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The Girlfriend Experience 

                          review by Bobby Blakey

In 2009 director Steven Soderbergh released a film called The Girlfriend Experience starring former porn star Sasha Grey that was met with mixed results. In 2014 Starz announced that they would be producing a 13 episode series based on the film starring Riley Keogh, Paul Sparks, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Briony Glassco. Now Anchor Bay is bringing The Girlfriend Experience home to Blu-ray and DVD. 

The series follows law student Christine Reade, lands an internship at the law firm of Kirkland & Allen and struggles to balance her workload, expenses and classes. When her close friend Avery reveals that she has been working as an escort she encourages Christine to tag along and introduces her to a friend of one of her clients who is also looking for an escort. Christine eventually makes the decision to work as an escort initially working for Avery's madam Jacqueline. Christine eventually strikes out on her own, experiencing pitfalls along the way as clients cross boundaries and she uncovers a scandal at Kirkland & Allen. This is an intriguing series that starts pretty slow in the first few episodes but manages to find its footing once some of the expected betrayals begin. As the mystery unfolds you will find yourself intrigued to where they are heading next as she juggles both her life at the law firm and her secret life. The cast do a great job here brining some realistic tones to them all as opposed to the usual over the top world of prostitution. They showcase the good and bad of her life choices and the struggles to keep the two separate while also showing how they can be an advantage as well. It was a smart decision to go with the 30 minute time frame for the episodes as it packs just enough into each keeping you wanting more as well as keeping it from wasting time with a lot of unnecessary plot directions like a lot of series do. 

The early episodes are a bit hard to get into as it introduces everything mostly due to the really slow pace, but if you can push through it offers up some pretty compelling storytelling. This collection not only features all 13 episodes of the series, but also featurettes that take you behind the experience. It will be interesting to see where they go for the second season, but until then you can relive or see the first season for the first time with The Girlfriend Experience available now from Anchor Bay Home Entertainment.

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