Really, I loved all of the first twenty minutes. Going back and rewatching parts, when Hannah got the call in the beginning, the camera lingered on Alex for just a few seconds, but knowing what we know at the end (that he set it up), you can see that Alex was bracing himself for what he'd done (fabulous job by Callum Blue). I loved the interactions with Stephanie, and Bambi, and Ben. Oh, I loved every moment with Ben. Oh, I know I shouldn't ship them, I know I shouldn't because it just has NO happy ending, but I can't help that a small part of me totally, totally does!!!
I thought the dissolution of the Hannah/Alex relationship was perfectly done. And it was done in such contrast to their first break-up. This time it felt done, done done because their final talk had the feel of closure to it. I also loved another callback to that first episode when Alex said "I wanted Hannah, not Belle." I immediately thought of the second client we saw Hannah/Belle with in that first episode (Daniel) and how Hannah made a notation about never wanting to service him again because he wanted Hannah and not "Belle."
Every moment, the writing, the direction, the non-writing bit with the sex-scene with Ashok with the words across the scene, Hannah turning herself on, etc. was hilarious and fabulously done (and Billie looked gorgeous!). It was all so, so, soooooooo good, typical SDoaCG in those first twenty minutes. Every character acted completely and wholly in character and that is so key to me. I just thought the first twenty minutes were utterly gorgeous.
And then came the last two ... "the next chapter." And it just, no, it didn't work for me on an emotional level. It was too rushed, too much and for the first time ever, Billie's casting in the role didn't work because wig or shades, there is NO way you are not going to recognize Billie Piper as Billie Piper. That jawline speaks for itself. But more than that -- a superficial thing that is easily ignored in the lovely world of willing suspension of disbelief -- was the jump ahead. I was quite, quite looking forward to next series being about Belle juggling the emotional fallout of her broken heart, her escorting, and her writing. Now, well, we've skipped over all of that. Judging by the last line, delivery and smile, Belle's past the rough stages.
Ah well. It wasn't bad, by any stretch, and I'm sure that series three will continue to kick hiney and at least this way they went out of series two on a smile, and that's a good thing. I just was expecting an ending that would bring it all home, and this one missed the mark a bit. Still, as I said at the top of this, I need to ponder on this some more. A rewatch and more time may make it all work for me.
Overall though, great show. I really do adore this and I'm so glad that I'm watching.
Now, some pretty Billie ...
And that's it for series two.
ETA: I realized what would have made it work for me perfectly. I think it should have ended when Belle typed/voice-overed "The first thing you should know about me is that I'm a whore." And then end there on that blinking period on the computer screen. It would have wrapped up the emotional arc of this season (tying into the Alex-whore convo from the bed scene last week), and opening the chapter for the next series with the writing aspect of Belle.
Ah well. It's still a great show, but, yeah, THAT would have been a perfect ending for me. Again, ah well.