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New Series: The Girlfriend Experience


Pay&Lay

If you've heard anything about The Girlfriend Experience, you've probably heard about the sex — because there's a lot of it.

The provocative new Starz series — the TV adaption of the broadly pretentious, overwhelmingly long-winded, and basically disappointing 2009 film starring porn actress Sasha Grey — has all the makings of a titillating hit worthy of binge-watching. Riley Keough, best known for being Elvis Presley’s eldest granddaughter and for portraying a fire-haired wild child in Mad Max: Fury Road, plays the lead role of a struggling law student who dives into the hidden world of high-priced escorts, offering "the girlfriend experience" to a steady stream of complicated men, women and couples.
But outside of the obvious appeal of an inside look at the lurid world of escorts, there’s something more enthralling about the series. In 2016, when the most valuable commodity in the world is possession of a superhero franchise (see: every major summer blockbuster), the television adaptation of Steven Soderbergh's film subtly but undeniably plays into that vogue. Where the filmic world is drowning in an ever-rising tide of superpowered spandex-clad dudes with questionable judgment (and the women who support them), Starz’s new show offers the closest thing to a real-life superhero-cum-femme-fatale that we’ve seen in a very long time — and boy, is it a glorious thing.