In Search of the Next Great Show (RIP Breaking Bad)
First Candidate: Masters of Sex
When to Watch: 10pm Sundays
What is it About??
Today, in the days of nationally televised sexualized behavior (hello Miley twerking hard at the VMA’s) it is hard to think of a time when sex was unmentionable.
Regardless, with such a raunchy title, everyone knows what this show is about… S-E-X. More specifically, sex researchers Dr. William Masters and Virginia Johnson’s innovative — and rule-breaking – studies on human sexuality in the 1950s.
Dr. William Masters (Michael Sheen), although a successful OBGYN, is struggling in many other aspects of his life. Seemingly in an dispassionate relationship with his wife as they are trying to conceive their first child (they sleep in twin beds next to each other), Masters is shocked to learn that women fake orgasms. Fueling his curiosity, he is begins to formulate a study looking at the science behind sexual behavior and stimulation. In the search for an assistant on his study, he meets former lounge and singer and divorcee (twice), Virginia Johnson (Lizzie Caplan). Johnson likes sex because it feels good and is willing to admit this to Masters, making her perfect candidate for the position. Together this unlikely pair attempts to produce a study that will push the boundaries of science.
Although the historical accuracy of the show is questionable, actors Michael Sheen (Masters) and Lizzie Caplan (Johnson) give you a reason to watch. Both give tremendous, and compelling performances. Side note: It is hard to get past the idea that Caplan is no longer playing Janice in Mean Girls, but once you do, her performance is really well done. She fits into the fold as the fearless bad-ass woman of the time period.
The show has a lot of similar themes to Mad Men, taking place in the same time period, yet it manages to make a name for itself. For a pilot, this show got moving very organically and smoothly. Although I’m not completely invested, the pilot did give me a reason to watch again.
So if you are into the explicit nature of Game of Thrones, but the more social themes of Mad Men, this show could be made for you. Also totally calling it now, Caplan will win the Emmy for best actress in a drama series. On a serious note this show is really well made and approached the taboo concept of sex in a very interesting and compelling fashion.
At the end of the day this show is not just about sex, it wants to get to know you.