The first episode gets of to a great start, exactly as exciting, dramatic, awkward and witty as you’d suspect a show about sexual revolution and science to be.
The great Dr. William Masters is a prick. At least he in Showtime’s ‘Masters of Sex’ that chronicles his and Virginia Johnson’s ground breaking sex studies in the fifties. Studies which apparently helped kickstart the sexual revolution. So thank you for that Masters and Johnson.
It’s a gutsy move to portray such a pioneer on sexuality and pleasure as so unlikable. He acts reprehensively several times during this first hour, but the pilot also shows a dedicated doctor, and a man who’s obviously plagued by his own issues about love, sex and intimacy.
Despite of his accusations against Virginia Johnson at the end of the pilot, it’s obviously not her who has trouble separating the study from her personal life. And she’s a lovely, Lizzy Caplan does great work with the compassionate Virginia. Martin Sheen too is great as the icy scientist.
I’m super excited for this. I really liked ‘Kinsey’ from a few years back, another great sex pioneer, but it was dragged down by being a biopic. This fortunately looks to delve more into the work and history of these interesting people. Also, it takes a lot more from the female perspective of the procedures.
And as a subject, well you don’t really find anything much more interesting than sex. Sexual history and culture is fascinating, and vaguely depressing too. On the surface we’ve come a long way, but it’s clear that social conditioning and stigma is still a big part of modern peoples’ sexual life. Also, it’s a good way to justify cable tv’s rampant nudity quota.
Let’s hope that Masters of Sex can kick some taboos out in the living rooms.
And to get us into the taboo breaking mood, here’s some eighties pop.