The show is based on the 2009 Soderbergh movie of the same name. Riley Keough stars as Christine Reade, a law student and intern at a prestigious firm who enters the world of transactional relationships. Known as GFEs, these are women who provide “The Girlfriend Experience” — emotional and sexual relationships at a very high price. Juggling two very different lives, quickly finds herself drawn into the GFE world, attracted to the rush of control and intimacy. The trailer shows the beginning of Christine’s experience with this new world, as well as dealing with people who may threaten to expose her extracurricular activities.
“Does this kind of work ever make you scared?” Christine is asked in the trailer.
“No, I’ve got it under control,” she responds.
At the recent Television Critics Assn. panel for the show, both Soderbergh and executive producer Lodge Kerrigan spoke about their hopes for the series. They noted that the goal was to show a character in control, a contrast from the usual portrayals of prostitution on the big and small screen.
“What this show portrays that is really important is that this is a woman who likes sex, without guilt and without shame,” Kerrigan said. “She’s a sexual person.”
“None of us had any interest in editorializing on whether this is appropriate behavior,” Soderbergh added.
Soderbergh is also executive producer on another envelope-pushing premium cable drama, Cinemax’s “The Knick,” and the director recently told Variety that he is currently in discussing the show’s future with his writing staff, although Cinemax has yet to renew the period drama.
“The Girlfriend Experience” premieres on Starz on April 10. Prior to broadcast, it will debut at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, January 23.