The Client List – Episode 1-1 Series Pilot – “The Rub of Sugarland”

Jennifer Love Hewitt plays Riley Parks, a Texas single mom who is left alone (a change from last years made for TV movie) with her children by her husband Kyle. Riley gets hired at a massage parlor called The Rub. Faced with a tough decision, Riley decides that in order to protect and provide for her family who continues to struggle financially, she must do what she has to do. Which is apparently hand-jobs with a side of compassion.

Here’s the thing for me folks, this show is a train wreck of epic proportions. Not only is the acting laughable, Jennifer Love Hewitt is so unconvincing as a down south struggling bride unfamiliar with her own hotness that it borderlines on the insane. The talents of Loretta Divine and Cybil Shepard are wasted in a television show who’s marketing hype (ADDICTED TO LOVE VIDEO?) was clearly JLH’s “assets” and not the content of the show.

However, its the shows premise that I have a fundamental problem with. This show is about a mother who struggles with the lose of her husband (who left her, not died), who has a support system (brother in law and possible future love interest, her mother, and her community), drives and SUV, lives in her own home, and decides that because the struggle to maintain the bills is too much, she turns to the rough and rugged world of tug jobs.

My issue is not that she is a prostitute. Don’t kid yourselves here, she is. Sometimes people sink to the bottom and need to resort to anything to survive, I can at least comprehend that, however this woman was suffering in middle class mediocrity and decided that the old stump rub was the best way out. Fine, I accept even this, the craziest of all premises. However, do not try and convince me that she is just being a strong independent woman who is doing what she can for the kids, because now your just insulting us viewers.

Sell the gas guzzler, downgrade to a smaller house or apartment, have  mom chip in on rent! These are things that I would try, you know, before jerkin’ the gherkin for cash.

We get it OK, you want us to see her in her underwear. She’s hot and sells the show but can I please watch one of the classier shows like Army Wives without having my whole family exposed to The Ghost Whisper’s fun bags?

The network surprises me with this one really, I understand that money talks and sex sells but for a company that built its name of strong movies and series revolving around women this shock and awe approach at TV seems more MTV than Lifetime. This is not about role models, not about strong women, not about struggling to survive. This is about taking the quick and easy way out instead of buckling down and working hard, like the rest of us.

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