The Girlfriend Experience trailer

The Girlfriend Experience is a divisive Steven Soderbergh film, as his more experimental films tend to be. Written by David Levien and Brian Koppelman (Solitary ManRounders), The Girlfriend Experience has a fractured but sturdy narrative, showing its prostitute going from gig to gig, all building towards its gut punch ending. The episodic nature of the job is kind of tailor-made for a television show, which is probably why Starz, executive producer Soderbergh, and the creators have made 13 episodes based on the movie.

Watch the trailer for The Girlfriend Experience after the jump.

Christine Reade (Riley Keough, who co-starred in the first Magic Mike) is a promising law student at Chicago-Burnham Law School. By day she interns at Kirkland & Allen, but by night, she begins to take part in a very different kind of financial transaction. A fellow classmate introduces Christian to GFE. Her job, like Christine Browne (Sasha Grey) in the original film, is to provide, you guessed it, the girlfriend experience. For a good chunk of change ($2,000 an hour), it’s Christine’s job to give her clients emotional and sexual comfort.

Here’s the The Girlfriend Experience trailer:

All 13 episodes of The Girlfriend Experience were written and directed by co-creators Lodge Kerrigan (The Killing) and Amy Seimetz (Sun Don’t Shine). Soderbergh has directed every episode of Cinemax’s The Knick, so he probably supported the idea of Kerrigan and Seimetz handling every episode themselves. In Soderbergh’s opinion, as he told The Wrap, we’re going to see more directors having this degree of control in television.

I think you’re going to see more director-driven television. What the end result of that is going to be, I don’t know. But whenever I hear an idea now, my first thought is, “Why shouldn’t this be on TV?” But I think what you’re going to see in some cases is creators/showrunners recognizing that having a director in the room when you’re building the show—conceiving the show—is a real plus. If you can organize it that you’ve either got a very small group of directors over the course of a season, or in the case of The Knick or True Detective, one director, there’s a unification of elements that’s really unique. So I think that will become more of the norm—because if you can manage to have a good director as a member of the brain trust, you’re going to have a better show.

The director’s influence on the show is palpable in the trailer. The compositions are strikingly similar to the clinical camerawork found in Soderbergh’s film. This may not be the only show based on one of the director’s movies we’ll see in the near-future, but of all of his pictures, The Girlfriend Experience seems the most right for television.

The Girlfriend Experience premieres in 2016.

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