By Valerie Milano
Beverly Hills, CA (The Hollywood Times) 11/1/17 – Starz’ THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE will premiere again on Sunday, November 5th at 9 p.m. Executive produced by Steven Soderbergh, TGE will feature two parallel storylines written, directed, and executive produced by Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz. Kerrigan and Seimetz served as writers, directors, and executive producers on Season 1 of the limited series.
During its second season THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE will focus on entirely new characters, relationships, plotlines, and locations while still exploring the price of intimacy and its emotional consequences. One storyline for the 14-episode scripted anthology series will be set in Washington, D.C., and the other in New Mexico.
Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz spoke on a TCA Press Tour panel along with series stars Louisa Krouse and Carmen Ejogo that was introduced by Carmi Zlotnik on Friday, July 28th, 2017 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz both hope to push the boundaries of television at least a little bit with the show’s new format, where the writers’ half-hour segments will mirror each other thematically. The world of escorting itself pushes boundaries in the US, where many protective legal restrictions against prostitution, trafficking, and other forms of sex work are in place.
“Faking it” on these jobs may be the world’s most common form of acting! “This is an extreme version of what so many women go through, in my storyline,” said Carmen Ejogo. “I think our show also speaks to an exploration of emotional truth.”
Lodge Kerrigan confirmed that the Washington set scripts had all been written before the 2016 Presidential election and tweaked later, saying, “I was just really open to the idea that reality is now becoming stranger than fiction” under the Trump presidency.
The self-serving nature of the political world seemed to be “very very apt” at this time in the context of a show that presents a luxurious fantasy life like TGE. Amy Seimetz insisted, however, that no attempt had been made to glamorize or beautify escort work or to present a “Disneyland view” of prostitution as in the hugely popular 1990 film PRETTY WOMAN.
“In THE SOPRANOS we have a male character who’s murdering people, and for some reason everyone’s fine with that. But when a woman decides to sell her body, we’re suddenly in territory where everyone is up in arms and saying is this feminist or not,” Seimetz astutely pointed out. “If it’s motivated by character and narrative, then we should be able to go everywhere. It’s a freedom of speech sort of situation!”
By now Lodge Kerrigan has directed quite a few sex scenes, trying to retain at least some semblance of an emotional and psychological subtext so they are not there just to titillate even when intense issues like dominance and submission emerge. “Love is so complex!” Louisa Krause concluded. Watch THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE if you still need to be convinced!