The Client List Season 2 Review “Cowboy Up”

So, as expected, on this week’s “The Client List,” Linette’s accident turned out to be a minor fender-bender, but who among you thought it would be…sexting-related? Say what now? I think Riley put it best when she said, “It’s like I’ve looked directly into the sun and I’m scarred for life,” upon seeing one of said sexy text messages exchanged between her and new beau, Dick. If you guessed that name led to a whole heap of double-entendres, however, then you’re clearly watching the right show.

Riley: “We need to talk about Dick…I mean, what do you want to do about this Dick?” Cue Lacey’s sniggering, as Linette looks on, mortified.

On “Cowboy Up,” we discovered the real reason behind Evan’s beat-up condition as of late, and it turns out it wasn’t the dust-up he had with his brother in jail. Instead, he had been subjecting himself to rodeo riding, with some degree of success- but lots of failure as well, to the tune of bruises, dislocated shoulders and plenty more where that came from. As if that weren’t enough busywork, he was also applying to be a cop. I loved Riley’s assessment of the every-which-way-but-loose Evan’s wily ways.

Riley: “One minute you’re a construction worker, the next minute you’re a cowboy, then you wanna be a cop. What are you, the Village People?” LOL.

Speaking of mistaken identities, I thought for a hot minute I was watching “Army Wives,” what with the whole PTSD-suffering former soldier angle. Or should I say Pretty Little Liars,” what with Sterling Sulieman, aka that show’s late Nate, playing him- and after Bryce Johnson, also from that show, cropped up in the first two episodes? (I also noticed the actress who plays Melissa, Torrey DeVitto, crop up in ads for the aforementioned “Army Wives”…poaching from “PLL” much, Lifetime?)

To be honest, this episode suffered a bit from an identity crisis as well. Was it a typical Lifetime girl-friendly “let’s hug it out” melodrama? Or a cutting edge, racy dramedy with cosplay and off-color jokes? Or a message-heavy, ripped-from-the-headlines type show, a la “Law & Order”? Tonight it was all of the above, with a little 8 Seconds tossed in for good measure.

The results were a little scattershot, but I guess you could say that at the very least, it wasn’t boring. If anything, there was almost too much going on, with the set-up for a lot more as time goes on, what with Evan becoming a cop, and thus, a potential threat to Riley on down the line; plus Kyle scheduled to make bail by the next episode, which will open up a whole new can or worms. There’s also a new face at The Rub, this one a male masseuse Riley finds at the rodeo. Will he still be on board when he inevitably discovers there’s more going on than meets the eye there?

It’s a lot of intrigue for one show to tackle, but the good thing is that, now that the seeds have been planted for the rest of the season, the show shouldn’t have to struggle to fill space with lesser subplots as much. Let’s hope, anyway. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate the rodeo stuff, and the PTSD soldier stuff was somewhat interesting, especially with the left-of-center “Mary” Riley bit thrown in (see what they did there?).

However, it did veer awkwardly towards the maudlin at times, and that won’t really do for a show that’s clearly intended to be a newer, hipper type of Lifetime show. I’m not sure even Lifetime expected the show to be as big of a hit as it was, and now that it is, the network seems a bit cautious when it comes to the direction it wants to take things.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the show just fine as it is, which is precisely why I don’t want to see them get carried away with subplots and “message”-based character studies. Interestingly, the show itself seemed to acknowledge its own uncertainty when Riley made a remark about things starting to sound like an “after-school special.” That was a right-on-the-money assessment, and I’d hate to see the show fall victim to that sort of pandering.

The fact that the writers seemed to notice it themselves enough to comment it on it within the script is a good sign. Let’s hope they retain that mode of self-evaluation as things proceed, or at least enough of it not to let things get too cheesy for their own good. I really like the show, and I’d hate to see it self-destruct under the weight of trying to be everything to everybody.

So, what did you think of “The Client List” this week? Did you like all the subplots or did you agree with my take on things? What do you think could be done to keep the show on point? What direction would you like to see it head in? Let me know in the comments!

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