Secret Diary of a Call Girl

 
Sexy comedy about London escort for adults only.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series presents prostitution as a career choice that's separate from a person's personal life. Hedonism and greed are major themes. Although Hannah/Belle appears self-possessed and comfortable with her choices, she lies about her work to friends and family. Some discussion of racism, prejudice, and sexism, pertaining to choice of escorts and clients.

Violence

Occasional references to a call girl's safety and violent fantasies.

Sex

Shows a wide range of sexual activities and practices, including gay and lesbian sex, sadomasochism, and orgies. Bare breasts and buttocks are frequently visible. Hannah is briefly shown sitting on a toilet; she's also seen putting lubricant between her legs (though her genitals aren't shown). Condoms are prominently featured and are described as a required accessory for all sexual activity.

Language

The word "f--k" is used frequently; other strong language is also used, uncensored.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Frequent wine/cocktail drinking and cigarette smoking. Hannah/Belle doesn't use drugs.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this risqué British series, which follows the life of a high-class London escort (aka prostitute), is not for kids. A wide range of sexual activity and practices are discussed and shown, including sadomasochist activities and orgies. Nudity includes bare breasts and buttocks, and there's uncensored cursing ("f--k") and frequent drinking and smoking. The main character is comfortable with herself and enjoys her job, but she lies to her friends and family about her career.

What's the story?

SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL chronicles the life of Hannah (Dr. Who star Billie Piper), a young British woman who leads a double life as "Belle," a high-class call girl who caters to London's upper crust. From ordinary dates to fantasy-driven escapades, Hannah/Belle demonstrates how she maintains her professionalism -- and her boundaries -- while working in Britain's legal escort industry. But keeping her job separate from her personal life proves challenging at times, especially since she's keeping her career a secret from her family and friends, including best friend Benjamin (Iddo Goldberg).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This voyeuristic British series -- which is based on the published diaries of British call girl Belle Du Jour -- offers a witty look at the swankier side of London's sex trade. While the stories here are more fun than heartwarming, Hannah/Belle still comes across as a rather likable character who knows who she is and who's comfortable with the choices she's making. She unabashedly admits that she's driven by her desire for sex and money, sharing some of the inside secrets that guarantee her both. She also lightheartedly points out some of the darker sides of the business -- including handing over 40 percent of her earnings to her agent (Cheri Lunghi), the potential for catching a disease (a point driven home by the consistent visibility of condoms), and problematic clients.

But there are also brief moments in which Hannah/Belle seems conflicted about the impact that her double-life is having on her relationship with her family and friends. Although she doesn't dwell on this too much, her fear of meeting someone she knows while on the job highlights her concern. Thanks to strong writing, the series manages to introduce these dramatic moments without detracting from the sharp, witty insight that Hannah/Belle offers on what it's like to work in the world's oldest profession. The show isn't intended for kids in any way, but adults looking for a guilty pleasure will find that Secret Diary of a Call Girl is just the thing.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether it's OK for TV shows to portray activities like prostitution or drug use in lighthearted, witty ways. Should the media always highlight the negative consequences of these activities? Families can also discuss the kinds of values that Hannah/Belle represents. Do you think her desire for pleasure and money reflects today's social values? She claims that her job gives her more control over her life -- do you think that's true?

TV details

Cast:Billie Piper, Cherie Lunghi, Iddo Goldberg
Network:Showtime
Genre:Comedy
TV rating:TV-MA
Available on:DVD

This review of Secret Diary of a Call Girl was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 4 and 6 year old Written byflms17404 April 4, 2013
age 5+
 

Teach Your Children the Importance of Being Indepdent

At first I was skeptical about letting my kids watch this but after watching it along side them all my worries drifted away. My kids really enjoyed "OZ" on dvd and I think it had a scared straight approach and my five year old son hasn't gotten in trouble at school since he watched that very informative program. My 6 year old daughter really loves Secret Diary, she told me the other day that she wants to be just like Belle when she grows up. Personally I take that as a sign of good parenting when a little girl that young wants to grow up and be independent like that.
Kid, 10 years old November 4, 2009
age 17+
 
Not good at all - no kids
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of an infant, 2, 6, 9, 12, and 14 year old Written byEllie2212 April 26, 2010
age 16+
 

Billie, how could you

From Sci-Fi Doctor Who to this? Billie, noo! Kids and Doctor Who fans everywhere look up to you!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass