Review for Master of Sex Season One
Masters of Sex is an explosive Golden Globe nominated new series about Dr William Masters and Virginia Johnson, who undertake a radical study in human sexuality. Their research created an explosion in the discovery of sexual liberation and is all the more fascinating because it is a true story.
This twelve episode first season introduces us to Dr William Masters a gifted fertility specialist who is intrigued with the sexual instinct and starts a new study into why we feel the way we do and more importantly, how. He is accompanied by Virginia Johnson, a housewife who soon becomes an integral asset in his work. Throughout the twelve episodes we see them deal with the stigma of the study and how it not only affects the lives of those who they are studying, but also for their lives too.
I was blown away by this series for so many reasons. This is a series that makes Sex and the City seem tame, a series that really breaks down all the barriers and it is really astonishing that they show as much as they do. A few years earlier and this would have been a series of snappy camera angles and editing to show as little as possible, but now it seems that everything is on show.
The sex is never disgusting and always integral to the plot, almost in the same way as it is to the study. At times, you almost felt like you were watching a documentary about what they were doing and not this stylish and entertaining drama.
The performances by Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as Masters and Johnson are both phenomenal. Sheen's performance is perfect and though I have never seen any footage of Masters I will not be surprised if he has his every mannerism down to a tee. This power of mimicry which he has been doing in his performances as Tony Blair, David Frost and Brian Clough are always fantastic and he is well deserving of the Golden Globe nomination he received.
Caplan is also wonderful in her very understated performance as Johnson and it is not all about how amazing she looks in her nude scenes, but her performance throughout is engaging and simply perfect with her also well deserving of the nomination for the up and coming Emmy Awards (Odd that Sheen also wasn't nominated, but then against Bryan Cranston's performance as Walter White, it really was a done deal).
Everything about the series looks perfect, costumes, the music, the supporting cast including a wonderful Beau Bridges as Masters' boss Barton Scully. There is very little to criticize from the show which keeps you captured from the first episode to the last. The fact that I know little about the real people makes it so much better as I am not aware of what will happen in their study or their lives in general. This is something that will keep me watching when Series Two starts.
There are no extras on the set, which is a little disappointing. I expected at the least a few interviews or commentaries about how the show was made. Though times have changed I'm sure that pitching this show can't have been the easiest thing and considering the amount of sex and nudity it contains it must have had the studios worried about what the censors would do. However, nothing is given, which is a shame.
Masters of Sex is a wonderful new series and though I will admit that if you are a bit prudish about sex then you may not like it, if you like shows like Mad Men, you may want to give it a try. This show is one that will have you coming back for more.