This post is sponsored by Starz.
Maxim got an early look at The Girlfriend Experience, the new Starz drama series about a law student and escort struggling to stay at the top of her game while keeping her very different worlds separate. Executive produced by Soderbergh and co-written/directed by Amy Seimetz and Lodge Kerrigan, The Girlfriend Experience explores compelling themes of power, money, and the necessity of emotional detachment, against a backdrop of Chicago luxury. Here’s what we learned from the first episode:
Riley Keough is a star.
The stunning actress, who stars as law student-turned-escort Christine Reade, has a first class pedigree: She’s the daughter of Lisa-Marie Presley and granddaughter of none other than Elvis Presley. You can see both of their distinct features in her face, but she’s definitely her own woman. Expect to see Keough climb to the top of the A-list.
There is no such thing as a stereotypical sex worker.
The escorts in the show, like Christine and her friend Avery (Kate Lyn Shiel), blend in seamlessly to “the real world” and are on their way to careers as high-powered lawyers. These girls treat their secret work just like any other job. But that doesn’t mean their secrets can’t cause complications when their real life and fantasy worlds collide.
The Girlfriend Experience reminds us that sex work is work.
The oldest profession in the world is no less a profession than running any small business. As we see in The Girlfriend Experience, these entrepreneurial women must market themselves the way anyone markets anything; and while there might be a thrill in the self-reinvention, it’s not always easy to keep up the act.
And in the world of high-end escorting, it’s not just about sex.
The kind of men who can afford thousands of dollars a night for the woman of their dreams sometimes want more than a straightforward transaction. The relationship between an escort and her John is all about unspoken agreement to leave certain things unspoken. Both people know what’s truly bringing them together, and both agree to pretend that very thing is just a minor detail. Then they are free to enjoy each other just as two people who met in “real” life would — even if one of them is only pretending to. That’s what The Girlfriend Experience is all about.
All episodes of The Girlfriend Experience are available now on Starz.