The show I think is the second best on TV these days is back on Showtime, and two episodes in, I’m totally overwhelmed and once again hooked in deep.
“Masters of Sex” is, if you don’t know, a wonderful hour-long drama about the real-life groundbreaking sexual research partnership between Dr. Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson in the 1950s and ’60s, starring Michael Sheen and Lizzie Caplan.
The show was fantastic in season 1, dipped a little in season 2, and has been stellar so far in season 3. SPOILER ALERT, IF YOU’RE A FAN OF THE SHOW AND HAVEN’T WATCHED THE FIRST 2 EPISODES THIS YEAR, SCROLL DOWN TO THE VIDEO.
So in Season 3 we’ve skipped ahead to 1965, with Masters and Johnson finally about to publish their first book after 12 years of research together. But of course, it’s not going smoothly. Virginia’s pregnant by her louse of an ex-husband, Bill’s wife Libby is finally getting more to do and asserting herself all the while knowing Bill and Virginia are shtupping, and all the kids on the show pretty much hate their parents.
This week’s episode was particularly awesome, though totally overloaded with plot (it’s the first time I’ve seen a TV show cover an entire pregnancy in an hour). It reminded me of an old “Big Love” episode where 15 things would happen in an hour and you had no idea what was really a big deal.
Any scene with Sheen in it is pretty terrific, and when he finally showed some human emotion and feelings in the hospital room with Virginia, it was a magical moment, one of the best “Masters of Sex” has ever done.
There are so many ways the show can go from here, and they’ve been jumping ahead in time so much already that I couldn’t possibly predict what’ll happen.
Which is exactly what you want in a show. The acting is great, the writing usually sharp, and the subject material is fascinating.
So happy “Masters of Sex” is back.
**Next up today, this short video made me laugh out loud, because this is basically my life now. It’s from a group called “Story of Life,” and it’s titled “Why Moms get nothing done.”
My guy has just discovered how to open and close drawers, and yes, he now removes his clothing randomly when I’m putting other clothes away. It’s delightful.
**Finally today, I’m a pretty huge Denis Leary fan. Longtime readers may remember that I used to praise his last TV show, the transcendently great “Rescue Me” regularly in this space. I loved his stand-up comedy routines, I think he’s a terrific writer, and will watch anything he puts out.
But man, the last two TV shows he’s done have been really piss-poor. His most recent one I had high hopes for: “Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll,” Thursdays on FX, starring Leary and John Corbett as aging rock stars from the early 90’s reuniting thanks to the efforts of a hot 20-something aspiring singer who is the daughter Leary’s character Johnny never knew he had.
I’ve watched the first two episodes, and the show just stinks. The writing is lazy, Corbett, who’s almost always great (hell, his voiceover work is so good he almost makes me want to eat at Applebee’s) looks like he’s mailing it in, and the pilot episode had so much profanity in one scene even I was like “Enough already!”
It’s too bad, because the premise of the show isn’t half-bad. But I’d definitely take a pass on this one, even though you can get lost staring at Leary’s great hair here.