Jennifer Love Hewitt. Ghost Whisperer. Something I always refused to take part in. Mostly because I thought it was based on a book series I really liked and knew it wouldn’t be true to it. Well, turns out it would not be true to it because it was based on a different series. Go me. Hey, sometimes I make mistakes…sometimes. Anyway, I decided last night to watch The Client List on Lifetime with J. Love in it and give her a chance to redeem herself (Or just watch the show since I was wrong). And it also turns out that I may have a new show to watch on Sunday nights.
The plot revolves around Riley, a Texas mom of two, whose husband just left the family because they were in some financial trouble. Most specifically, they couldn’t afford to pay their mortgage. She ends up finding a job at a high end massage parlor, where she intends to literally give massages. Turns out that to make your tips bigger at this business, you can do extra for your clients. She doesn’t want to do that but she wants to save her family and gives in. She starts forming a psychologist/patient relationship with one guy, Jared, whose wife goes a little crazy on Riley about halfway through the pilot. However, after a conversation with his wife, Riley saves saves their marriage since she couldn’t save her own. At the end of the episode, she’s left with keeping her new profession a secret from her mother and children and her husband’s brother (I think he lives next door and has an alcohol problem. I missed the details on him). The show closes to her answering the phone with her husband on the other end after not talking to the family for weeks.
So what’s the predictability in the show? Well, I can tell you right now (and I didn’t need previews to tell me this) that Riley will have some kind of fling with her husband’s brother and that in the series finale (If it gets wrapped up and not cancelled randomly), they will be together (unless there is some plot twist much later on that I can’t guess at this point). Riley’s mother will not understand her job. Her husband will freak out about it and probably try to take the kids away or something dramatic. She will probably turn to the brother or her new boss as a friend. The girl at the parlor who she was friends with in high school, that’s going to be Riley’s rival. They’ve already got a tension between them and Riley’s trying to support her family whereas the other girl is too busy living frivolously on her tips. Plus, there’s the whole she doesn’t like Riley talking to her clients thing. I know it seems like a lot of predictability for a show that’s only aired the pilot but I’m pretty sure I’m right. However, I like the plot so I’m going to overlook all of this and hope the writers surprise me.
Let’s take a look at the acting. Okay, it takes place in Texas (Texas Forever 🙂 ) and we all know that I have a huge Friday Night Lights obsession right now (We’re on the last disc 😦 ). Therefore, I’m used to a cast who can pull off the accent very well overall (Shockingly, the two girls I don’t like–Julie and Lyla–are the only ones who do not do it). Now, we have Jennifer Love Hewitt in Texas. In the beginning of the show, I thought to myself, “Wow, I didn’t expect her to have the accent that good.” After another ten minutes or so, I realized that she’d lost her accent. She sounded like the same J. Love from Can’t Hardly Wait. Then another few minutes went by and that thick accent came back. I don’t care if she has an accent or not but she needs to stick with one. The thing that bothers me though is that she’s from Waco, Texas. Okay, so she moved to LA when she was 10 so she may have lost her accent. But I think she would know how to talk with it. Maybe I’m missing the slight Texas twang because I’m so used to the FNL cast having their thick accents but it was starting to annoy me. I kept picking up the change the entire hour.
Other than that, I thought she was very good. You could see the hurt and worry of the character. She played the confusion about whether or not to support her family or keep her job respectable very well. And most of all, she’s very believable as the girl who guys would pay extra for. The girl always looks good. She has a great body. Like my mama pointed out, she always has good hair. I pointed out that she has really good boobs (Hey, it happens when you are as not curvy as I am and it’s kind of hard to miss them in some of that lingerie she was wearing). Mama also pointed out that they’re real. Overall, J. Love is really good in this role. Casting was brilliant here because she’s completely believable in every aspect of Riley.
However, the character I really like is Georgia, the owner of the massage parlor, played by Loretta Devine. The minute she came on the screen I knew I recognized her from somewhere. She has a very distinct voice. Turns out she played Aunt Honey on State of Georgia and I liked that show a lot–especially Aunt Honey and all her flamboyance. I like her in this role, too. There’s something that is very believable about her as this owner. She’s there to be a friend and a guide of sorts for Riley. Devine comes off as having this wisdom and personality that would make Riley just sort of gravitate to her for guidance. She seems nice and like a good listener. I really think how soft yet strong her voice is has something to do with it. The same feeling came across on State of Georgia every time Georgia (played by Raven-Symone in that show) wanted to give up on acting. My mama said that Devine is also playing a woman with Alzheimer’s very well on Grey’s Anatomy, too. I don’t watch the show (and I’m glad I don’t if that’s what they are writing about because I’d cry) but I can see her doing well in that role. It’s not an easy thing to pull off but from what I’ve seen, I think she has the talent.
I was pulled in by the plot because I thought Riley was going to be a prostitute and was surprised when she’s a massage therapist who does a little extra on the side. I didn’t want to watch the show because of Jennifer Love Hewitt. Well, I ‘m putting all my initial judgments aside because I liked it. I’m not usually one for anything on Lifetime (the exception being Army Wives even though I don’t watch it religiously) or Jennifer Love Hewitt but I think they have a winner with this one. The Client List is definitely going to be on my viewing list for the foreseeable future. I’m just going to hope they don’t bring the husband back in a way I don’t like (That’s going to be what makes or breaks this show, if you ask me. Handle that wrong and you’ve dug your own grave).