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Retro Recap - Secret Diary of a Call Girl 1.02 (Spoilers)

"I knew my sister would wait until I was this close to having the best sex ever to have a baby."
Confession: Every time I slip in a Secret Diary disc, I watch the whole thing. Even if I only intend to watch one or two episodes. It’s a strange addiction I’m sure but here’s the thing, it’s much better written than hearing the plot would first lead you to believe…
"Behind closed doors, in warmly lit rooms all over London, pleasure is taking place."
The stars: Billie Piper (Belle/Hannah), Iddo Goldberg (Ben)
The genre: Drama, Based on Real Events
"Sometimes I get paid to do the things I’ve always wanted to do."
The Clients: A Russian environmental designer who wants to watch all the other men lust over Belle before they get started.
The outfits: a black lingerie number with a black wig and feathers.
"You should never meet your heroes, everyone knows that."
The Summary: Belle gets an invitation to a party that she’s always wanted to go to. As it goes on, she explains that it’s a part only for “real couples.” Needless to say, she’s breaking the rules. Belle explains that adult parties are like another party.
Belle literally runs into someone she is certain she knows him but cannot place him. She goes thru her mental rolodex. She realizes that he’s one of her favorite authors. After apologizing for the champagne spillage, they talk. She pretends not to know him but he already knows she knows him. Belle offers him a chance to off by themselves but her client interrupts. He tells her that the other man can look but can’t have. “Perfect.”
The night wears on and she’s bored. She asks another woman about the environment to get Alexander talking before slipping off to talk to the author. She tells him she likes his work. He tells her he likes hers. A woman with a bell comes out and tells them the show’s starting. The show involves a woman covered in balloon popping them to reveal her knickers. Alexander is riveted. Belle and the author slip off to the playroom. An attractive woman joins them. Belle stops. She tells them that she doesn’t want to get caught and the author offers her an opportunity to go home with them. Belle asks for one of the waiters to page her.
He does and she practices her sad face with the wannabe actor. Belle then returns to Alexander to tell him she has to leave due to personal reasons. She reimburses him and leaves. He looks distraught. In the car, she actually does have to go for personal reasons. Outside, she takes off her wig.
Apparently Hannah’s parents called Ben before they called to tell her that the sister was having a baby. Her sister gives a snide remark after Hannah tells them she was working. Han’s handed the baby. Her brother-in-law quips that it won’t be long until Ben is having a baby of his own. Hannah steps outside with her father. He asks her what she’s been up to.
Ben drives Han home and tries on her wig in the car before waking her. He asks if she isn’t a little overdressed for a work do “or rather underdressed.” She reminds him she’s unconventional and leaves. In her apartment she gets fully undressed before sliding under the covers and reading her book.
"I had to be smuggled over the Surrey-Hampshire border once, it was horrible."
The Challenges: Keeping the parts that aren’t about the sex as interesting. Also, bigger casting call this episode.
Initial Reaction: I don’t actually remember watching it the first time but I remember the trailer for the next one.
Review Reaction: Personally, I think it spent too much time with the client. He was not interesting, Belle was not interested, and it short-shifted her family time at the end which only made them come off as assholes. There was too little of Ben considering how central he becomes to the series later, and certainly not enough to merit a credit in the opening sequence.
"…and here I am with the only possessive man at an orgy."
The critics: As I mentioned in my previous column, Diary has been de-ridded for the way it portrays Belle. Here’s what I have to say to that: tell me about your experience as a professional woman. The show never claims to represent all sex workers or even all call girls. It’s called Secret Diary of A Call Girl. A as in one, as in not everyone. Besides, it was not only based on Belle’s blog but Billie Piper and others involved with the show have met with the real life Belle (Dr. Brooke Magnanti, who at the time of the first season was not publicly named) to incorporate her experiences into the show. The glamourization? He may not be repugnant, her client this episode was far from the ideal presenting this as any job, sometimes you dislike who you have to work with.
"Maybe my personal life and my professional life aren’t that easily reconciled but that’s true of all of us, surely."
Social relevancy: none.
"At least I get to go to bed with my favorite author, just not in the way I would have liked."
The Episodic Rating: 3/5 - not a strong one.

So what do you think, is two separate recaps too much? Too little? xX

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