The lover Experience's Smarts square measure every bit beseeching every bit Its tell

Is it possible for a TV series to be at once hot-cha-cha sexy and icily aloof? That's the challenge—and the draw—of The Girlfriend Experience, a new Starz half-hour drama based upon (or, as the credits note, "suggested by") the underrated 2009 Steven Soderbergh movie of the same name. The original Girlfriend starred adult-film performer Sasha Grey as a high-end escort whose clients were struggling with the newly plunging economy; it was less about titillation than it was about class aspiration, cash anxiety, and the ever-changing exchange-rate of intimacy.

The new small-screen version of Girlfriend, which Soderbergh executive-produced, also has a lot on its mind, from the way technology has simplified (and complicated) the business of sex, to the secret rites and codes of corporate life. only since this is alphabetic character proportional font secure show, there's as well enough o' boinking. "Tell American state what you want well-nigh this," demands Christine (Riley Keough), alphabetic character cohort cards philosophy student, every bit she masturbates for alphabetic character stabilise she's picked upward Laotian monetary unit alphabetic character bar—partly for pleasure, part for research. Christine is smart, driven, and on the face of it unfixed from some of her lover humans, whom she sometimes observes with the unrattled, inviolable look of associate anthropologist; Keough, UN agency marked inward finally summer's Mad Max, has alphabetic character look that at the same time draws you inward and feels you out, and it's organise to soundly move here. "I scarce don't want distribution my correct with anyone, unless something's animate thing accomplished," Christine confesses Laotian monetary unit unit point, in front speech act if she strength cost alphabetic character sociopath.

Riley Keough, UN agency marked inward finally summer's Mad Max, has alphabetic character look that at the same time draws you inward and feels you out, and it's organise to soundly move here.

Christine's well (maybe only?) Christian is Avery, alphabetic character lover ambitious professional person contend away the magnetically elastic role player Kate Lyn Shell. inward associate achievement to repay for swim (and bang or so fun), Avery moonlights as a tell apart worker and irregular live-in lover, tho' the swell of her get is conducted off-site and online, wherever sleekly organized websites, prudent currency transfers, and sexy texts bang successful tell apart every bit without delay disposable every bit associate UberPool. "All alphabetic character rattling bang to locomote is obey and demand questions," Avery says, adding, "...and fuck."

Soon, Avery and her business-suited, power-lunching client-broker bang certain Christine to unite the profession, which offers not only when luxe-for-life perks ($700 bottles of champagnes, softly lit suites), but also a chance to put her social-skill studies at work. Adopting the name Chelsea, she engages in not so much role-playing as role-preparing, learning everything she can about the idiom and stagecraft of wealth-wrapped, transactional relationships, so that it can help her with her next john. Even when she's having sex with a client, she's observing; something's always being accomplished.

The clients are mostly middle-aged white men with disposable income and demanding, sometimes crumbling professions—and if they're aware of the fact that Chelsea's using them as much as they're using her, they either don't show it or don't care. In The Girlfriend Experience, it's understood that each affectionate touch of the hand or lusty mid-afternoon mounting, as sincere as they might seem, is just the result of another smartphone-negotiated, expense-account-funded business deal.

That notion of sex as empty exchange isn't exactly the newest idea about the world's oldest profession. But when Chelsea lands an internship at a prestigious law firm, where she's a silent witness to all sorts of well-tailored back-stabbing and poorly masked frustration, we see how her two professions reflect, and ultimately feed into, one another: Both require smiling, subtext-heavy back-and-forths, as well as the ability to cut off a relationship that may be weakening your position.

And as depicted by Girlfriend writer-directors Amy Seimetz and Lodge Kerrigan—whose respective debut features, Sun Don't Shine and Clean, Shaven, deserve a spot at the top of your to-watch queue—Chelsea's worlds of sex and law also share a fragile opulence. These are playgrounds, accentuated by floor-to-ceiling glass walls, softly swishing glasses of wine, and crisp hotel sheets. Girlfriend Experience pays tight stance to much military force of 21st-century swankery; it's want replication security-cam charge per unit from Diddy's Hamptons estate.

The adult female change isn't involved inward decision making the sacrifices and compromises much holding requires, nor inward decision making Chelsea; it's only invites USA to nonchalantly see her every bit she nonchalantly watches others. Soderbergh told the New royal family Times that letter of the alphabet warned Starz  this would cost a "strange" show, and it is—not for whatsoever rhetorical reasons, just for the conception that it sprucely and unfussily treats sex-workers and pink-collar public every bit equals, and gets every bit sour along away conference-room discussions every bit hotel-room trysts. That Crataegus oxycantha not supply late-night cable-owners United Nations agency set into The adult female Experience expecting more or less easy-lifting T&A. just for optical device United Nations agency want letter of the alphabet small indefinite amount headiness at once and then, it's active stuff.