Sex Stuff: Masters of Sex

Masters of Sex, Series Premiere

I’ve been looking forward to the debut of this show for a couple reasons:

  1. I really don’t know all that much, other than the basics about the work of these two revolutionaries
  2. Anything that gets sex ed and understanding on the airwaves is a good thing!

So, why do I feel so underwhelmed by the first episode?

I am certainly not going to level a judgement of the show based on one episode, but I do want to look at a couple things about that first offering.

Casting: Many critics are raving about Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan. I’m not entirely sure, at this point, that either are right for the role. From what I’ve heard about Masters, he was neat, tidy, professional, without compare in his field. That last quality resulted in an ego and a bit of arrogance. At this point, I’m not seeing this from Sheen. Instead, I’m seeing the arrogance with a side of sleaze. He has some caring moments, but for the most part his detached, monotonous countenance is a bit too much. That said, there are glimpses, whether through acting or writing, that I think could break me of this opinion.
On the other hand, I’ve just never been a big fan of Caplan. She does deer-in-the-headlights well, which is needed and appreciated in this opening episode. But I fear for her being able to handle this character in the long run. I mostly wonder if she’ll be able to capture Johnson’s confidence.

Excitement: Many articles are describing just how frothy and sexual the show is. Again, I’ve only seen the one episode, but…it…wasn’t. There was a bit of nudity. There were depictions of sex acts. Obviously there was talk of sex. But it wasn’t as salty as everyone is making it out to be. Does it get moreso? Does it need to be?
I’m not looking for a historically accurate, well-acted porn here, nor should it be sensationalized, but the minimal sex made the show somewhat boring to me. If these people are studying and making advancements in sexual education…then shouldn’t they be seeing more if it themselves? Again, maybe this is just the start and more will come. I’ll try to have patience.

Overall, between Sheen’s monotony, Caplan’s one-dimensional acting and the general quietness of the show, I have to say I found this first episode to be mostly dull.