Here is a review of ‘The Girlfriend Experience’ by Dominic Patten via Deadline.
Premiering on April 10 on Starz, The Girlfriend Experience, as I say in my video review above, is exquisite television and something you’re going to want to watch even if you never saw the Steven Soderbergh-directed 2009 feature of the same name. In fact, beyond their common title, the high-class call girl concept and the participation of the Oscar winner, the two projects are quite dissimilar.
For one thing, the riveting and sometimes racy take on sexuality, identity, gender and power that is The Girlfriend Experience the TV show has an astounding performance by Riley Keough that has starpower emanating in full force. In almost every scene of the 13-episode half-hour anthology series, the Mad Max: Fury Road actress never betrays herself or the premise of law firm intern Christine Reade’s inner life, fractured family relationship, and her quick addiction to the money, control, intimacy and life of what are referred to as “transactional relationships.”
Certainly, The Girlfriend Experience is a show about sex and there is a lot of it, but the sex here is the backdrop to a far more passionate tale. The limited series co-written and -directed Amy Seimetz and Lodge Kerrigan and exec produced by Soderbergh has an indie feel and a very precise look and tone that consensually shackles you to its narrative. Support from a strong cast that also includes House Of Cards‘ Paul Sparks, 24’s Mary Lynn Rajskub, Kate Lyn Sheil and Seimetz herself serve to reinforce the series’ already solid foundations.
Similar to what several other outlets like HBO have done in recent years with True Detective, the first installment of Girlfriend Experience, which actually premiered at Sundance this year, is a complete tale with Reade’s story concluded at the end. Now, you can watch it weekly or, as I suggest, you can experience The Girlfriend Experience is one binge-worthy sitting when the cabler puts all 13 episodes up on its Starz Play and Starz On Demand platforms on April 10. Either way, The Girlfriend Experience is a fulfilling transaction in which you are going to want to fully engage.