The first two seasons of The Girlfriend Experience, executive produced by Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh (Sex, Lies and Videotape, Traffic), are now streaming first and only on Showmax in South Africa.
In season one, Christine Reade (Riley Keough from Mad Max: Fury Road and Magic Mike) is a second-year student at Chicago-Burnham Law School and new intern at a prestigious firm. Working hard to establish herself at the firm, her focus shifts when her law school friend Avery Suhr (Kate Lyn Sheil from House of Cards) introduces her to the world of transactional relationships. Known as GFEs, they are women who provide 'The Girlfriend Experience' --emotional and sexual relationships at a very high price.
As Christine, Riley Keough was nominated as Best Actress In A Limited Series at The Golden Globes and won a Gracie Award, with the series nominated as Best Mini-series at the Women's Image Network Awards.
"What I loved about the project in the first place was that nobody had an agenda to be judgmental on the subject," says Keough. "It was just a story and it happened to be about a girl becoming an escort."
Now streaming first and only on Showmax, season one has an 85% critics rating and an 84% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Newsday calling it, "TV's most adult show," The Guardian hailing it as "TV's most audacious drama," Vox labeling it "one of the most fascinating shows on television," Indiewire saying, "You can't point to anything else like it on television," Vulture describing it as "one of the boldest premium-cable projects in years," and Vogue praising it as "Really, really good... A racy, taut psychodrama."
Season one landed on year-end top 10 lists for everyone from Time, Vulture and The Playlist (all at number 2) to Slant (at number 4), Collider (at number 7), and Slate (at number 10).
Season two expands the anthology series to follow two new escorts: Anna (Louisa Krause from Billions) and Bria (Black Reel winner Carmen Ejogo from Selma). Golden Globe nominee Anna Friel (Marcella), TV on the Radio lead singer Tunde Adebimpe, and Spring Breakers director Harmony Korine co-star.
Indie dream team Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz co-wrote season one, then split the episodes between each other to direct. In season two, they each write and direct one of the parallel stories, with Kerrigan focusing on Anna and Seimetz on Bria respectively.
The Guardian wrote, "With its dark, daring second season, the show reclaims its place as the most compelling drama on TV," while Collider hailed season two as "better than ever... more knottier and riveting..."
If you're over 18, watch The Girlfriend Experience first and only on Showmax at https://www.showmax.com/eng/tvseries/if3rmcsz-the-girlfriend-experience.