Remember The Girlfriend Experience? The movie that shot pornstar Sasha Grey to mainstream fame?
It’s back, but this time on the small screen for a 13-part series on network Starz. Grey is no longer playing the call girl offering up the “experience” of the title, instead the character of Christine Reade is now played by Riley Keough.
Keough, in case you didn’t know, is the granddaughter of Elvis Presley and star of Magic Mike and Mad Max: Fury Road.
The Girlfriend Experience is her first leading role and, based on the reaction so far, could end up cementing her as a star to rival Jennifer Lawrence, Brie Larson and Co.
Starz have done a Netflix and released the entire first season of Girlfriend Experience in one go Stateside. US audiences are currently binging their way through the Steven Soderbergh-produced series.
Keough’s explicit sex scenes have already gotten fans and critics hot under the collar.
“Unlike the movie, the TV show has plenty of sex scenes,” wrote Entertainment Weekly’s Darren Franich. “After four episodes, I could believe that The Girlfriend Experience is a profound meditation on intimacy, and I could also believe that The Girlfriend Experience is something much more fantastical, a daylight-noir origin story for Basic Instinct. Either way, I’m hooked.”
Slate’s Willa Paskin said: “If there were any television show in which an audience could feel entirely comfortable about getting turned on watching a beautiful woman screw a lot of presentable, decently behaved older men without a twinge of conscience, it seems like it would be this show.”
We Got This Covered’s Isaac Feldberg added that the sex scenes didn’t feel exploitative in any way.
“Every sex scene feels like a covert documentation of a criminal act.”
“The Girlfriend Experience, commendably, never leers at its protagonist during the show’s abundance of sex scenes, instead using Christine’s trysts and post-coital pillow-talk to tease out the ferocious motion of internal gears whirring away behind her placid features,” he said.
“Because prostitution is illegal in the show’s world, every sex scene (and there are many) feels like a covert documentation of a criminal act, even if Christine isn’t with a client,” The Verge’s critic Lizzie Plaugic observed.
“Every scene leading up to a sex scene can feel like a threat. Even while trying to claim that sex is no big deal.”
As yet there’s no UK release date set for The Girlfriend Experience, but based on the early reviews, the red hot subject matter and Keogh’s star-making performance it can’t be long before it arrives on these shores.