Masters of Sex’s premiere isn’t so appealing that it will be something, on its own, to make you get Showtime but, as a show, it does seem to have potential.
The discovery of Masters of Sex came from wondering what happened to Lizzy Caplan after her stint on New Girl. The answer was: she is now part of this show which has a focus on the study of human sexuality. Alongside her is the familiar face of Michael Sheen, who plays the lead role in William Masters, and Lizzy Caplan plays the female lead in Virginia Johnson. Together, they make a formidable duo with Sheen coming off like Bruce Wayne, if he decided to go into medicine instead of fight crime, and Caplan finds herself a nice role which I can’t quickly draw a comparison to.
For the pilot, the focus is on establishing the oddness of Dr. Masters who, at times, seems so reserved and methodical that it seems he lacks passion outside of his work. I would even say, at this point, his marriage seems like it is out of convenience and, at times, it feels like he could even be a closeted man putting on all the air and graces of a heterosexual man. After all, it was the 1950s so he wouldn’t have the ability to be out and proud. As for Virginia, her story is, she is a woman who you could consider to be a part of the sexual revolution perhaps. She is twice divorced and seemingly, all marriage gave her was a pause on life and two children. Despite the hardships of now being a single mother though, she plans to work, go to school and assists Dr. Masters with his work. But, even with all these tasks at hand, momma finds a way to get some play from Dr. Ethan Haas (played by Nicholas D’Agosto).
Now, mind you, William Masters and Virginia Johnson are real people. So, with that, looking them up on various sites will probably ruin the story for you. But, who is to say what liberties the writers may make since both Virginia and William are currently dead and may not have family to contest, and cause issue with, their depictions.
As a series though, I feel the main draw maybe Lizzy Caplan since she, thus far, is given more to work with. She has a bit of sass, has a well laid background, and with her trying to be supermom while still tending to the occasional physical need, she is far more compelling than the sometimes stoic, and sort of dull, Michael Sheen. Also, while I doubt it is really going to get into the nitty gritty of the research of Masters and Johnson, the show’s focus of trying to understand the female orgasm is interesting, and we already have seen quite a bit of drama due to Masters wanting to study it, as well as Johnson’s intimate life. So, while I wouldn’t buy a Showtime subscription for this, I think it is worth seeing. However, this would probably be next day viewing since there are so many other better shows on during its time-slot.