Stephen Soderbergh's 2009 experimental film The Girlfriend Experience was adapted for a 13 episode series that'll air on Starz in 2016. With Soderbergh acting as Executive Producer, I'm sure it'll have the same tone the film did.
I'm honestly intrigued by the entire premise of this show. It follows Christine Reade (played by Riley Keough) who exists in two different worlds. During the day she's a law student but at night she's inhabits an entirely different world, one of sexual and emotional support. Based on Soderbergh's film, Christine provides the "girlfriend experience" to her clients for $2,000 dollars an hour.
Watching the trailer, it's obvious that the film will cover the moral and ethical dilemmas that are probably found within this line of work. And while I'm interested in that side of the show's narrative, I think the way it'll explore the complexity of relationships is something that is more appealing than just the "is this right/wrong" aspect of the show.
I think it would be an entirely different show if the narrative structure was based on the life of a prostitute. But the term "girlfriend experience" implies a lot more -- or to be more clear, something much different than just physical contact. The idea of paying someone to pretend to be your significant other really raises the question of what it means to be in a relationship in the first place.
Hear me out for a second. Imagine you are in a relationship. And you tend to pay for everything when you and your partner go out. In a way, isn't that paying them for their companionship? I'm sure you're probably secure in your relationship, right? But what if you had stopped paying for everything and since they have some sort of apprehension to paying for things, it would mean you two would stop going out, right? How is that any different than a girlfriend/boyfriend experience? I don't know.
Maybe I'm cynical and don't believe in real, actual love anymore, but I think there's a very fine line between Girlfriend/Boyfriend Experiences and having an actual girlfriend/boyfriend.
The Girlfriend Experience will premiere on Starz in 2016.