The Girlfriend Experience, Starz
This film-to-TV adaptation of Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 recession-era prostitution parable seemed like a deeply unnecessary project. It ended up becoming the best show you haven’t heard of. Riley Keough takes over the role of Christine, a “girlfriend experience” call girl, providing the well-heeled a partner who can join them for dinner or a tropical vacation, not just an hour. Her steely determination to remake herself into both a successful sex worker and a successful corporate lawyer (why not both?) fits neatly into the show’s biggest alteration from its source material. The show is firmly planted in the era of the unapologetic one percent. Christine finds herself moving through an endless, deadening succession of minimalist hotel lobbies and restaurants, keeping her game face on while fighting back against a tape leaked as retaliation by a past partner. The show’s pivot into a story of surveillance and doxxing is proof that it’s attuned with the dark energy of our times. So is Christine’s fragmented self, lending her a virtuosic ability to present only the sides of herself she wants to be seen and denying her, perhaps, an inner life. It’s a sacrifice she doesn’t mind.
ndex of /Series/The Girl-friend Experience/s1/