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Dirty Lines Season 1 review: A lot of dirty talk and fake orgasms in this tale of Europe's first erotic phone line

The six-part Dutch series, is a fictionalized account of the real-life story of two brothers who set up Europe’s first erotic phone line.

  • Prathibha Joy

Last Updated: 04.18 PM, Apr 11, 2022

Dirty Lines Season 1 review: A lot of dirty talk and fake orgasms in this tale of Europe's first erotic phone line
A still from Dirty Lines

Story: In the 1980s era of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll (in this case electronic House), brothers Frank and Ramon Stigter’s new business venture capitalizes on one that will never lose sheen – sex. They launch Teledutch, Europe’s first erotic phone line, where initially, men could call up and listen to a woman talk dirty, and then progressively included content for women and homosexuals too.

Told from the perspective of Marly Salomon, a psychology undergraduate student from a conservative family, whose attempt to make some money by recording an audio tape for Teledutch goes on national TV and leads to her being ousted from home, Dirty Lines paints a vivid picture of the sexual liberation in the Netherlands, as well as the sexual awakening of its lead characters.

Review: It’s a show about phone sex, so there’s a whole lot of moaning and fake orgasms, but there’s also a fair share of skin show and actual coitus too, so do be aware of your surroundings before sitting down to watch this six-part Dutch series. And yet, at no point does Dirty Lines feel obscene and that’s because, it’s more about the people who made Teledutch a roaring success.

Founded by brother’s Frank (Minne Koole) and Ramon Stigter (Chris Peters), Teledutch began as a service that men could dial in and listen in to a recorded voice of a woman talk dirty. This meant that at any given time, multiple men could be hearing the same recording and paying per minute for it. Recording these tapes was good money too and women across age groups were part of the Teledutch family, which, over time grew to include tapes for women and homosexual clients too.

The show’s narrated by Marly Salomon (Joy Delima), a self-confessed prude, who tries to make a quick buck recording tapes for Teledutch, but soon figures she’s better off writing the scripts for others to record, making her an important member of the organization.

At its core, Dirty Lines is about new ways are always found to commodify sex. But it is not just about how the Stigter brothers sold sex, as ‘The Netherlands jerked itself rich’ and got themselves the moniker Telepimps. It’s also about their personal relationships, the women in their lives, as well as Marly’s sexual awakening.

With great success, also comes helluva lot of money, requiring responsible behaviour in running the business, but that was not the case for the Stigter brothers, who soon find themselves in sh*tloads of trouble with the IRS. Can they dig themselves out of the hole they put themselves in?

Verdict: Dirty Lines is based on the real-life phone sex service, Teleholding, run by brothers George and Harald Skene, as presented in the book 06-Cowboys. It’s a fictional account, but one that is actually quite fun to watch.