TV’s Most Memorable “Women of the Night”

Written by NY Press on . Posted in NY Press Exclusive.


By Magdalena Burnham

Lifetime’s series The Client List was just renewed for a second season and the popularity of the show, which follows Riley Parks (Jennifer Love Hewitt) as she starts work at a massage parlor where sexual favors are being offered, got me thinking about my favorite hookers from TV history. These are the on-screen prostitutes that have held my interest the most over the years.

 

Saffron from Firefly (Christina Hendricks)

Sure, Inara was a bigger character, but when it comes to the “Companions” in the Firefly universe, my heart belongs to Saffron. The episodes where we got to see Saffron seduce and manipulate her way around space were the most entertaining of the series and the show gets major props for introducing the world to Christina Hendricks.

 

Darla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Julie Benz)

In the 16th century, Darla was a true entrepreneur who managed to get rich off her prostitution. Sure, she also got syphilis, but then she turned into a vampire and had eternal youth and health. Darla 2, World 0.

 

Hunter Montgomery from Queer as Folk (Harris Allan)

Occasionally Queer as Folk used Hunter as an excuse to reach new levels of preachiness, but overall he was a welcome addition to the cast because there’s truly no other character like him on television. Forced into gay prostitution at an early age, Hunter was HIV positive and emotionally scarred for life. Watching him discover his heterosexuality, learn to trust Michael and Ben and try to fit in at high school made for some great storylines. Best of all, he used his street smarts to bring down a corrupt chief of police. Impressive work, kid.

 

Andrew van de Kamp from Desperate Housewives (Shawn Pyfrom)

Andrew always had a troubled relationship with his mother Bree, but it reached its crisis point when he seduced her boyfriend and she responded by driving him out to the middle of the highway and abandoning him. The little scamp bounced back by resorting to prostitution before he eventually returned to his mother and continued being the sneakiest and snarkiest kid on Wysteria Lane.

 

Laurie from The West Wing (Lisa Edelstein)

I love to remember that the very first moments in The West Wing didn’t give us President Bartlett or any political elements, but instead focused on Rob Lowe’s character accidentally sleeping with a prostitute. That’s called putting your best foot forward. Even though Laurie was only in five episodes, her wit and charm made her one of the most memorable characters of the entire series. The fact that the incomparable Lisa Edelstein portrays her doesn’t hurt.

 

Nate Archibald from Gossip Girl (Chace Crawford)

Nate basically became a prostitute by accident and was completely against it once he finally figured out what was happening. He was being paid to sleep with a woman whom he was already happy to be with, but he just couldn’t look on the bright side of this circumstance. I admire that integrity.

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