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A Study in Stark Contrasts

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First, do be fooled: GFE isn't in the vein of Fifty Shades of Grey.  Hell, there don't seem to be ANY shades of gray with GFE.  It's either black or white. The show's atmosphere swings from sparse and sterile to carnal and depraved. From the immaculately-clean, high-end apartments with state-of-the-art everything that are the setting for the sexual activity, the five-star bars serving top-shelf vodka, bourbon, and the driest of martinis that are the settings where assignations are arranged, and the Michelin-starred restaurants for pre-and post-coital meals to the boardrooms and business offices that are the backdrop to the GFEs' artifice, the scenes and acting are one moment taut, dull conversation and the next flesh pounding against flesh. In almost all scenes, the shots are wide, but filled with only two or three actors, uttering a sparse, clipped dialogue to match the sparse surroundings.


In season 1, the show highlighted Riley Keough's Christine, playing a classic trope: the law school student who's dalliance in high-end prostitution is funding her education.  But Christine is a temperamental, tightly-wound, high-strung young woman who's failing to live up to her family's expectations. As an intern at a well-to-do law firm, she's caught up in a conspiracy simultaneously involving her boss-slash-john. That plot alone would have made great fodder for a law firm drama but, like Christine's failings, it was undone by her inability to control her own temper. Eventually, Christine's two worlds collide and she comes crashing down to Earth.  In the end, she makes a choice to live only one lifestyle and it leaves her soul as empty as her surroundings.


In season 2, the show ran two separate plot lines back-to-back each week.  First was Anna Friel's Erica, a functionary working for a political action committee during an important election campaign and lesbian on the rebound from a recent break-up. The second was Carmen Ejogo's Bria, a gangster's moll in the witness protection program.  Anna Friel was brittle, dowdy and drab in her role, evoking little sympathy for her character Erica, while Carmen Ejogo, as Bria, brought some life to an otherwise poorly-written season.  Bria, now working a dull assembly line in Albuquerque, New Mexico, eventually falls back into GFE mode to not only break up the monotony of her life, but save up enough money to escape from under the Draconian thumb of her Federal Marshal handler.  Neither plot had a clean ending, especially Bria's "is this a fantasy or not?" finality.


I don't know if the show was renewed for third season, but I'm hopeful for a return to the first season.





7/10
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Added by TrekMedic
3 weeks ago on 31 January 2018 03:16




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