• Mon, Sep 30 - 3:50 pm ET

Masters Of Sex Probably Offers More Sunday Night Sex Than You’re Used To Having/Seeing

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Four out of five gynos say that there’s no better way to put off the work week than to watch a bunch of naked people have naked activity time together on a Sunday night. And that not-at-all-made-up fact is why I think Masters of Sex will be a huge hit. I know, I know, Sundays are already jam-packed with way too many options. But now that Breaking Bad is over, you’re going to need something new to obsess over. Sure there’s no meth in this show and sure there’s no Malcom in the Middle alum hanging about. But there’s Lizzy Caplan (of Mean Girls fame) and Michael Sheen (of 30 Rock fame…and fine, other things) and sex. So, so much sex. My Sunday night areola count skyrocketed by the time the first episode ended. Usually I only see two and usually the two only belong to me, but man oh man, last night I saw at least six not including my own. It’s a verified nudie fest on this show.

However, unlike other premium cable shows that sometimes show you sex just because they can show you sex, this one isn’t doing it to titillate you. Okay, fine, maybe a little bit. But it’s mostly all there for scientific reasons. This show’s all about two real life human beings who studied sex in the 1950s. So it’s basically like a documentary starring Janis Ian.

While a lot happen in the first ep, here’s what you need to know. Dr. William Masters (Michael Sheen) and his research assistant Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) meet each other early on in the first episode and kick off their grand ole sexperiment almost immediately. Complicating matters is the fact that Masters’ wife, Libby Masters (Caitlin FitzGerald) can’t get pregnant and the fact that no one in the medical community thinks the study of orgasms is legitimate. If only these doctors knew that premium cable would exist fifty years down the line and their lack of excitement for the project would make them come off as stodgy old prudes.

Sure the pilot moves a little bit slower than I would like it to move, but I’ve come to accept that it’s better to get clunky exposition out of the way in the early episodes so that they can maximize drama in the later ones. And unlike most pilots, this one made full use of vibrators. So you can’t really complain all that much. Unless you’re uncomfortable with the scene of an old guy getting right up in there with his science gear while a nice young woman orgasms.

While we quickly see that Dr. William Masters is a cold-hearted scientist who can’t be bothered to comfort his own wife when she’s in his office for a medical procedure, we also see that he’s a brilliant scientist who genuinely interested in his research. And that genuine interest coupled with his inherent aloofness turned out to be quite the turn on. I know, I didn’t see it coming either. Wesley from 30 Rock and me? It’s a match not at all made in Heaven. Yet, against all the odds, here I am, pining over him like he plays a likeable character who didn’t kick off the show hiding in closet, watching a prostitute have sex with someone. To think that I thought Lizzy Caplan would be my favorite part of this show. Oh heart, you really do never cease to amaze me. Nor do you Showtime, every time I think you can’t bring me another well-written and well-acted show, you do! As long as the rest of the first season moves faster than the pilot, I can’t think of one reason that it won’t be a success.

(Photo: The Atlantic)

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  • Olivia Wilson

    It’s so weird that the ideas of sex were so different only 50 years ago. I bet they never even could imagine a world where Farrah Abraham would get famous for releasing an oopsie porno.

  • The Redhead

    I needed a replacement for my Sunday night Dexter viewing…and here it is! It did start a bit slow… but I think it’s gonna be a winner!