Trite & Outlandish: Why The Girlfriend Experience Fails to Arouse Viewers



Christine Reade is an enigma.

In many ways, we learn a lot about her over the 13 episodes of The Girlfriend Experience but we still never get to truly know her. We meet her as an ambitious law student who lands a very competitive internship in Chicago.

But by the season finale, we’re left asking ourselves ‘why?’ That’s usually not a bad element of a television show. How in The Girlfriend Experiences‘ case, it means that people are as confused as they were after the Dexter series finale. Like what was that? The Girlfriend Experience is the creation of Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz and executive produced by Steven Soderbergh.

Like Starz’ other limited series Flesh & Bone The Girlfriend Experience will lure you into an all day binge session.

But there’s nothing about Christine that would make me understand her being so successful as an escort. There’s a belief amongst many that being a high end escort is more glamorous than prostitution.

However, would we be calling this show the best of the year if it starred a Black woman? Picture this: A Black law student decides to moonlight as an escort in Chicago. I can see the think pieces already. I also can’t picture this show having the same hype surrounding this show if it was.

The show has enormous ups and downs. The finale episode might as well have been a Cinemax soft porn film.

Critics are in love with The Girlfriend Experience because it appears to be a new source of female empowerment: an educated young girl taking her future by subsidizing her income through escorting. The problem is this courtesy isn’t offered to actual sex workers in real life. Real sex workers aren’t afforded the opportunity to be understood. Most are thrown in jail without the option of the benefit of the doubt.

Vulture described The Girlfriend Experience as one of the Best Shows of the year. I’m assuming the writer isn’t a fan of The Walking Dead, black~ish, and plenty of other shows that run circles around this series.

Even more unrealistic is the sex that Christine has with the clients. She not particularly extra sexy or even engaging. She looks dry as hell. To put it mildly, if I paid for sex with Christine, I’d probably ask for a refund right after.

You mean to tell me that she enjoys sleeping with all of these old men and she has an orgasm every time? Please. Even Samantha Jones didn’t live that kind of life.

At various points in the show, you wonder if Christine is purposely sabotaging her life. The who done it aspect of the corporate storyline makes it difficult to understand if you should be rooting for or against Christine.

I enjoyed The Girlfriend Experience. It was a great way to pass a lazy Sunday.

But this show definitely isn’t the game-changer it’s being lauded as.