jennifer-love-hewitt-client-list-premiere.jpgWelcome to “The Client List,” the new primetime drama on Lifetime that debuted Sunday, April 8. Jennifer Love Hewitt is Riley Parks, a Texas woman in financial dire straits after her husband leaves who puts her massage therapy license to good use at a spa that offers “extras” to a select client list.

Overall, it was pretty enjoyable. It was a little irksome how the husband left – there wasn’t enough build up to that, he seemed genuinely happy she got a job and then poof, he’s gone. But that’s a minor quibble since we all know going in she’s going to be a single mom trying to make ends meet.

The spa, awesomely named The Rub, is fantastic. Loretta Devine is the de facto madame, and the surrounding cast of ladies is a lot of fun. Hilariously, the montage of special clients Riley works on is way too beefcake-y to be believable – seriously, the guys paying for happy endings are much more likely to look like the hairy back guy from her other massage montage. But maybe The Rub carefully screens the guys who want extras and throws out the fuggos.

On the homefront, Riley’s mom is the wonderful Cybill Shepherd and Evan, the brother of her run-off husband, is Colin Egglesfield, last seen on the reboot of “Melrose Place.” The Riley-Evan romance is a bit obvious, but Hewitt and Egglesfield have really decent chemistry together, so that’s actually OK. We’re intrigued to see it play out.

The save-the-marriage storyline could have gotten very cheesy, but the show seemed to just skirt the edge of that, largely due to Hewitt and the actor who played Jared’s acting. It didn’t get too saccharine. However, the show can’t continue to treat Hewitt like some kind of prostitute angel every week because that would just get ridiculous.

As a whole, though, it was a fun beginning and we’ll definitely keep tuning in.

Thoughts & Tidbits

  • The cast of the girls at the spa is excellent – we had no idea Kathleen York (Andie from “The West Wing”) was in this as Jolene, the lady who doesn’t give extras. And it’s nice to see Naturi Naughton (Kendra) pop back up after failed “The Playboy Club.”
  • Favorite lines of the night:
  • “That’s not on the menu.”
  • “I don’t wanna be rude, but the girls that don’t give extras don’t really do very well here.”
  • “The Lord never intended for women to be on their own”
  • “Duke knows exactly what I do to get big tips and he wants every detail. Turns him on. After eight hours of foreplay, by the time I get home, I am so randy, I can barely make it through the door. And by ‘randy,’ I mean horny.”
  • “A man does not go lookin’ elsewhere if he’s gettin’ what he needs at home.”

What did you think, viewers? Are you a “Client List” fan?

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."