Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur
jducoeur

Secret Diary

Okay, anybody who wants their mental image of Rose Tyler pure and unsullied should just stop here.

I really need to pay a little more attention to the TV schedule, because I am now regretting that Jane missed an entire season of a series we were both quite fond of: Secret Diary of a Call Girl. This is what Billie Piper went on to after Doctor Who, and it's a consistent delight. Not terribly deep, but quite a bit better than the concept would sound, it is the story of Belle, who is, in her own words, a high-priced London whore. This isn't a morality tale of any sort: Belle is fond of her work, excels at it, and makes quite a good living at it. Which isn't to say that her life is straightforward.

Frankly, by declining to spend a lot of time soul-searching, the story winds up as an almost-always incisive, and usually quite funny, look at human nature and its foibles. Belle sees people at both their most sincere and their most ridiculous. The writing is sharp, and Piper's comic timing (frequently stomping all over the fourth wall, since this is told in the form of her books) is pitch-perfect. Frankly, fond though I was of her as Rose, she is *much* better as Belle -- not just beautiful, but consistently sharp and intelligent. Rose was a girl, pretty dependent on the Doctor most of the time; Belle is a woman making her own choices, with little patience for those who judge her.

At the end of Season 2, Belle goes more or less public with her book -- I had assumed that the series was now getting so self-referential that it was surely over. But I just discovered that it's nothing of the sort: Season 3 picks right up as she discovers that no expose is ever as anonymous as you'd like it to be, and life starts to get a lot more complicated.

The series is on Showtime, so most folks don't get it. But if you have a Showtime subscription anyway (and especially if you can get it on-demand), it's well worth the time to watch, made up of concise, well-focused episodes that actually have something to say in amongst the nudity. I do wish I'd realized that Season 3 was out, when Jane was in her last months -- it was a favorite of ours to watch together...
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