The Client List - Season 1

 Starring: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Colin Egglesfield, Rebecca Field, Naturi Naughton, Alicia Lagano, Kathleen York, Desi Lydic, Brian Hallisay, Loretta Devine, Cybill Shepherd
Creator: Suzanne Martin
Rating: ****

The Client List, a bold, daring and provocative new series that has recently premiered in America, is full of heart as well as scandalous behaviour. Starring the lovely Jennifer Love Hewitt, who starred in the TV movie on which this is based, brings her heart, soul and...uuummm...breasts to the role and does a superb job.

Riley Parks (Hewitt) is a Texas housewife and mother of two beautiful children. Sure on the outside everything looks perfect, but behind closed doors it is far from it. She had the makings of a true Southern heroine, she is caring, refreshing and under it all she has a hard steel core that can withstand almost anything, something people don't expect...not even Riley herself.

Her husband, Kyle (Hallisay), walks out near the beginning of the first episode, leaving Riley with two kids and one hefty unpaid mortgage. Whether her new job forced him to leave, his jealousy of her being the main breadwinner...who knows, but I'm sure we will find out more in the weeks to come. The scene where Riley discovers, by note, that her husband has left her was a really moving and emotional one, driven by a heartfelt and raw performance from Miss Hewitt, whoever says she can't act gets shown up in this scene.

The surprises don't end there for poor Riley, apparently the spa where she was recently hired,  specialises in a little more than massages, something a bit more below the belt shall we say. She quickly finds this out when one of her new clients explains how he has a lot of "extra tension" in his hip area that they needed help with. Now at first Riley rejects the idea and refuses to take these special clients, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and she must do whatever she can to protect her family.

The reason the show never becomes to smutty or that Riley doesn't come of as a whore is because she is a genuinely lovely person. She wanted a legitimate job, then life threw some interesting challenges at her. Performing extras wasn't something she jumped at but her husband walked out, her kids just lost their daddy, the bank was coming after the house and she got desperate. I'm sure many will judge Riley but her first instinct was to save her family. Despite her questionable methods, you couldn't really fault her for that.

The show never explicitly detailed how happy these happy endings became and that's not a bad thing. You don't need all of the dirty details to stay interested. It might even be more fun to draw your own conclusions. Plus, I liked that Riley continued to struggle with her decision, showing that she really wasn't a nasty person. Her desperation to take care of her family warred with her conscience, something that I hope continues to do so.

The supporting cast are equally as appealing as the lovely Jennifer Love Hewitt. Cybill Shepherd, who I have missed severely from my screens, pulls off the role of Riley's mother perfectly. Lynette is a straight-talking but supportive southern mother who is quick to give her daughter advice even when she doesn't necessarily want it. Then there was Evan (Egglesfield), Kyle's brother who obviously has some serious feeling of longing for his gorgeous sister-in-law. 

The best characters, for the comic relief anyway, have to be the other woman at the spa, four very sassy and very different women (Naughton, York, Lagano & Lydic) who are there to support Riley, as well as earn their keep. Looking after the woman is motherly diva Georgia (Devine) a caring woman who just wants what's best for 'her girls', and takes Riley under her wing from the start.

There's certainly enough drama here to fill the first season. Will Kyle come back? Will Riley get caught and even if she isn't arrested, will her family and friends ever come to terms with it? At the heart Riley's a nice girl navigating her family through really desperate times and I'm rooting for her to find her own happy ending. I'll definitely be watching as she tries to find her way. No news on a UK air date, but let's hope it's soon rather than later.

The Client List - Promo