‘The Girlfriend Experience’ Season 3 Review

The intersection of prostitution and corporate nullification is where Starz Girlfriend’s experience shop has been set up. The half-hour anthology has moved from city to city and industry to industry in its first three iterations – a white shoe law firm in Season 1 (starring Riley Keough), a GOP fundraising outfit (featuring Louisa Krause) and a house government safe (with Carmen Ejogo) in Season 2 – but the cold minimalism and airless, increasingly oppressive tone have are batch-determined constants. At this point, there’s more of a disturbance than an adaptation of Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 film, Girlfriend’s experience since its debut in 2016, one of TV’s most gripping musings on alienation from work (in any field) and the ways in which many of us prefer tasteless mechanics over with human contact.

That makes the third season’s setting, the tech world, a natural progression in the series. Julia Goldani Telles (Bunhead, Service) takes on the main role: behavioral psychologist Iris, who works at an AI matchmaking startup in London by day and for a high-end escort service by night. Original series creators Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz left the show after Season 2, handing the baton to Anja Marquadt (She lost control), who wrote and directed all 10 episodes.

Key point

An annoying follow-up.

Iris’ involvement in prostitution begins in a sci-fi white void where her interview for the escort agency takes place. In their VR simulation, the elderly woman (Talisa Garcia) evaluating Iris cannot be sure that the face the applicant is presenting is her own; she doesn’t seem to know what Iris looks like. This was the first of many tense details that led Marquadt to head into the series, based at least on the first five episodes, an irritating sequel.

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Technology has unmasked the nature of prostitution in a hundred and one ways – a fact that is cleverly discovered, such as the 2018 thriller. Oranges. But Marquadt doesn’t seem to care how terrestrial prostitution will be affected by the invisible algorithms that govern our lives – and her protagonist is helping to create. In fact, Iris takes on a fairly traditional profession of prostitution: Aside from the ratings and reviews her clients leave her, there aren’t many things that someone like her wouldn’t do the job. prostitution in 1992.

It’s a wasteful premise, but the biggest disappointment of the new season is its protagonist. Girlfriend’s experience has always kept its main characters close at hand – we never learn much about them, and their motives are more for inference than nailing. They are also never considered likable in the usual way; they move to their inner rhythms, whose rhythms are largely muted to us. We get a bit more plot with Iris: Her father suffers from early dementia, leaving her in need of more money and a willingness to cross the Atlantic to find work more understandable. As for her habit of psychoanalyzing her clients – sometimes looking at their faces – well, is there a more effective method of killing? At work, Iris and her newly drafted colleague, Hiram (Armin Karima), babble about the true nature of lust and compatibility, with all the wisdom of slurs. .

Iris’s annoyance wasn’t helped by Telles’ puzzling performance, which often leans towards pampering, even if there’s no reason for it. One new wrinkle that Marquadt introduced was Iris’ trial-and-error when she first returned to her client; despite her training in “nonverbal cues,” she often misjudges their preferences and has to adjust her approach. But with Telles, it’s not always clear what counts as an awkward flirt with a client versus a successful one.

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The worlds will inevitably collide Girlfriend’s experience; The men in the jet world whose protagonists work for nine to five are often the kind of men who pay for night and weekend companionship. It’s practically become a chain recipe at this point, which is why it’s admirable that Marquadt combines the two disciplines of her season in a new pattern and counters that it’s absurd. . Like so much of this season, it just wasn’t enough together.

Actors: Julia Goldani Telles, Oliver Masucci, Frank Dillane, Daniel Betts, Armin Karima, Tobi Bamfeta, Jemima Rooper, Enzo Cilenti, Alexandra Daddario

Creator: Anja Marquadt

Premieres Sunday, May 2, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Starz

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