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The Girlfriend Experience


Christine Reade is a law student and an intern at a prestigious firm but her focus quickly shifts when a classmate 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 price. Juggling two lives, Christine is drawn into the GFE world, attracted to the rush of control and intimacy.

Status: Running
TV Channel: starz
  • Chuck Bowen

    The imagery is gorgeous yet curt and parred, with jagged editing complementing the declaratory dialogue and Shane Carruth's spare score.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    I think it’s easily one of the best shows of the year, and a major work by everyone involved, for reasons that I’ll allude to momentarily--though not in detail, because The Girlfriend Experience is actually four or five shows rolled into one, and a big part of its specialness resides in those moments where it morphs from one thing into another.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    The performances are extraordinary, in spite of the fact the characters are all very similar--detached from emotion, honesty, sadness, shame and even desire by the airlessness of contemporary life. ... The Girlfriend Experience is one of the best new series of the young year.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Liz Shannon Miller

    There's plenty of plot to contend with, as she tries to balance multiple lives and multiple worlds. But this stark, frank look at a very real thing, that really happens all the time, does tough but oddly beautiful work with exposing this quite real ethos.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Diane Werts

    This is a singular vision throughout, written and directed by the team of Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz. (She also plays Christine’s older sister.) Their intense focus draws a disquieting portrait of a peculiar personality.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Darren Franich

    Riley Keough makes an intriguing figure, at once more empowered and more desperate than her cinema alter ego. I have no clue if this is a profound mediation on intimacy or a daylight-noir origin story for Basic Instinct, but I'm hooked. [1/8 Apr 2016, p.101]

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Willa Paskin

    The show is provocative, sexually and mentally; it’s alluring and sordid, arousing and disturbing, a unique viewing experience.

    Slate Full Review
  • Isaac Feldberg

    This is a haunting, beautiful, indelible nightmare of a series, the kind you’ll find yourself unwilling to wake up from.

    We Got This Covered Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    A vivid character study, a tense law-firm drama, and an educational deep-dive for any viewer who’d like to learn the ins and outs of what we researchers call “transactional sex.”

    Yahoo TV Full Review
  • Kenji Fujishima

    The viewer’s feelings toward Christine and her behavior are likely to remain unresolved--but Kerrigan and Seimetz’s refusal to psychologically and morally pin her down is exactly what makes The Girlfriend Experience, in its pungently moody and disturbing way, ultimately difficult to shake off.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Sonia Saraiya

    The Girlfriend Experience isn’t perfect. Christine’s motivations are sometimes opaque, and sometimes not; the plot is sometimes thrilling, and sometimes not. ... But it is riveting--and sexy--to watch Christine watch the rest of the world.

    Salon Full Review
  • Alex Abad-Santos

    There's so much thought put into each scene, the composition of each frame, and the camera angles being used that you could mute the show and still come away with a brilliant, emotional story. Full Review
  • Tim Grierson

    There are lots of juicy twists and some melodramatic intrigue, and Kerrigan and Seimetz execute them with nicely chilly precision. But The Girlfriend Experience is at its best when it puts aside plot machinations to deliver a sympathetic but clear-eyed portrait of a woman discovering herself.

    The Wrap Full Review
  • Sophie Gilbert

    Keough’s Christine is fascinatingly inscrutable, and the 26-year-old actress (Elvis’s granddaughter, incidentally) carries the series with her chilly poise and enigmatic composure. The show, written and directed by Amy Seimetz and Lodge Kerrigan, offers no exposition whatsoever, rather following Christine from scene to scene and only occasionally abandoning her when plot necessitates it.

    The Atlantic Full Review
  • Chris Cabin

    The Girlfriend Experience is an intoxicating, provocative, and staggeringly sexy consideration of the illusion of intimacy as compared against whatever real intimacy is, as the title suggests.

    Collider Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    Even when it’s boring, it’s absorbing, like an art video playing in the lobby of a boutique hotel.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    The Girlfriend Experience” allows for pauses that television (other than “Rectify”) often does not. Sometimes these pauses can be presented in a way that feels too self-aware, but it starts to become a show with its own voice around episode five. Full Review
  • Daniel D'Addario

    The Girlfriend Experience intuitively grasps the manner in which constantly available information can transform lives. If it resembles any movie genres, it's the paranoid eavesdropping thrillers of the 1970s, like Klute and The Conversation.

    Time Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    Keough's outstanding performance makes the whole thing work, make no mistake. But Kerrigan, Seimetz and Meizler weave a visually evocative backdrop, using only natural light, location-based shooting and a color scheme that allows for the intimacy of the writing to come out and help shape things.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Michael Slezak

    The Girlfriend Experience proves more interesting than engrossing, perhaps because there doesn’t seem to be a single character willing to raise his or her voice above library-corridor volume, connect in any way that’s not ultimately about money or power, or overtly express the possible negative side effects of selling your body for cash.

    TVLine Full Review
  • Terry Terrones

    While fairly well rounded, there are some holes in Christine’s character development. ... First rate production values, an alluring lead and a provocative world makes for intriguing television.

    Colorado Springs Gazette Full Review
  • Bethonie Butler

    Her initial escapades feel overwhelmingly dour, a byproduct of stilted, emotionless dialogue. Keough plays her role with an almost impenetrable detachment that frustrates at first, but feels necessary in retrospect. ... Things start to get more interesting when Christine learns that one of her wealthy clients has kicked the bucket and left her a large sum of money, setting off alarm bells for the client’s family.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    At first, the show feels a trifle frustrating, inasmuch as Christine dives into this strange new world without divulging almost anything about who she is, or wants to be. ... Gradually, though, that becomes its own kind of mystery, and helps foster a pervasive sense of unease, one that makes this Experience feel far more ambitious than something like Showtime’s “The Secret Diary of a Call Girl.”

    Variety Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    The Girlfriend Experience, which is so sedate, chilly, and light on incident that it would be unbearable to watch one episode a week (or, in its first weekend, two), with not enough of a hook to pull the viewer back for a new half-hour after a seven day break. Watched in chunks, though, it can be more absorbing, thanks to Riley Keough's lead performance as Christine Reade, a Chicago law student moonlighting as an escort, and thanks to the anthropological tone created by Amy Seimetz and Lodge Kerrigan, who co-write every episode and take turns directing them.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    Grim, claustrophobic, and only occasionally riveting.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • Nancy DeWolf Smith

    The characters are so vapid and thinly drawn that they glide like silhouettes through the minimalist stylings of a series crafted without affect.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    Mostly the half-hour segments move in and out of often disjointed moments of Christine's escort-driven life at a pace that seems intentionally, and unforgivably, elliptical.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
Episode Guide For Show: The Girlfriend Experience