Tag Archives: Masters of Sex

“Masters of Sex” is back, and still great. Why parents don’t get anything done, explained in 80 seconds. And Denis Leary’s new show? Eh, not so hot.


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.

Another disgraceful handling of a campus rape. Louis CK with wise words on fatherhood. And “Masters of Sex” is back!


You would like to think that with the epidemic of college campus rape being so well-known, and so exhaustively written about and explored, that schools would be better at dealing with it by now.
You would think ALL schools would realize how stacked the deck always is against the victim, how especially when it’s a young woman’s words and version of events, and indisputable medical proof, against varsity football players who have lied and changed their story through the course an investigation, that some form of justice would be done.

You would think that maybe, just maybe, campus police would be more thorough, that judicial panels of university administrators wouldn’t be so callous and clueless in conducting a “trial” of sorts. But sadly once again, you’d be wrong.

In the latest despicable act of “justice,” I read this story in the Sunday New York Times about a freshman at Hobart and William Smith Colleges named Anna, her harrowing experience of being raped, and the horrendously bad conduct of the school in looking into it.

Needless to say, the three assailants got away pretty much scot-free, Anna is scarred for life, and Hobart and William Smith appear to have not a clue as to how to look at this.

As you read this story (and it’s long, but excellent), think about this from a letter to the editor Tuesday, about the story:

“Rape is a serious violent crime. College administrations have shown themselves time and again to be completely incompetent when addressing charges of sexual assault. Why do we allow this process in the first place? Would we allow a college administration to investigate a kidnapping? Would we allow it to adjudicate a murder charge? Of course not.”

**Next up, Louis CK made these comments about fatherhood back in 2010, but I just ran across them on Upworthy.com this week.

For once, Louie isn’t strictly trying to just be funny, but actually offers some pretty sound advice, advice I definitely plan on following.


**Finally, so happy that one of my favorite shows of last year, one that surprised the hell out of me with how good it was, is back to save us from this TV wasteland of summer.

If you’re not already watching “Masters of Sex” on Showtime, I highly, highly recommend it. Telling the story of real-life groundbreaking sex researchers (and eventual lovers) William Masters and Virginia Johnson in the 1950s, this show gives us the complex dynamics of two people who were dedicated to their work, mocked by the medical establishment, yet keep pressing on.

The acting is tremendous; Michael Sheen (who in real life is now dating Sarah Silverman, which just seems so odd, those 2 together) and Lizzy Caplan are fantastic, and the supporting cast is great too (Beau Bridges and Allison Janney, as a couple struggling with a whole lot more than I can briefly explain here, both just got Emmy nominations for their roles in “Masters of Sex”).

The writing is sharp, sometimes funny, and always interesting. Season 2 started off with a great episode Sunday night (you can watch it for free here); definitely a good time to get into this show if you haven’t already.

Sure, there’s lots of sex and nudity in it (rarely a bad thing), but that’s almost banal and beside the point in this show. It’s just terrific.