the camera -- can't really be called revelations. Anyone who's seen or read anything about prostitution and sex workers will hardly be scandalized. And the show's nudity and sex scenes are tame compared to HBO's "Tell Me You Love Me."

"Escort, hooker, prostitute, whore, I don't care what you call me," she says. "They're just semantics."

Belle insists her career choice is hers alone (she says she likes money and sex and she's fundamentally lazy) and she's not a drug addict ("I've never been addicted to anything, except maybe the fourth season of 'The West Wing' ").

Her attempts to hide her secret life from family and straight-guy friend Ben (Iddo Goldberg) have the potential to be interesting, but it's an aspect of Belle's life that's only touched upon in the first three episodes. And even the "secret life" plot is wearing thin due to over-exposure ("Big Love," "The Riches," "Breaking Bad").

Future episodes elevate the Belle and Ben relationship to a more complicated place, which bears some promise and may give "Secret Diary" the distinction it lacks in early episodes.

Contact TV editor Rob Owen at or 412-263-1112. Read the Tuned In Journal blog at .


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