Maybe it says more about me than it does about Netflix’s eight part sexed-up soap opera, but that “High Impact Sex Scenes” content warning strikes me as blatant false adverting. Sex/Life’s sex scenes are glossy, sultry, lit like a mid-80s music video and thoroughly lacklustre. Your mileage may vary, of course—we don’t kink-shame here, even if your kink is the sort of rote onscreen “risqué” romance that was already passé back when Red Shoe Diaries was a thing. To be blunt, Pornhub is right there.
Which leaves us with plot and character, neither of which add up to much. Our heroine is Billie Connelly (Sarah Shahi), a former wild girl who clocked up “at least 73% of the positions in the Kama Sutra” before settling down in white picket fence Connecticut with businessman Cooper (The Brave alum Mike Vogel), with whom she has two button-cute kids.
Sex/Life states its themes plainly when her little boy catches a butterfly in a jar, and she explains to him he has to let it go before it suffocates. Billie (and yes, that is quite a name) is the butterfly, living a life of respectable luxury but sexually unfulfilled by the increasingly distracted Cooper, who would rather watch sport on the bedroom TV than the suburban sexpot writhing on top of him (Sex/Life’s idea of exotic erotica is “cowgirl”). Oh, how she pines for her decadent younger days when, as a psychology student with gal pal Sasha (Margaret Odette), she would plough through New York’s nightspots and the male members of New York’s music industry with equal fervour.
She’s particularly fixated on her bad boy ex—Australian record producer Brad (Adam Demos). Of course, Brad comes back into her life, having still not quite gotten over her. Of course, Cooper reads her journal, featuring ruminations on her sexed-up past and current frustrations and begins to worry about his marriage. Of course, this thing stretches on for eight goddamn episodes, the only thing longer than Brad’s prodigious schlong, which is highlighted in a third episode shower scene (Demos, based solely on his work here, cannot act, but if we’re to believe that no prosthetic enhancements were used, God gifted him in other ways).