The Client List Season 2 Review “I Ain’t Broke but I’m Badly Bent”

Well, it was bound to happen eventually. Frankly, I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner, given what we’re dealing with. Finally, on “The Client List,” someone made Riley an offer she couldn’t refuse, try as she might- an “Indecent Proposal,” if you will, in tonight’s episode “I Ain’t Broke but I’m Badly Bent.”

The guy in question, to be fair, was as decent a guy as one could hope our fair Riley could find herself in this situation with- no sleazy rich guy here, a la Robert Redford in the aforementioned movie. This was just a guy whose wife left him (and his kids, for good measure) for another man, who was lonely and liked Riley and wanted to cut to the chase, as he was going to Japan for an extended stay. I mean, it’s not like they know anything about massage there, you know?

All kidding aside, the guy was willing to drop $50,000 for the privilege and it’s not as if he wanted to string her up on the bedpost or anything (though, in real life, this could have easily gone sideways). In fact, he was actually a bit of a romantic. For a while there, it did look like Riley was going to just say no, but those bills, they keep a-comin’, don’t they? All pseudo-romance aside, this was no “Pretty Woman”-style undertaking, try as Riley might to make it that way.

The aftermath was pretty brutal, between the shower of shame, Lacey’s guilt-inducing harangue, and the bit with Kyle at the end, what with his painfully ironic dialogue. Hats off to star Jennifer Love-Hewitt (who did a fine job directing, in case you missed the credit) for not sugar-coating this particular subject matter any more than she had to, as dictated by the script. They really piled it on poor Riley to justify it, didn’t they?

Well, as aforementioned, it could have been a lot worse, but for only her second time at bat- as she revealed to Georgia, Kyle was the only guy she’d ever been with- that is not the way you want to go if you have any choice in the matter. Of course, Riley did have a choice, which was sort of the point, but I wonder if there aren’t a lot of people that would have done the same thing, least of all in these tough economic times.

I mean, hell, change it to a sexy MILF and turn the tables, and I might have done the same thing myself, but then, I suppose it’s different for guys, to say the least. It’ll be interesting to see what the repercussions of all this will be in the episodes to come- will she break down and tell Lacey, for instance? I suspect Georgia already figured it out…and maybe Selena has an idea about what happened, too. After all, she’s been there, hasn’t she?

Not that Riley had a lot of choice: electrical bills, her son’s newfound reading issues, mom’s rehab, her payments to Georgia, Kyle’s legal fees…no wonder she’s in debt! A whole lot of stuff to contend with- it’d give anyone pause. Maybe not to the extent they’d do what Riley did, but desperate times call for desperate measures and all that.

Beyond that, the stuff with Arlene was a bit of a time-waster from the main event, but it was nice seeing Lacey stand up for herself, especially since it looked like Georgia was going to have to do it for her for a hot minute there, didn’t it?

Linette was a no-show this episode, but I suspect that’s because they wanted to give Cybill Shepherd a chance to shine with her storyline, and JLH had to do some pretty heavy lifting this time around, so better to put the pause button on that one for now. Even Lifetime can only handle so much drama in a given hour, though Lord knows they try to cram in as much as possible.

For that same reason, little Travis got a bit of short shrift compared to his sister’s more prominent storyline a few weeks ago, but he got to do some pretty dramatic stuff earlier in the season when the kids found out dad wasn’t coming home just yet, so I guess you win some, you lose some. Is it me or does he remind you of a young Haley Joel Osment? I kept expecting him, when Riley asked him what the problem was in school to be all: I see dead people…and I learned it from watching you! You know, on that other show you were on, ‘The Ghost Whisperer’? Help a son out, why don’t ya?

I kid, “The Client List.” You know I love you, deep down. How about you? Let your (Jen) Love shine in the comments section below! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to start saving my money, and not the old-fashioned way, I’m afraid. But hey, if you hear anything…I’m available for all of your freelancing needs!

  • Terannmac

    I’m still in limbo about whether this show is worth my while- even as a guilty pleasure. Anymore this is like a bad after school special or a trite old school country song. Hubby’s in jail, mama’s on pills,kid is in trouble…every week something new. What’s wrong with letting a story build? I feel like I have a.d.d. Too much, too fast.

    • Mark Trammell

      It may be because it’s a cable show- only twelve episodes means you gotta pack it in, story-wise. But I certainly see your point. Let’s put it this way: If I wasn’t a Jen-Love fan from way back, I don’t know if I’d watch. It definitely can’t decide if it wants to be truly edgy or adhere to the standard Lifetime formula. Note what lengths (the bills, the kid issue, mom’s rehab, the guy being a decent guy on the rebound from being cheated on, etc) they went to to justify her sleeping with the guy, for instance. The TV-movie version was actually more edgy, which is a big part of why I started watching this. But they softened the edges on the series version, having her husband leave her and so on (in the TV-movie, she did it behind his back). It is what it is, I guess. Every now & then, it can be clever and well-written, but they veer too much into soap-opera territory for their own good sometimes.