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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4

SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL The Final Season (aka Season 4)
DVD review by David Blackwell
DETAILS:  187 minutes (8 episodes on one disc), cast bios, behind-the-scenes photo gallery
VIDEO:  1.78:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO:   English 5.1, English 2.0 Dolby Digital,  Spanish Mono
Subtitles:  none, only English close captioning
STUDIO:  CBS DVD/ Showtime Entertainment/ Tiger Aspect/ Silverapples Media/ MFM Productions
RELEASE DATE:  8-9-2011

The final season of SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL has arrived on DVD, but a little secret is to be had.  CBS DVD is labeling it as the final Season and not Season Four.   The real question is what happened to Season 3 on DVD.   Does Lionsgate own the rights?   Are music clearances holding it up that they have to replace too many songs (that probably isn't the answer since season 1 and 2 had music replaced before being released to DVD)?  Fans of the show (who didn't watch the show on Showtime) aren't happy season 3 is nowhere on DVD in North America (the third season was released in the UK on DVD- so get a region free player with PAL to NTSC conversion if you need to see it now).    The only thing fans of the first two seasons will see of season 3 (for now) is a short two minute recap at the beginning of the first episode of the fourth and final season.


I never really tuned into the romantic  relationship between Hanna (aka Belle) and her best friend Ben.   It never had me invested in them as a couple no matter what season the show focused on it.   SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL best worked when it focused on the fun, the humor, and sexiness of Belle and her adventures with her clients.  In the final season, Stephanie (the madam of Belle's escort service) ends up in jail and asks Belle to run the escort service while providing a room for Stephanie's daughter Poppy (who knows nothing about her mom's business).    


Poppy is irritating at times and I found more fun in watching Belle's rival Charlotte, the Asian dominatrix woman, who wants to run Stephanie's business and I wish the season had even more moments with.    I also found Belle's trip to New York to maybe sell  the movie rights to her book to be halfway entertaining and halfway terrible.     Billie Piper is fantastic as Belle/ Hanna, but SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL falters when the drama focuses too much on Hanna's struggle whether she should be Belle or Hanna.    The show always had to fight to find that balance between Belle and Hanna.  The first season is the whole season that strikes the right balance where following seasons try to explore it too much.   The subplot with the dangerously creepy cop who gets Belle's life sometimes work where other moments I wish it went away- far away from the show.   Then the failure of this season and the second season is that SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL tries to focus too much on the morality of Belle's life style.    Season 4 is a hit and mess affair.  I hope season 3 does get released soon to DVD so fans who don't have Showtime can watch the entire run of an interesting and yet flawed show.


EXTRAS:   Showtime gets a D for just including a behind-the-scenes photo gallery and bios of cast and crew.  I want featurettes on the show or the book that inspired it, or even audio commentaries.



this DVD review is (c)8-22-2011 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com