Satisfaction: articles

Can't get no Satisfaction this summer? Try Foxtel

HOW do people without Foxtel survive summer? The free-to-air networks might as well close down for all the decent programming they put on.

But then again, there is the argument that it is summer and we shouldn't all be sitting inside with the airconditioning on, eating ice creams and watching our guilty pleasures.

But if you're into your guilty pleasures, Foxtel has a must you've probably already been introduced to — Satisfaction. If watching high-class hookers going about their daily tasks is not your idea of a good time, Satisfaction might not be the show for you. But if you enjoy a little bit of harmless voyeur action, tune in.

Now in its third season, this homegrown, super-slick production has sold to many countries including Canada, Poland, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Israel and France.

The program, which shows life inside a classy brothel, is not simply about sex and prostitution. It is about the psychological impact on the call girls working in the business, and the lives of the men and women who hire them — with a bit of nudity and plenty of sex scenes thrown in.

Season three began last week, with old favourites Kestie Morassi and Dustin Clare (pictured), Madeleine West and Alison Whyte returning to the brothel 232. But a lot of the action comes from newcomers Renai Caruso and Camille Keenan as two new working girls.

Amy (Keenan) is a university student still living at home with Dad but already causing trouble at 232. She is young, attractive, but a little too sneaky for the other workers, and manages to ruffle a few feathers during her first weeks.

Tonight's episode introduces Tess (Caruso), a former PA who is struggling to meet the right man and have a proper relationship rather than a sexual one. Brothel owner Natalie (Morassi) is looking for new staff. So when Tess walks in, Nat approaches her and asks her if she would like some work.

While Tess refuses at first, an experience in her life prompts her to reconsider Nat's offer.

The new characters inject a bit of a spark into Satisfaction but I do have to admit to missing a few of the old characters.

Chloe (played by Diana Glenn), who is taking a break from the sex industry, was simply fascinating to watch and Tippi (Bojana Novakovic), who was killed off in the last series, liked to push the boundaries.

Peta Sergeant as lesbian Heather has also moved on so it will be up to the new characters to make their mark and become the real, insightful, rounded characters, that the other actors managed to be.

Luckily Whyte, as Lauren, and West, as Mel, are

two gifted actors who bring humanity, softness and vulnerability to their performances, which go a long way to explaining why many women end up working in the sex industry.

Mel is coping with a loss of her sex drive, which is affecting her ability to earn an income, while Lauren is gaining in confidence despite her "older" age.

All of the actors in Satisfaction step out of their comfort zones every time they go on set, but make it look easy.

The subject matter, including fetishes, gay sex and families coping with family members working in the sex industry, is confronting enough without having to film naked sex scenes in between.

But the show manages to be entertaining and fun while looking at the seedy side of life.

Series three has upped the ante with guest appearances by Grant Bowler along with the fabulous Asher Keddie and even Tottie Goldsmith.

And considering that your options on channels 7, 9 and 10 tonight include Gary Unmarried, Survivor: Samoa and Accidentally on Purpose, it might just be time to turn on to Satisfaction.

By Madeline Healy
December 15, 2009
The Courier-Mail