Whether it’s HBO (The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Oz, Sex and the City), Showtime (Dexter, Weeds, Californication) or Foxtel’s Love My Way in Australia. But while our best is hidden on top tier packaging, it seems you can only see the good stuff if you pay the big bucks.
Such is the case with Satisfaction, another handsomely-shot drama delivered as part of Pay TV’s requirement to meet local content quotas.
Set in a Melbourne brothel, Satisfaction peels back the lingerie, literally and metaphorically, of its leading ladies. How do personalities alter through nakedness? Do we lie to achieve intimacy or reveal our true selves? With a vicious and delicious cast including Diana Glenn, Madeleine West, Peta Sergeant and Alison Whyte these girls certainly live the high life. Forget about life on the street, they’re more concerned about which pair of heels goes with which little black dress.
The result is Sex and the City’s feminine smarts with Californication’s brazen sexuality. Full frontal nudity, mostly female, and celebrated debauchery pours off the screen. Were this on Free to Air religious groups would be spamming their databases once again.
Next week’s amusingly titled story, “Jizz”, features Heather (Peta Sergant) as a lesbian woman performing heterosexual tricks. She acts out fantasies for a businessman (Nicholas Bell) who loves to don nappies and gurgle like a baby. All part of a day’s work at the office, really. Meanwhile her partner Ally is trying to have a baby, but negotiation with a potential sperm donor is wracked with pitfalls.
Sergant, like the rest of the principal cast, is excellent in a role that has more shades of lipstick character than those in commercial soaps.
Sympathetic, glossy characters abound in Satisfaction. These ladies could be your neighbour or the mum picking up the kids in the 4WD. We’ve come certainly a long way from the grim-faced prostitutes in Prisoner!
The design and cinematography are equally sumptuous.
For all its empathy Satisfaction is like dipping your toes into a warm bath and sipping on the best champagne. It skews consciously toward the high end of prostitution to ample success. But like their wealthy clients, you’ll need to be a high-class customer of Foxtel to slip off your shoes first, an irony some programmers may have missed.
Satisfaction airs 8:30pm Wednesdays on Showcase.