The Girlfriend Experience, Starz' anthology series about female escorts, might ruffle some Republican feathers (hey some people are into that! NBD) when it returns for Season 2 in fall.
That's because one of GFE's two storylines takes place during the upcoming mid-term elections, and shows what happens when the finance director of a Republican super PAC, Erica Myles (Anna Friel), employs a confident and savvy Girlfriend Experience provider Anna Garner (Louisa Krause) in order to blackmail a high-powered fundraiser. Erica initially intends on just using Anna to infiltrate a network of dark financiers, but they find themselves tangled up in a sexual relationship of dominance and submission.
Given that the Republican party isn't really having the best time right now, a story about money of questionable origin, sex with escorts and grabs for power in Washington D.C. could seem like moral shots fired — especially since writer, director and executive producer Lodge Kerrigan tweaked the story after the November elections to set it in that milieu. The idea had been in place before the historic surprise, but following the Republican win, he thought the core story would be more unexpected and interesting "if it was set in a Republican world rather than a Democratic world."
"I was just open to reality being stranger than fiction," he told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. All that said, Erica and Anna's story wasn't intended as an indictment of the party's ethics, but a rumination on the cost of emotional vulnerability. Said Krause, "I'm playing this confident, savvy, top of her game," escort who for the first time is falling in love. "Going from businesswoman to navigating new emotional territory was exhilarating as an actress to live in that space."
For her and the cast, the world of escorting isn't something to judge. Season 2 "really explores the power dynamic in every relationship," Kerrigan said. But as far as the job itself, "there is nothing particularly dramatic about it."
Season 2 of The Girlfriend Experience begins Sunday, Nov. 5th at 9/8c on Starz.