Monday, May 3, 2021

What I’m Watching: The Girlfriend Experience (Season Premiere)

The Girlfriend Experience: Season 3, Episode 1 “Mirrors” (B)

I’m pleased to report that this concept is better and better every time I see it, starting with the 2009 film I really did not like and the pilot episode that I found intriguing but lacking. I had the chance to check in with this show as it begins its third season thanks to Starz sending me a VR headset to watch the episode, along with a very fancy cake and some champagne. It was a clever approach which allowed me to be “sitting” on a hotel bed while watching the episode on a TV in that hotel room, indicative of the disconnect between reality and virtual reality that seems like it’s going to be a major theme in season three. I was pretty impressed with actress Julia Goldani Telles from her role in another show that deals with the intricacies of sexual relationships, “The Affair,” which I’d say is about the most relevant possible experience to have before coming aboard a show like this. This is a considerably more reserved performance, one that finds her carefully calibrating her reactions to every situation – including her physical appearance – as opposed to her expressing a great deal of emotion and passion as Whitney did when responding to her father’s promiscuity or her boyfriend’s latest issue. We’re missing a few of the details about her two different lives, which I imagine will be explored as show progresses, but the connection between brain science, AI, and desire is definitely interesting. There was quite a difference in the doubt Iris expressed in the bathroom and the way she took control of the situation at the table to make sure that he would do anything she told him. I’m not sure this is a show I need to keep watching, but it’s managing to reinvent itself to stay current and relevant three seasons in, which isn’t a bad thing.

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