alibi online
Free Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals
 
 V.22 No.39 | September 26 - October 2, 2013 

Idiot Box

Doctor Love

“Masters of Sex” on Showtime

Play Youtube Video

The “Mad Men” treatment is apparently a thing now, because pioneering sex researchers Masters and Johnson get it in Showtime’s new period drama “Masters of Sex.” The show, created and written by Michelle Ashford (“The Pacific,” “John Adams”), takes Thomas Maier’s biography Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson and shellacs it in a thick veneer of mid-century modern style and sophistication.

It’s 1956 and noted fertility doc William Masters (Michael Sheen) wants to enter “uncharted territory” by studying the sexual habits of modern Americans. Colleagues warn him the study will never see the light of day, and that attempting to gather such intimate data will only get him labeled “a pervert.” Masters has his own personal reasons for being so obsessed with the subject of sexuality. For years he has been trying to get his wife pregnant. But he’s as clinical in his approach to sex in the bedroom as he is in the laboratory.

Stumped by such ineffable scientific mysteries as “Why would a woman fake an orgasm?” Masters decides he needs to get himself some female perspective on the subject by hiring a new research assistant. He finds the perfect partner in sexually progressive office worker Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan). She’s an interesting character herselfa twice-divorced, former nightclub singer-turned-secretary. Masters finds himself attracted to her because of her plainspoken, headstrong natureplus there’s the fact that she’s smoking hot. (The two would actually marry decades later, but at this point they’re confined to professional respect and a boatload of repressed feelings.)

Sheen has already demonstrated great range, playing Prime Minister Tony Blair in Peter Morgan’s political trilogy (The Deal, The Queen, The Special Relationship), various supernatural monsters (in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and The Twilight Saga: New Moon) and one of Tina Fey’s ongoing paramours (the annoying Wesley in “30 Rock”). It’s nice to see him get his own extended run on TV. Caplan, meanwhile, has bounced all over Hollywood, popping up in movies (Mean Girls, Cloverfield) and TV series (“Tru Calling,” “Party Down”). She’s another notable talent it’s great to spend more time with. Both Sheen and Caplan are quick to inhabit their characters. He’s the analytical, ego-driven scientist. She’s the ambitious, free-spirited modern woman. Both are intensely driven by sex, but for two very different reasons.

You could, if you wanted, easily dismiss “Masters of Sex” as “Mad Men” with way more boinking (and nudityit’s pay cable, after all). But this is a classy affair, well staffed and assembled with skill. Beau Bridges stops by occasionally for a supporting role, and the pilot episode is directed by John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), which shows how much effort Showtime is putting into the series. Thought-provoking, swanky looking and mildly titillating, “Masters of Sex” is another surefire water cooler hit to add to your Sunday night lineup.

“Masters of Sex” premieres Sunday, Sept. 29, at 8pm on Showtime.
 

Today's Events

Cine de la Epoca de Oro: La Perla at South Broadway Cultural Center

Screening of the film starring Pedro Armendáriz and María Elena Marqués. Part of the Mexican Classics series.

Musical Chairs at National Hispanic Cultural Center

More Recommented Events ››
Join our mailing list for exclusive info, the week's events and free stuff!
 

  • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
  • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
  • alibi.com
  • Latest Posts
  • Web Exclusives
  • Recent Rocksquawk Discussions
  • Recent Classifieds
  • Latest User Posts
  • Most Active Users
  • Most Active Stories
  • Calendar Comments
  • Upcoming Alibi Picks
  • Albuquerque
  • Duke City Fix
  • Albuquerque Beer Scene
  • What's Wrong With This Picture?
  • Reddit Albuquerque
  • ABQ Journal Metro
  • ABQrising
  • ABQ Journal Latest News
  • Del.icio.us Albuquerque
  • NM and the West
  • New Mexico FBIHOP
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • Only in New Mexico
  • Mario Burgos
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • High Country News
  • El Grito
  • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
  • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
  • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
  • Slashdot
  • Freedom to Tinker
  • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.
    3 BAD JACKS
    3 BAD JACKS9.23.2014