Steven Soderbergh had a terrific idea for his series “The Knick,” that never came to pass. The plan was, after Season 2, to spin-off the turn-of-the-medical drama idea to different filmmakers and set it in different locales, with new concepts of early doctors working with the material they had at the time. While that didn’t work and the series was canceled (though it might arrive in the future via Barry Jenkins), Soderbergh arguably adopted the same anthology series idea and applied it to “The Girlfriend Experience,” which took his original 2009 film idea—about a high-end Manhattan call girl who provides emotional and sexual relationships at a high price while juggling the challenges of her life—and applied them to different settings and notions about transactional sex, sexuality, control and more. Season 1, directed by Amy Seimetz and Lodge Kerrigan, centered on a law student (Riley Keough) who has a secret life as a high-end call girl. Season 2, also directed by Seimetz and Kerrigan, splintered into two stories, each director directing one, Kerrigan’s in the world of DC politics and dark money, Seimetz’s about female trauma set in the world of a woman in witness protection.
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Keeping with the ever-evolving ideas, nearly four years after 2017’s Season 2, “The Girlfriend Experience,” returns again for Season 3 in a totally new form. Written and directed by internationally acclaimed filmmaker Anja Marquardt (“She’s Lost Control”), executive produced by Philip Fleishman (“The Girlfriend Experience”) and starring Julia Goldani Telles (“The Affair”), “The Girlfriend Experience” is a much more cerebral affair this time and looks at the world of sex through big tech, algorithms, online dating and the analytical world of neuroscience.
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Here’s the official synopsis:
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The third installment of “The Girlfriend Experience” is set amidst the London tech scene and focuses on Iris (Telles), a neuroscience major. As she begins to explore the transactional world of The Girlfriend Experience, Iris quickly learns that her client sessions provide her with a compelling edge in the tech world and vice versa. She then begins to question whether her actions are driven by free will, or something else altogether, and heads down a deep path of exploration.
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‘The GFE’ Season 3 debuts today at the SXSW Film Festival (look for our review soon) and has now set a Starz premiere of May 2. A new trailer has arrived, and you can watch that below.