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The Girlfriend Experience
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Girlfriend Experience is about a law student who gets involved with the escort profession, and it contains strong content, including nudity and lots of scenes with simulated sexual acts. There are additional mature themes, drinking, cigarette smoking, and cursing as well.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The television adaptation of Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 independent film of the same title, THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE follows the life of a 20-something-year-old Chicago law student leading a double life as a high-priced escort. Christine Reade (Riley Keough) is a talented law student who has landed a competitive internship working with power attorney David Tellis (Paul Sparks) and alongside his colleague, Erin Roberts (Mary Lynn Rajskub). But the pressures of law school, work, and having limited finances is intense. Her friend Avery (Kate Lyn Sheil) introduces her to the world of escorting, and thanks to her interpersonal style, and with the help of booker Jacqueline (Alexandra Castillo), is soon booking clients as "Chelsea." Being successful in both worlds isn't easy, but Christine balances it unapologetically.
Is it any good?
Thanks to its edgy vibe retained from Soderberg's film, this dark series offers viewers the chance to explore a life that is as cold as it is sexually indulgent. Christine isn't necessarily likable, but she is intelligent and able to navigate the heartlessness of her two lives. Thanks to her blunt, usually unemotional approach, she's able to strike deals (sexual or otherwise) with the people around her without being bound by ethical or moral conventions.
The story successfully creates tension between the nature of the escort trade and the politics of her legal career, and it highlights the games that people play in both arenas. But while it points to the various risks involved, and the potential consequences of Christine's actions in the two worlds, the focus is really on how she juggles it all. The result is a show that is both unflinching and nonjudgmental.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the challenges that come from adapting a film to a TV series. Are there themes or techniques commonly used in film that don't translate well to television? Why? Are there things that work better on the small screen than on the big one?
Families can also talk about how women are portrayed on this show. Are they treated fairly or unfairly? Why?
For kids who love dramatic TV
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.