Almost two years ago, Lifetime released a made-for-TV movie called “The Client List”. The premise, that of a woman who takes on an unorthodox career, coupled with the association of Jennifer Love Hewitt: an actress I’ve loved for years, intrigued me enough. The movie itself wasn’t the greatest. In fact, it felt cheap and sloppy, nevertheless I still enjoyed it primarily due to Hewitt’s charm.
Strangely enough, Lifetime & Hewitt have partnered again for what they hope will be a long-term series incarnation of the show. And again, Hewitt saves what would be an otherwise cheesy production.
I still find the premise very compelling, and while the pilot didn’t do the greatest job of selling the idea, I have a feeling the show might succeed in convincing me with a few episodes under its belt. I like the notion that Riley actually forges a relationship with her clients and might actually help them in the process (much like Hewitt’s character on Ghost Whisperer once did).
The cast is charming enough. I really can’t stress enough how much I love Jennifer Love Hewitt and how underrated I think she is. She carried Ghost Whisperer; a show that really didn’t deserve to live past its pilot for five seasons and she did it all with class and a multifaceted range that routinely flies under the radar. The highlight of the hour was undeniably Riley’s breakdown when she finds out her husband has walked out on her (of course Angus and Julia Stone’s masterful song “Hold On” greatly helped). Jennifer just sold the hell out of that one. She’s really one of those rare actresses who perfectly epitomize sweetness and charm so I’m really looking forward to seeing her back on my screen every week (and the multitude of sexy lingerie scenes undeniably help). Talk about a marketing campaign that lives up to its promise (see above image).
As for the rest of the cast, Cybill Shepard is a good fit but I’m much more fascinated by Loretta Divine who is excellent on Grey’s Anatomy and who I feel will be simply superb on this show. The role of a madam feels tailor-made to her and she carries it with ease (although her dialogue is a bit heavy-handed at some points). Moreover, I enjoyed her chemistry with Hewitt as an ironically more appropriate mother-figure.
Speaking of chemistry, there’s an effortless charm radiating between Hewitt and Collin Egglesfield so let’s hope that relationship proves to be entertaining as it evolves. The added complication of Kyle calling as they have their moment and the episode ends was a welcome one. I really didn’t expect us to hear from him until at least the finale so perhaps this show might have a few tricks up its sleeve? I look forward to finding out.
All in all, this wasn’t the strongest or most remarkable pilot, but it was an amusing enough effort with a secret weapon: an endearing star who just might save it. I’ll be sticking around for a while that’s for sure.
Oh, and is Riley’s GMC supposed to be a poor girl’s car? Because that scene fell flat on its pompous face.