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Who doesn’t love a good
hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold tale? Growing up with
romanticized versions of prostitution like Pretty Woman
and Indecent Proposal, Lifetime’s The Client
List is engaging, although a little familiar. This show
is nearing the end of its second season and all the things
that for which some other reviewers are criticizing this
show, make me love it all the more. When I think about what
I love about this show, I start to think about things that I
indulge in, but are really bad for me; like high heels, or
jelly beans. That’s what The Client List is for me…
very little substance, but sweet and filling and it does the
job it’s meant to. No more, no less. Sure, it’s pretty
light fare, and the writing can seem a little clumsy, but
its accessible and approachable and gives vehicle to the
beautiful Jennifer Love Hewitt and her INSANE body.
I can’t help but watch. Jennifer Love
Hewitt is terribly endearing, and it’s hard not to watch her
week-to-week struggle to find the balance for which her
character, Riley Parks calls. This season, Riley has taken
on more responsibility both in and out of The Rub and this
week’s episode, “I ain’t broke, but I’m badly bent” found
her facing an indecent proposal of her own. A charming new
client played by Josh Hopkins (Grayson of CougarTown
notoriety) offers Riley $50,000 to sleep with him, and he is
just handsome enough and rich enough for her to consider it.
Most of the rising action of the episode reveals Riley’s
conflict over the proposition, and it seems like she is
going to take the moral high ground on this one; even going
so far as to utter the phrase, “I am not that kind of
girl.” Knowing what I thought I knew about this show, I
guessed wrong about how it would play out.
While this show is steamy and mildy
PG-13 at times (think JLH in a French maid’s costume), I
would have NEVER guessed that Riley would have gone down the
sex-for-money rabbit hole. The fact that The Client List
took this opportunity to buck the clichéd finger-wagging and
dodged the opportunity to lecture us makes me love the show
even more. I am not sure what it says about me, but the fact
that this character took the money in exchange for sex opens
up a new respect for it. In a sense, it gives it chops; much
more than you would expect from jelly beans. And major
kudos to Jennifer Love-Hewwit for directing herself in an
episode that could have taken a horribly wrong turn, but
turned out so enchanting.
As the other story lines ebb-and-flow
(I am already tired of the Lynette-in-rehab-bit), I hope
that The Client List stays strong in developing
Riley’s character. I hope they don’t take the easy way out
of this one and sentence us to weeks and weeks of a tortured
and hollow Riley. I can manage a lot of things from this
show, and I feel like I took it on the chin with Riley’s
cover of “Bust a Move,” but I can’t stomach backtracking. I
hope they use the same boldness when handling the tentative
relationship between Riley and her estranged husband, Kyle.
He’ll be returning home from jail soon, and I think there
are quite a few opportunities to show us they mean
business. I am holding my breath to see how the season
wraps up, but I predict some fireworks as the relationship
heats back up between Riley and Kyle. As a veteran TV
viewer, I am not easily shocked by a show, but I’ll
absolutely be watching to see how ELSE The Client List
can surprise me.
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Page updated 6/7/13