Review of 'The Client List'


As someone who does not work outside the home, I find myself watching a lot of TV. It's mostly on in the background while I write or do other things, but sometimes something grabs me enough to make me want to stop what I'm doing and watch for a bit. It was when I was doing chores that I came across The Client List, a new series on the Lifetime television network. It's based on a 2010 Lifetime movie by the same name, but I did not see the movie. It's a very interesting show, but you have to be willing to 'suspend disbelief' for an hour or two to see its other assets.

The story is centered around Riley Parks, a suburban Texas mother of three. After her husband leaves unexpectedly, she finds herself in a situation many of us find ourselves in at some point-she is facing serious financial difficulties to the point of desperation. She is a recently-certified massage therapist, so she follows the lead of a friend and goes to work at a massage parlor. Little did she know that the all-female staff had a list of men who expected certain 'services'. She starts out only doing massages but, needing more money to prevent foreclosure on her house, starts with 'the list'. Much of the show revolves around how her newfound profession affects her relationships with her family and friends, as well as how she handles being a single mom. Her kids mean the world to her, and it shows.

As she gets closer with her husband's brother Evan, Riley begins to learn more about what caused her husband to feel that he had no other recourse but to leave her. It turns out that he was hurt at work and got addicted to his pain medication. The deep sense of shame he felt definitely put a strain on their relationship, but the pilot episode shows you that their problems ran deeper than that. I don't know about you, but I can relate because my relationships have always been much more complicated 'behind the scenes' than other people realized. We see the husband, Kyle, in dreams and flashbacks, which I can definitely relate to. Just because someone leaves your life doesn't mean that they aren't still in your heart and on your mind, especially if you're still trying to sort through where things went wrong.

While there are concerns about its glorification of prostitution, the show has a lot of fun and relatable characters. Riley, played by Jennifer Love Hewitt, is a loving mother who would do anything for her kids. Lacey, Riley's best friend from childhood, is cute and funny. Cybill Shepherd plays her quirky mother who tries to be a socialite and gives Riley love advice despite having been married five times. Lacey, Riley's best friend from childhood, is just like my best school friend-loving and supportive, but not afraid to tell you what's what if need be. The brother-in-law Evan, played by Colin Egglesfield, is the type of guy you'd 'crush on' in high school-sweet, upstanding and, most importantly, gorgeous! Even if I didn't like the show for other reasons, I'd still watch just to look at him.

As I mentioned before, the show glorifies prostitution. While, I don't think all of the women have actual *intercourse* with the clients but, in my opinion, providing *any* kind of erotic service for tips warrants the term. They may be using Bill Clinton's definition of 'sexual relations', but I still wouldn't want my husband getting a massage from them. It doesn't keep me from liking the show for its other qualities, but your mileage may vary. I will say one thing, though-the concerns about prostitution that we have in our world are also shown in theirs. There is one co-worker or Riley's who does not give 'extras' and is rather outspoken about it. Also, Riley's friends and family don't like what she does-the ones who know about it, anyway. Many of the conversations revolve around whether or not she's doing right by herself and her family.

As you can see, there is a lot to like about The Client List. There are some definite concerns about some of the things that go on, but it is left up to the viewer to decide how to react to them. It is not for kids, but you probably already knew that. Either way, I think Lifetime has a potential hit on their hands.

No comments:

Post a Comment