“The Girlfriend Experience” is lesser Soderbergh, but it finds new legs being adapted for TV. Riley Keough is quickly breaking out of the shadow of her maternal ancestry, as she is finding choice roles to build her acting background. It’s just what can one person do when you set up the initial concept. She’s a working college girl who needs to raise money to pay the books. Most classic porn begins this way.

But, when does porn trappings give way to adult dramatic entanglement? That turning point happens when the story asks our lead heroine to decide what matters most in a split life. The comfort of daily life ease and doing what is expected. However, the temptation of high risk/high payout makes one wonder if the secret life is well worth having it. Starz is bringing the show back for a second season, but I’m not sure how long a channel can keep this kind of material going into the future.

There’s a very finite story to tell, otherwise you’re just going to follow a young woman slipping into the ease of a private life and losing her real world self. While that is entertaining in a Cassavettes way, this season has turned Christine Reade into one of the greatest fictional young ladies on American TV.




  • 1.78:1 1080p transfer
  • Dolby TrueHD 7.1


  • 89%
    Video - 89%
  • 96%
    Audio - 96%
  • 85%
    Supplemental Material - 85%
  • 88%
    Show Score - 88%

The Plot Thus Far

Christine Reade (Riley Keough) is a second year student at Chicago-Burnham Law School and a new intern at a prestigious firm. Working hard to establish herself at the firm, her focus quickly shifts when a classmate introduces her to the world of transactional relationships. Known as GFEs, they are women who provide The Girlfriend Experience emotional and sexual relationships at a very high price. Juggling two very different lives, Christine quickly finds herself drawn into the GFE world, attracted to the rush of control and intimacy. Steven Soderbergh, Philip Fleishman, Lodge Kerrigan, Amy Seimetz, Jeff Cuban and Gary Marcus are Executive Producers. Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz are the Co-Creators.

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