As one of the director’s more eclectic films in a career chock full of idiosyncratic creative ventures, Steven Soderbergh’s low-key The Girlfriend Experience attracted its fair share of criticism in 2009, though the somewhat controversial narrative lives on at Starz in the form of a brand new anthology-styled television series.
Casting Magic Mike alum Riley Keough in the role of Christine Reade, the footage teases the episodic nature of her foray into the seedy world of prostitution, going from client to client, all of whom are searching for GFEs – Girlfriend Experience, hence the title. Drawing Keough’s protagonist deeper and deeper into the profession, her confidants begin to share private information and strike up a bond akin to that between bona fide romantic partners. As Starz teases, “juggling two very different lives, Christine Reade, a second year law student quickly finds herself drawn into “The Girlfriend Experience” world, attracted to the rush of control and intimacy.”
Amy Seimetz (Sun Don’t Shine) and Lodge Kerrigan (Clean, Shaven) not only penned the screenplay, but the pair will leverage directorial duties between them across the course of The Girlfriend Experience‘s 13-episode run. As opposed to directing the feature, Soderbergh takes a back seat to executive produce the drama in tandem with Philip Fleishman.
With a premiere fast approaching, Starz remains committed to capturing the essence of the director’s acclaimed – and controversial – feature film. That said, we can seemingly expect an episodic series “…which explores the relationships of the most exclusive courtesans who provide their clients with far more than just sex. These purveyors – or GFEs (Girlfriend Experience) – share intimacies more common to romantic partners or husbands and wives, becoming quasi-lovers and confidants who are richly paid for their time.”
Riley Keough will indulge in The Girlfriend Experience for better or worse when the Starz series premieres in early 2016.