Master of Sex Season Three

MoS S3

Okay, so Masters of Sex isn’t a great series, other than it’s adult (as in mature) depiction of sexuality. But there is enough in the performances of the leads (Lizzy Caplan, Michael Sheen and Caitlin FitzGerald) to make the series worth watching. If you have Showtime Anytime then you can watch the first two seasons and get ready for the third. It’s worthwhile.

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Masters of Sex Season Two

1002762_2_0_prm-keyart_1024x640Credit: Showtime

The first season of Masters of Sex was very good, one of the rare Showtime series that wouldn’t be out-of-place on HBO. Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen were excellent in the lead roles, with Allison
Janney and Beau Bridges (and others) doing great work in supporting roles. It’s a series I’m very happy to have back, although it feels more like a fall series instead of a summer series.

Will Masters of Sex be even better in its second season (like The Americans) or will it fall apart (like Homeland)? We will start to find out on July 13.

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Masters of Sex Manhigh

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My first thought after the end of “Manhigh”, the first season finale, was “I don’t believe Bill.” The best thing about Masters of Sex has been the dramatization of the power asymmetry between men and women. After Bill’s presentation is not received as he thought it would be, and after it costs Bill his job, he shows up at Virginia’s house to tell her that she’s the only thing he can’t live without. It’s nice for Bill that he has the luxury of telling that to Virginia. And I don’t believe him.

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Masters of Sex Phallic Victories

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Lame episode titles aside, Masters of Sex has been a very good, almost great new series. The latest high point was at the end of the previous episode in which Virginia realizes that Bill wanted to participate in the study with her because he had feelings for her. The aftermath in “Phallic Victories” is predictable; Bill is lost without Virginia and Virginia is as helpful to Dr. Lillian DePaul as she was to Bill.

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Masters of Sex Fallout

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One of the difficult things about reviewing a show in general is separating how interesting the subject matter is from the show’s execution. Masters of Sex is interesting because of its exploration of human sexuality, which spills over into gender politics. While there is probably little for us in this enlightened age to learn about human sexuality, there is plenty for us to learn about the relative power of men and women. I just wish it was a tighter series.

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Masters of Sex Involuntary

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Full credit to Masters of Sex for using something that was introduced in an earlier episode as an important feature in this episode, in this case the performance review. Given the sometimes clunky plotting, I would have expected the performance review to be a factor in the last episode or be forgotten completely. Instead, performance review was the key concept in this episode. It makes me wonder why it wasn’t the name of the episode.

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Masters of Sex Love and Marriage

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One of the things you can depend on with Masters of Sex is that the episode theme will be clearly spelled out in either the episode title or in an early scene. In “Love and Marriage” the episode opens with Virginia telling Jane what she needs to do to get a positive performance review from Bill. Their conversation ends with Jane telling about a friend who lost her job once the wife of her boss found out about their affair. Women can only make it as far as men allow. Talk among yourselves.

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Masters of Sex All Together Now

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I can’t decide whether the sexual politics of Masters of Sex is confusing by accident or confusing because that’s the way it would have been in Fifties America. Virginia rejects Bill’s suggestion that the two of them join the study, not wanting to complicate their work relationship. In the previous episode, Bill promotes Virginia to research assistant and one of the first things she does is decides to participate in the masturbation portion of the study, with Bill’s assistance. Bill promotes Virginia because Dr. Depaul warns Bill that Virginia is acting more like a doctor than a secretary and that it’s not right for Virginia to try to get ahead based on her allure.

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Masters of Sex Brave New World

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Although Masters of Sex has been interesting, I haven’t felt that the series trusted the audience enough to understand what was happening without underlining every point. One of the best things about “Brave New World” is that it used two things that have been developed in earlier episodes; the Scully’s loveless marriage and Austin’s sexual dysfunction, and brought them together in a plausible and satisfying way.

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Masters of Sex Catherine

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While I have not been happy with some of the mechanics of the plotting in Masters of Sex, I have nothing but praise for the end of this devastating episode. Bill, who has kept everything close, rarely showing even his wife how he feels, finally breaks down over the loss of his daughter and it is a moment that the show has earned and it is the most effective and affecting moment of the series so far.

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