Call Girls, They're Just Like Us

Call Girls, They're Just Like Us

Showtime's "Secret Diary of a Call Girl" series premieres Monday.

Prostitution's been big news this year. Some very public dalliances invited the very private profession to be probed and dissected from every angle: that of the sex worker, the "john," the families, the spouse or girlfriend unaware.

So, to watch "Belle" the leading lady (actually, just call her a whore, for she prefers not to mince words) in Showtime's new series "Secret Diary of a Call Girl," walk us through her fantastical, clandestine and well-oiled routine with a smile was unexpected.

Much like suspending awareness of the real-life damaging effects of the drug trade while watching "Weeds," "Call Girl"'s combination of the talented actress Billie Piper (from "Dr. Who") as "Belle", doses of British humor, and well-chosen songs (Amy Winehouse's "You Know I'm No Good" is the theme song) set against an enviable portrait of London makes for a fun, "where-did-the-half-hour-go?" show that offers a light take on an often dark trade.

The show doesn't linger on any of the real issues a call girl might face–"Belle" severing contact with a handsome client who has the potential to get under her skin only hints at what might lie beneath her confident exterior–and the true story it's supposedly based on could feasibly be someone's elaborate fantasy played out on paper and screen.

Based on a popular British blog-turned-anonymous-memoir, Belle du Jour (reprinted in the U.S. as The Secret Life of a Call Girl), "Call Girl" is like Bridget Jones gone very, enticingly bad. "Belle" (real name: Hannah) has willingly chosen her job and is happy with, if not proud of, what she does.

The series premieres Monday, June 16 on Showtime at 10:30pm ET/PT. The book hits shelves June 18.


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