Director: Jessika Borsiczky (ep. 3 & 4), Sheree Folkson (ep. 7 & 8), Samira Radsi (ep. 6 & 5), and Patricia Rozima (ep. 1 & 2)
Story By: Stacy Rukeyser, Jamie Dennig, BB Easton, Jessika Borsiczky, Resheida Brady, Jordan Hawley, and Kimberly Karp
Cast: Sara Shahi, Adam Demos, Mike Vogel, Margaret Odette, Jonathan Sadowski, and Amber Goldfarb
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I honestly don’t know how I got started with this series. I think I was just looking for something to watch one day, and noticed that Netflix had a new #1, and I wanted to check out why.
I will admit, the series has a slightly unique twist to a mix of stories we’ve seen before, but is really well done. It may have gotten a little sloppy towards the end, but the clean up was nice.
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Below are my grades for key components in #SexLife that I find to be key in any story/film/series—Theme, Plot, Pacing, and Character Arc/Development.
Additionally, I have added an entertainment factor scale to help you determine whether or not the film is something you’d be interested in taking time out of your weekend, evening, or day to watch. The scale range consists of: Worth the Watch/$$$, Interesting Enough (if looking for something new to start), & Don’t Rush.
I have also added a few non-spoiling thoughts, wonderings, and comments as I watched the film to help give some rationale for my grades and entertainment scale.
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Plot & Story: A-
Character Arc/Development: A
General Entertainment Factor: Worth the Watch
Film Enthusiast Entertainment Factor: Worth the Watch
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1. Just to get this out of the way…I have a love/hate relationship with the 19:50 minute mark of episode 3 that got so many people in a frenzy.
What I love is that the moment, as read in an article, was meant to help emphasize “Conner’s obsession” with who this mystery man/Brad was in the most hyper-masculine default jealousy/insecure go-to possible. 👍🏾
Additionally, I love that we are moving more and more towards objectifying men’s bodies in the ways that women’s bodies have been objectified on screen for years. 👍🏾
My “hate/issue” with the decision is that by choosing “that” visual, it sorta continues to just protect male ego, and does nothing to diversify desire to an extent. To date, the only series that has done the best example of those “visuals” to me has been the second episode of Euphoria. 🤦🏾♂️
2. Pacing of this series was pretty solid. Usually, I feel like Netflix starts to get a little messy towards the middle of the season when it decides to veer off into these side character background stories, but that wasn’t the case here. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
However, I will say that including the “moms” added a different texture to the series that I could’ve done without due to their presence only coming into play towards the end. It just felt very obvious that their purpose was for the sake of adding tension/moving the plot for Billie. 🤦🏾♂️
…But I did like Trina. I mean, outside her B.S., she seemed to be a good time! LOL
3. Whew, Chile… that “car and milk” scene… … … so uncomfortable and unfortunate to watch. 🥴
4. I think I have said this in a past post, but I am not a huge fan of child actors who have to play the role of enacting sappiness. BUT Hudson was adorable… … still didn’t care for him, though. 👀🤷🏾♂️😅
5. Soooo… for real for real… I think I am definitely somebody who would be into “those parties” in a relationship… 👀😜😈
6. One message that I found to be well developed was around honesty—“We owe it to the health of our own true happiness (and/or the possibility of), and those we truly care about, to be honest about what we want/desire.” Billie struggled the entire series with communicating her desire that was actually simple in the beginning due to neglect, but not being honest caused it to fester to the point of it becoming an infection on the life she thought she/did/does wanted/want. I think the series does a great job at showcasing how a lack of honesty/communication with Billie sent her life spiraling in an almost hypnotic, erotic twilight zone of events and situations; and the ending was perfect to solidify this message. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
I also think the series does a decent job shedding light on new conversations around relationship, monogamy, and romance. 👍🏾
7. Chiiiiiile, I can’t take Francesca! 😩😂
8. You know, I really appreciated the strength of Sash and Billie’s friendship. Like Wendy Raquel Robinson implied at the beginning of the Jerry Spring Movie “Ringmaster,” (I’m paraphrasing a bit)—“don’t let a piece gristle, a piece of meat, get between the friendship.” It was just very mature, and as I always say, “No person on this earth is guaranteed for any of us. We don’t own the rights/titles to a person—even our exes.” Now… would I do what happened during that FaceTime call? Nah… not at all. 😂😂😂👍🏾
9. I found this story to be really well done—A married woman enters a mid-life-sexual crisis that has her dangerously reminiscing on her past to the point of it seeping into her present and reconstructing her morals and beliefs. I don’t even think I have an episode that stands out more than another. And as mentioned with the theme, the series allowed us to see how our main character Billie’s actions impacted others by giving an appropriate amount of character development space for Conner, and even Sash and Brad. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👍🏾
BUT…like I said in the introduction, the ending did get a little messy—specifically around the falling action of the series with the ultimate need of the “moms” coming to the forefront to make space for this “transition speech” that moves the plot forward to an exciting detour…but that moment, and the “moms” in general, just felt oddly performed for me. 🥴🤷🏾♂️
10. Brad was SOOOO toxic. I actually didn’t/don’t find his character attractive at all. Shout out to Billie for having the stamina and patience to even want to deal with that…although, by the end… I accepted that decision. 🥴👍🏾
11. So is that what PhD student life is giving? 👀
12. I was so proud of how Billie’s character was developed with this series. Just so well done, and really carried and owned the theme. From the neglect ensued desire, to learning about her PhD focus and beliefs, to trying to make sense/understand the root of her want/need, the intersections of motherhood and desires… just yes, yes, and YES! By the end of the series, you look at Billie and say… “you know what, absolutely…even if/despite the next steps, yeah… go’n head.” 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👍🏾🙌🏾
13. Oop…not the husband at the kitchen counter…Billie write, DOWN! LOL It’s a good thing Hudson obviously sleeps late because…. There was also that morning…and she was loud. 👀🤷🏾♂️😂
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Overall, #SexLife gives Obsessed(and all its Variants)-meets-Desperate Housewives-meets—Cinemax-meets-Sex and the City. If there was ever a visual exemplar of what possibly goes on in the minds of those people who constantly say “but the sex was good…” to validate toxic and traumatic men and their antics, this is it.
Again, I will say that the 19:50 mark in episode 3 that got folks so excited (and possibly got new folks tuning in) kind of took away from the lust and supportive understanding of her desire a little bit for me because it continues the glorifying and perpetuation of false sexual beliefs (and visuals like that are always the go-to when objectifying men in the mainstream now as what feels like an attempt to just protect male ego and patriarchy). I’d rather it just continued with the Cinemax vibes throughout, and left that to our imagination.