Friday, March 12, 2010

Obsession: Secret Diary of a Call Girl

I have to confess that I am absolutely obsessed with the Secret Diary of a Call Girl, a show based on the anonymous blog and books chronicling the life of a high end escort as she gallivants through London. Originally shown in England but picked up by Showtime picked in 2007, I have been obsessed ever since the series premiere. When I was home last weekend I watched almost all of the third season in one sitting (hey, each episode is only about 20 minutes), and I watched the amazing season finale last night.

Why am I obsessed with a show about a hooker? First of all, it's written in such a captivating way that allows the audience to understand how secrecy and money could prompt a young woman to live such a scandalous life. The main character leads two double lives: the first as Hannah Baxter, who works as a nighttime legal secretary, at least according to her family and friends. The second is Belle du Jour, a sophisticated and high class call girl who satisfies every client's deviant whim. What makes the show so interesting is how she balances being both Hannah and Belle even when her secret life often clashes with her personal life.

It's also fascinating how Hannah, an educated girl with a college degree, decides she cannot fathom working in a stifling cubicle from 9 to 5, so she would rather experience a luxurious yet explicit lifestyle of pampering herself and engaging in her favorite hobby for her job. Hannah is a warm and compassionate person, but instead of utilizing those skills by becoming a teacher or doctor, she chooses to become a sex worker. But she must keep this secret from everyone she cares about most, except her incredibly supportive best friend Ben, a nice Jewish boy who also happens to be in love with her.

Similar to Sex and the City, the show includes frequent introspective voiceovers and frenzied writing montages, and of course features fabulous hair, makeup, clothes, and shoes. It also has fantastic music by indie artists such as Feist and Regina Spektor.

The craziest thing about Secret Diary of a Call Girl is that the real life call girl the show is based on revealed her identity a few months ago. Brooke Magnanti is a scientist who now specializes in cancer research. She paid her way while getting her PhD by working as a call girl in London. So when she did finally settle down to a 9 to 5 job, she choose a very worthwhile career.

If I haven't convinced you by now, I highly recommend watching this show! Enjoy.

Secret Diary of a Call Girl

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