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If There's A Hell Below, We're All Gonna Go: "The Client List" Series Premiere Real-Time Review

By TK Burton | TV | April 9, 2012 |

By TK Burton | TV | April 9, 2012 |

Hello there. My name is TK, and my capacity for suffering caused by my own self-loathing knows no bounds, which is the only reason I’d submit myself to watching Lifetime’s “The Client List” (now in easy-to-swallow TV show form!) and real-time review it.

Put differently, I hate everything ever and I hope you all choke on your own blood.

Let’s do this.

0:00 So, this apparently doesn’t take place after the events of that godawful movie that I reviewed a couple of years ago? It’s actually just a show about J-Lo-Hew working at a massage parlor, without any of the actual “important town people on a client list” shenanigans? She’s not going to get arrested? That’s some goddamn bullshit right there.

Anyway, we’re zero seconds in and J-Lo-Ho is already on the way to giving handies.

0:01 Flashback! Cybil Shepherd doesn’t look nearly as claymatic-robotish as she did in the movie. We’re in the midst of a family barbecue with terrible, exaggerated accents on the menu. But hubs is upset because he’s on disability and probably because he has to listen to that vapid fucking harpy all day.

They’re basically just recapping the first half-hour of the movie, and I want to fill my brain with scorpions just for knowing that. But hey, impromptu sex scene in the middle of a family barbecue! AKA we haven’t shown J-Lo-Ho’s cleavage in four whole minutes and our writers don’t have any actual independent thought.

0:05 J-Lo-Ho is looking for work, and she finds a friend who drives a corvette and works as a masseuse. And she honestly doesn’t suspect that she’s soaking pickles on the side? Oy.

0:07 The massage parlor is called The Rub. Hand to God. And holy balls, Loretta Divine is the madam. Guh. “This job is all about flexibility.” GET IT? IT’S A SEX JOKE BECAUSE OH FUCK KILL ME.

0:09 Here we are, being introduced to the other girls. And they’re all dressed like Bennigan’s waitresses for some reason. Maybe Bennigan’s is different in Texas.

0:11 Aaand she’s shocked because her client just grabbed her ass. God forbid J-Lo-Ho should let herself be exploited.

Seriously, Jennifer Love Hewitt is cleavage and cheekbones with a whirling vortex of stupid for a brain.

Hallelujah. Commercial. I don’t say that often.

0:16 Oh, she’s outraged! She’s angry! You can tell because she’s pursing her lips and making a frowny face. Except she has the eyes of a dead bird.

0:18 Now she’s home and for some reason sobbing uncontrollably. Wait, apparently her husband left her. Holy lack of exposition, Batman. Did I black out for a minute? OK, sure, it’s altogether possible that I blacked out. Now there’s a Very Serious Family Meeting where her obligatory sassy overweight friend offers everyone Xanax. Which makes sense, because I wish I was unconscious.

0:18 Ooh! A montage of her massaging dudes (but not THAT way, because MORALS, y’all) and not making enough money.

0:21 But then her mother tells her she might have to sell her house, and she promptly asks Loretta Divine if she can start making like the two-backed beast with the clients.

I love the fundamental premise of this show. She and her husband are out of work and so, you know, duh, blowjobs. It’s the logical conclusion. BUT IT’LL BE EMPOWERING!

You know, I don’t have a serious ethical problem with prostitution per se. My problem is the shiny, blase way that these writers choose portray it, as if people can make that change so easily and without consequence.

0:26 And now we’re back, and J-Lo-Hew is in a negligee for her first client. Basically, the show has been boring as fuck, and it’s time to hit the cleavage button. Fortunately, her client is handsome, well-built, and charming. Because this show is realistic, yo.

Seriously, her cheekbones are wigging me out. I feel like you could break rocks on those fuckers.

0:29 Cybill Shepherd is berating her for never going to college. Also, apparently blinking is how we know she’s feeling feelings. J-Lo-Hew is back to frowny face mode. Basically, it’s giggling, frowny face, and crying. Regardless of which mode is selected, she looks like she’s slipping into unconsciousness.

You know, it’s worth noting that this was Mrs. TK’s idea, and she’s not even here to watch it with me. Basically, I’m sitting in my basement watching the fucking Client List with a surly cat, whiskey and hatred as my companions.

0:31 Next client, playing the ol’ “I’ve got some tension in my groin” card. I want to drop an anvil on his junk. However, apparently J-Lo-Hew is good at listening to the fellas’ problems. Handiess and empathy, it’s a package deal at The Rub. But we also just listened to all the ladies talk about how horny this job makes them. This is like shitty porn dialogue mixed in with a Nicholas Sparks’ novel.

In short, it’s fucking hell.

More whiskey? Don’t mind if I do.

0:34 J-Lo-Hew’s kid is whining and she just ran into an old flame of her husband’s. Uh oh.

0:35 Ah, more sympathetic cleavage. That’s the shittiest band name ever. The client is talking about how much he loves his wife, but the thrill is gone. So, of course, paying for handjobs is the solution.

0:36 Gasp! Someone scrawled “whore” on her car. I’m baffled.

Musical cleavage montage! J-Lo-Hew’s cleavage is magical. It listens to your problems, it fixes marriages. Also, apparently 75% of the dudes that frequent this joint look like Brad fucking Pitt. Realism!

This may well be the laziest writing I’ve ever seen. This entire episode is basically the movie, encapsulated. And yet it dawns on me that people are watching this for actual entertainment. And they’re actually entertained by it. And those people should be beaten about the head and face and hurled into the sea.

They just showed an ad for the very show I’m watching. Apparently her character has a Twitter feed. This is why Twitter is of the devil and Dustin is getting punted in the berries next time I see him.

0:46 Her brother-in-law just came over and accused her to of having a sugar daddy, and she’s furious. Because that’s totally different, right? This is some righteous anger. J-Lo-Hew almost (almost) slapped on a different facial expression, that’s how real shit just got.

Pretty sure my cat is judging me.

0:47 Now apparently the other girls are salty because she’s being too helpful to the fellas and they’re reconciling with their wives and not coming back. Her heart is gold, people. That’s because it’s housed behind Ye Olde Magical Cleavage.

This may well be the dumbest fucking hour of television in the history of dumb fucking television. Or maybe it just feels like that because I want to stab myself in the eyes with pruning shears. Either that or give the show’s creators a molten lava enema.

0:54 She’s being stalked by an angry wife, but she’s able to explain that hubs is wookin’ pa nub only because he’s not getting what he needs at home. Which is apparently perfectly acceptable? And now everyone’s crying, and J-Lo-Hew is doing the mother of all frowny faces, but she saved their marriage! And she didn’t even have to use her Magical Cleavage. It’s a weapon to be used with restraint, people. Too much Magical Cleavage can be like staring at the sun.

-0:57 After drunkenly accusing her of having a sugar daddy, her brother-in-law is flirting with her. For real. My God, I want to bury every person in this show upside down in a barrel of angry hornets.

0:59 The show ends with her telling Loretta Divine that she wasn’t able to save her marriage, but she’s gonna save her family.

The moral of this show? Yankin’ rando cranks brings families together.

I think I’m gonna pour the rest of this whiskey into my eyeballs in the hopes of scouring my brain clean.

TK Burton is an Editorial Consultant. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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