The Client List

The Client List 1×03 – Tough Love

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Much better. The Client List is slowly improving and I couldn’t be happier. They did a lot of things right in this one although there’s a still a few things I’d like to change.

First off, the positives. I love that the writers have pretty much decided to make Selena a full-on villain. She was obviously deceitful and sneaky from the beginning and having a vicious white trash psychopath at The Rub will undoubtedly cause some fireworks. I enjoyed her messing with Riley’s clients and especially her getting her comeuppance thanks to Riley & Jolene’s team up. Speaking of Jolene, she’s currently my favorite of Riley’s coworkers, probably because she actually has a personality.

Moreover, I’m fascinated watching Riley really live her role when she’s at work. Being a bad girl is obviously a release for her and a way to deal with her life’s troubles. It’s a compelling  angle really and one that would do the show good to explore if they decide to dig deep into her psyche. I realize the word psyche is already too complex for a show that seemed a tad too superficial in the beginning but I have a feeling the writers might surprise us.

Now the flaws. First of all, they need to have Riley stop preaching to her clients and teaching them life lessons. This isn’t Ghost Whisperer and she’s not some saint with a purpose. I get what they’re going for; Riley can actually do good with her naughty job but it’s much too holier-than-thou for me.

Furthermore, I really really wish the Client List was on a cable network like HBO or Showtime. It just seems like they’re holding back way too much during the Client scenes and while I get this show airs on Lifetime, we need to have some degree of titillation to convey the message of the show. In the end, the show is about the dark side of life and it needs to be able to express that and not sugarcoat the dirty stuff. Lifetime just needs to go further.

Finally, Riley got a beautiful final scene with her kids as she told them the truth about their dad. Their relationship feels genuine which is a definite plus, and Jennifer Love Hewitt as always was phenomenal.

All in all, this was a welcome improvement after a somewhat weak second episode. I’m getting into the show’s groove and I’m starting to visualize how it could look like in the long-term. A very good effort.

Nad Rating
B+

3 comments

  1. I'd just like to start by saying that The Client List is doing its job. I'm currently watching it in desperate need of escapism and relaxation, and i gravitated towards it without a second thought of watching the other shows that also aired sunday night. It's blend of drama and relatively easygoing writing make for the best mix of trash tv. Which is why i actually find myself disagreeing with you for once. I don't need another dexter, it's exhausting to watch dexter. Diary of a call-girl was too focused on the sex. Sure, they can go beyond the scenes of candles and blurred blinds, i mean if the CW can let 2 characters have graphic scenes on a piano, Lifetime can loosen up a bit.
    This episode is definitely better than the 2 that preceded it for all the reasons you stated. The same things irked me too. This show will never be Memoirs of a Geisha, and i appreciate that Riley seems to be getting tougher by the episode, but she's really in no position to keep preaching. Holier-than-thou is spot-on.
    I can't wait for the kind of trouble a loose canon like Selene can stir up.
    And on a side note: this show really could NOT have pulled off this kinda charisma with anyone but JLH. She's a scenery-chewer. I LOVE her.
    Awesome review as always Nadim.

  2. one more thing: When i saw the promo for this and they heavily featured the guy threatening to tell on them to the authorities, i was like nooo you're using season finale worthy storylines this early on… bad sign…
    I'm glad Loretta Divine (not impressed by the character hence i don't remember the name) handled it swiftly. This is clearly not her first go on the mary-go-round. (see everytime i try to sound southern, i fail miserably!)

  3. You have a point about not making this show too deep since it is trash TV after all but I would like them to dig deeper into Riley's mind. But yes there's the fear it would try to be a Dexter-type show which I've never seen but know is very intense.
    I just saw the promo. You're right talk about sneaky marketing! And I just remembered the character name is Georgia! Hehe. Pretty useless so far. She could stand to be a bit evil….

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