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Mainstream - Masters of Sex

Masters of Sex

Masters of Sex
Lizzy Caplan, Michael Sheen
12 episodes 4 DVD
Originally aired on Showtime
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2014

Masters of Sex is the superb Showtime series starring Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as Masters and Johnson, the  researchers who revolutionized what we know about human sexuality. Far from gloryfying the researchers, this drama shows them as flawed individuals who understand how important their work is and will be. The show also features very interesting secondary characters and stories as well as very comic moments. Though about sex, the show does not use nudity to titillate and always treats its subject seriously.  Season 1 of Masters of Sex features 12 episodes on 4 DVD.

William Masters is an ob/gyn at Washington State University in St. Louis specializing in sexual disorders. He finds himself in need of a secretary and hires twice divorced mother of two Virginia Johnson whose organizational skills are as good as her ability to empathize and understand data and human nature. Masters is portrayed as a cold fish while Johnson is seen as being fully aware of her sexuality. Johnson's ability to talk to people and her curiosity soon make her an important partner.

The show also has some very comic moments such as the very religious couple who think they are barren because they lie together every night just like the bible says. Other such comic moments are also based on a character's discomfort but never at his or her expense.

The one thing that does not quite work in Masters of Sex is the main and secondary characters are all intimately connected. For example Dr. Haas begins as Johnson's lover before becoming Mts. Masters' gynecologist and the lover of the Provost's daughter while the Provost's wife has an affair with another doctor who is a participant in the studies and so on.

Special Features for Masters of Sex Season One are cast and crew commentary for the pilot, a Making of; and features on Michael Sheen as Masters and Lizzy Caplan as Johnson.

Richard Lanoie

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