Steven Soderbergh, who retired from directing movies with Side Effects last year, has not retired from the entertainment industry. Like Matthew McConaughey, he just turned his attention toward television, a better long-form medium these days than Hollywood films. For instance, he’s got The Knick with Clive Owen out this August over on Cinemax.
As a film director, however, Soderbergh could be brilliant (Ocean’s 11, Traffic, Out of Sight, Magic Mike)) or completely effing inaccessible (but arguably just as brilliant) with films like Full Frontal, Solaris, and Bubble. I never cared for Soderbergh’s experimental films, to be honest. They bored me to tears.
One such film was The Girlfriend Experience, about a high-end Manhattan call girl meeting the challenges of her boyfriend, her clients, and her work. That call girl was played by Sasha Grey, and The Girlfriend Experience was supposed to turn her into a major mainstream star. It didn’t. Mostly because the film was kind of boring, and like much of Soderbergh’s more recent cinematic output, The Girlfriend Experience suffered from a kind of apathy and indifference to the characters and the audience.
It was, however, a neat concept: These call girls provide the full girlfriend experience (not just f**king), and as a series, it may work. Soderbergh is going to give it a shot, and Starz has ordered 13 episodes of the anthology series. Lodge Kerrigan (The Killing) and Amy Seimetz (a writer and actress on shows like The Killing) will write and direct the series, and rather than Sasha Grey’s character, it will focus on a different character in a different city, perhaps played by a different porn star.
Hopefully, it’ll be as interesting a concept as the film, but more exciting and dramatic in execution.