Masters of Sex: Season 1, Episode 3; Standard Deviation

This episode was okay. A little better than the last one, but not much. Maybe I don’t like this show nearly as much as I thought I did in the beginning. It’s a little dull. All that stuff with the quadruplets was boring, even Masters was like ‘who cares?’ Virigina (Lizzy Caplan) saves the episode yet again by being so charming and resilient. I love her for finally being the one to tell Libby the truth, that William is the reason they have been unable to conceive a child.
Yet again Masters is a jerk in this episode. I guess I should be getting used to that by now, but I still find it irritating. When are we going to see the side of Masters that Libby and presumably Ginny like? He is still very cold to Virginia and screams at her for “taking liberties!” He should be worshipping this woman who continues to save his ass constantly. William is also a jerk when he unsympathetically dismisses Betty and her “fantasy life.” He is terrible at having any kind of relationship with anyone. Although he did seem genuinely upset by the story of the prostitute who had been raped by her uncle. Masters seems to be better with complete strangers than he is with people he intimately knows. He also kicks out the doctors making fun of Betty during her operation. William is also better with his patients than he is with his wife or co-workers. I kind of, almost felt sorry for Masters when he has to blackmail Scully, his old friend. You can tell William feels bad about it. But it’s still a jerk move on his part.
Betty’s scenes were sad. I like her, she’s funny and straight forward. And she’s trying to better herself and her life. Although I guess she’s lying to herself (and the pretzel king) by denying her sexuality. It’s sad that she can’t have a child. And what’s even sadder is that she’s still going to marry the pretzel king because “you have to hitch your wagon to a man.” It seems to be a sad truth, at least for Betty. And maybe Virginia too according to Betty (low blow by the way!)
• The flashbacks with Masters. First of all his hair look ridiculous. Definitely the highlight of the episode for me. And also how eager he is when he talks about “human sexuality!” It almost made me like him. Almost.

That luscious mop of hair on Masters (Michael Sheen).
That luscious mop of hair on Masters (Michael Sheen).

• Masters slapping the prostitute, Ginger. It was so awkward, but so good.
• When the gay guy says to Masters, “Doctor Frankenstein, I presume.” Hahaha, come on Masters, that is funny, get a sense of humor already. And then when he watches them have sex. Hahaha, William looks traumatized.
• When Betty says “[William’s] in love with you” to Virginia. Umm, where is the evidence of this? This is not believable at all. This is the major downfall of the show. If I can’t believe in or care about the relationship between William and Virginia then how can I be expected to care about the show at all?

• Libby’s pregnant! But whose baby is it? It can’t be William’s because of that low sperm count thing. Right?
• Libby calls William ‘Daddy’ again. It will never cease to irritate me.

Masters of Sex: Season 1, Episode 2; Race to Space

The first episode of the show I really liked. This one…not so much. It was a bit of a drag. For one major reason: William Masters. Wow, is he an extremely unappealing character or what? It’s hard to make a show work when the protagonist is so incredibly unlikeable. It’s really hard to see what Libby or Virginia sees in him. The way that he is so quick to fire Virginia at the beginning of the episode…what an asshole! I guess he was upset about the study and jealous of her relationship with Haas, but still. Masters gets no sympathy from me. The first episode I hated Libby and found her annoying, but this episode I really feel sorry for the girl. Masters has no compassion and treats her as if she is a volunteer in his study. Not even that, he’s kind to his patients, but he treats his wife like shit. She tries to reach out to him sexually by masturbating, but he rejects her. Scully tells Masters that he wears a “suit of armor” and it’s true. The problem is it alienates viewers as well as the people around him. I hated the way Masters refuses to untie Betty’s tubes at first. They try to show him as progressive in terms of body issues, sexuality, and racism, yet he won’t allow a woman to take control of her own body? I hate how he thinks he’s always right and some kind of god.

Episode 102
The best thing about this show, the redeeming feature is Lizzy Caplan as Virginia Johnson. Without her the show simply would not work, just like Masters’s study would not work without Virginia. Virginia easily persuades the prostitutes to join their study even though they find Masters weird (and who can blame them). She is fun to watch and extremely likeable. In this episode Virginia is faced with similar problems once again, issues to do with her place in society as a woman. Again she is told to stay at home instead of working. She is even called an “unfit mother.” But Virginia persists in doing what she wants. Due to Lizzy’s acting Virginia never comes off as bitchy or conniving, even when she calmly dismisses all the applicants applying for her job. She makes it so Masters is dependent on her as the show is on Lizzy Caplan.

Episode 102
I found quite interesting the conversation Virginia has with Betty about having children. It goes back to what the show started to explore in the first episode, what makes a woman successful? Virginia tells Betty she had children “because otherwise she would have felt like a failure.” I understand that this is society’s viewpoint in the 50s. But is the show supporting that? Or is it challenging that idea? I don’t know yet, but so far it seems to be supporting it. Libby also calls herself a failure as a wife because she hasn’t had a child yet. And because Betty is a prostitute it seems like she is already a failure, so she shouldn’t be able to have kids, she would be unfit. I’m hoping the show challenges all this, but it hasn’t so far. I’m not too excited about watching another episode, but I’ll give it a go.
• The “coochie flashlight” hahaha.
• Masters: “I’m not a john, I’m a doctor.” I love the way the cop is like, yeah, right, I’ve heard that before.
• “My mother told me don’t put something in your mouth if you don’t know where it’s been.” That’s a pretty good excuse for not giving a BJ 😛
• William’s fantasy about Virginia was pretty funny. At least it showed that he does have some feelings hidden away.
• The prostitute that offers William a BJ on the house was pretty funny.

Masters of Sex: Season 1, Episode 1; Pilot

Well, here goes my first review/analysis. I like to write and I love movies/TV so I thought I would give it a try. Now then, I’ve been wanting to watch this show since it came out, but only just recently finally got around to it. I’ve been too consumed with Ray Donovan up until now (maybe I’ll post some reviews for it too). Masters of Sex first debuted on Showtime in September 2013. It is based on the book Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love by Thomas Maier. William Masters (Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) were researchers on human sexuality in the 1960s at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

The first episode does a very good job of introducing the main characters and the challenges they have to face both personally and professionally. Michael Sheen does a wonderful job playing William Masters. His performance is very subtle and I can’t wait to see each layer slowly revealed. Masters is very unemotional. The first scene, a dinner that honors William, establishes both this and also shows how he is uncomfortable with praise. He does not do his work for attention or accolades. Even though Masters is an expert on fertility and sex he is inept when it comes to women. He reminds me of the stereotypical nerd who is very intelligent in terms of books smarts, but lacks real life, personal experience. Williams’s job is to help couples conceive, so it is pretty funny that he can’t help himself and his wife. Masters is a meticulous man, as shown in the way he slowly undresses and carefully folds his clothing. Details are incredibly important to him. He seems to also lack passion, at least sexually. He is the opposite of Johnson in quite a few ways, but at their cores they end up being very similar.
The differences between Masters and Johnson are evident in the different ways they approach sex. As noted before, William seems to lack sexual passion. He’s not eager to have sex with his wife, Libby, and when he does there is very little foreplay. The act itself seems more like an act of duty or another experiment rather than an act of love or lust. And does he even want a kid? Doesn’t seem like it. And what’s with the two separate beds? Was that a thing in the 50s or are they a weird couple? Do they only have sex when she’s ovulating? Then there’s Virginia and Dr. Hass. Ginny is a sexual woman who isn’t afraid to ask for what she wants and doesn’t just restrict herself to one position like Masters. She gives Haas a blow job pretty soon after they met because they are “friends.” I think she and Haas have very different definitions of friendship. Masters notes Ginny didn’t marry for love during her previous two marriages, so did she marry for lust instead? Or did she confuse the two, like a lot of women do, she points out.
Masters and Johnson are both blunt, straight forward, honest people. Well other than not telling his wife about his low sperm count. But other than that, William is honest and not afraid to express his opinion, even if it is unpopular. And Johnson is assertive quite a few times in getting what she wants. Whether it is sexually or simply just enrolling in school.
The greatest challenge that Masters and Johnson face in their research is the conservative nature of the society they live in. This is shown by the two appalled secretaries as well as the president of the university. Religion is also a contributing factor as the Christian secretary finds their work extremely inappropriate. Personally Masters has to overcome the mental wall he puts up between himself and others whereas Ginny has to overcome the boundaries of society.
What the show has to say about women will be interesting to see develop. Virginia represents the modern woman. A woman that is a mother, a hard worker, and a sexual being. Virginia is challenged quite a few times in this episode. She is told to stay at home and be a mother. The president refuses to talk to her because she is just a “secretary.” And Haas slaps her and calls her a “whore” because she had sex with him without loving him. Will she be able to overcome all these obstacles? Masters’s wife, Libby, represents the woman of the past, the 1950s homemaker who stays at home and does anything to help make her husband’s life easier. She makes him dinner every night and is supportive of his work. Because Libby has still not been able to conceive a child she is a failure, both in the eyes of herself and society. Will the show challenge this notion and try to make Libby more than just a caricature? I don’t know right now, all I know is that I can’t help finding her extremely irritating. I kind of feel sorry for her, but then she acts so weak and pathetic. She’s a good foil to Virginia as she makes Ginny look stronger and more appealing to both the viewer and Masters. There are two love triangles on the show and it’ll be interesting to see how they get resolved. There is Masters, Virgina, and Libby; then there is Masters, Virginia, and Haas. Maybe Haas will try getting with Libby in the future?

Episode 101
Masters of Sex is an excellent, quite interesting show. Masters wants to answer the question “What happens to the body during sex?” But the show goes deeper than this. It brings up questions about the relationships between people, what attracts people to one another, and are men and women really all that different.
• Why is the wife on these shows always so annoying? No wonder Masters doesn’t like Libby very much. And what’s with the creepy way she calls him “Daddy?” Barf.
• Betty the prostitute is pretty hilarious. I love how she sees through Masters. She’s a good sidekick and even better comic relief.
• The super eager secretary volunteer was also funny. She’s like the Energizer bunny or something.
• Ulysses in the president’s face – hahahaha.

The president faces off with Ulysses.
The president faces off with Ulysses.

• Masters: “I picked you for this job.” Johnson : “If that’s what you want to tell yourself.”
• “This whole thing feels like Christmas or something.”
• That last ‘we should have sex’ bit. Umm, isn’t that highly unprofessional???