Masters of Sex

‘Masters of Sex’ Season 2 Finale Recap: “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”

After an era-spanning season that abandoned as many old characters as it introduced new ones, Masters of Sex offered up their best episode to date. The season two finale had everything: Betrayal, bruised egos, custody battles, sexual dysfunction, taboo love, hopeful lust, “having it all,” a dream sequence, network news, and the Kennedys. “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” even had some answers to big questions, though ultimately the two biggest ones — Will Libby leave Bill? Will Virginia and Bill get together for real? — were left hanging, the first question seemingly leading to a positive outcome to the latter. But there were resolutions offered up for problems we barely realized were issues, specifically Virginia’s so-called “unfit” parenting, Lester’s desire to work through his impotence (one of my favorite scenes of the episode), and Flo being embarrassed of dumb blonde Dr. Langham (greatest line of the episode: “Austin, please, women pay a lot of money for that color in a hair salon”). While I don’t agree with some of the decisions made here— like Virginia having give up her kids — I’m left feeling satisfied. A Kennedy and a dream sequence will do that, I suppose. … Read More

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‘Masters of Sex’ Season 2 Episode 9 Recap: “Story of My Life”

As we round the corner on Masters of Sex‘s second season, the psychology of sex comes into full view. Finally. So much of the period drama plays too close to its time, an era when men didn’t discuss their emotions, even when it related to their health and sexual appetite. Good wives, like Libby Masters herself, swept their feelings under the meticulously vacuumed rug. But Bill, after a bit of unraveling over time, has come to a plateau: he’s impotent, and the cause likely has something to do with his alcoholism — which definitely has something to do with his father, the most obvious emotional void in his life to date. … Read More

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‘Masters of Sex’ Season 2 Episode 8 Recap: “Mirror, Mirror”

At what point do we call Masters of Sex a runaway train? With only four episodes left in season two, the Showtime drama just keeps introducing new subplots and characters, making me seriously wonder: how can this wrap up into something cohesive? Or is that not a concern here? Whatever the intention is, it’s hard to follow two of the best Masters of Sex episodes ever in recent weeks — “Fight” and “Asterion,” the first a slow-burning character study of Bill and Virginia, and the second a wildly-paced overview of several years in these characters’ lives — with “Mirror, Mirror,” an episode that introduces new ideas without resolving any of the ongoing problems. (The new character problem here feels similar to what Nashville went through last season. A big ensemble cast of leads and kooky sidemen is hard to pull off in just a couple of seasons; it took Mad Men a few seasons to get its groove in this way.) … Read More

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‘Masters of Sex’ Season 2 Episode 6 Recap: “Blackbird”

Long before The Beatles used the blackbird as a symbol for civil rights struggles, dark birds have been known to represent the unknown. In this week’s episode of Masters of Sex, titled “Blackbird,” nearly every character marches into the unknown — not necessarily by choice — to ultimately dismantle or alter his or her life. As Bill’s Buell Green boss Dr. Andrews tells him upon firing him, “It feels like dying, and it is. Let’s see if you have the guts to be reborn.” As a viewer, the possibility of a Phoenix-like rising that lies ahead is exciting, but damn if it isn’t exhausting. Masters of Sex — a show that changed very little in way of characters and setting in its first season — has become a bit exhausting to watch. Instead of stable footing, there’s the overwhelming fear that Bill’s job, marriage, household, and study are on the brink of breakdown yet again. This can be thrilling, but some of TV’s finest dramas know when let it up with a slow-moving episode or two. … Read More

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‘Masters of Sex’ Recap Season 2 Episode 4: “Dirty Jobs”

In sharp contrast to last week’s impressive display of roleplaying house, Bill Masters finds his world crumbling around him this week, slowly at first until it all goes to hell. For being such a controlling person, Masters has others at least partially to blame for his downward spiral towards unemployment and mistress paranoia, from Dr. Langham calling him out on his “non-affair” with Virginia to Greathouse barring him from hiring her for the study to Libby finally blowing up on him. … Read More

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This Week’s Top 5 TV Moments: ‘Sharknado’ Rises Again

There are scores of TV shows out there, with dozens of new episodes each week, not to mention everything you can find on Hulu Plus, Netflix streaming, and HBO Go. How’s a viewer to keep up? To help you sort through all that television has to offer, Flavorwire is compiling the five best moments on TV each week. This round, Nathan for You has to live up to the hype, while Masters of Sex hits a creative high. … Read More

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‘Masters of Sex’ Recap, Season 2 Episode 2: “Kyrie Eleison”

Bill Masters has a woman problem. Specifically, all the women in his life are doing things their own way in “Kyrie Eleison,” despite his need to control every situation. The reason the episode works well is because its structure is clear: there are new scenarios that invite Masters’ disapproval, and there are resolutions by the closing credits. Not every episode will work be this satisfying — because big questions need answers in the long view of the series — but the writers camouflage the immediacy with a few dilemmas that serve as overarching signs of the time. … Read More

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‘Masters of Sex’ Season 2 Premiere Recap: “Parallax”

As their study blew up in their faces at the end of season one, Bill showed up on Virginia’s doorstep to dismantle their lives a little more. “I finally realized there’s one thing I can’t live without,” he told her. “You.” In the season two premiere, Bill is having his cake and eating it too, while the women around him make sacrifices for his happiness. With Bill out of work for much of the episode, Masters of Sex edges more towards Mad Men territory: it’s as much a time capsule of an era — full of what the time’s socially-accepted misogyny, racism, and homophobia — is it is a workplace drama dealing in debauchery. The former could land Masters of Sex in the modern TV canon eventually — that is, if Bill Masters wasn’t less relatable than Don Draper. … Read More

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Watch Strangers Undress Each Other in ‘Masters of Sex’ Ad by “First Kiss” Video Director

What’s scarier than kissing a stranger on camera? How about having one undress you on camera, for a video… Read More

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‘Masters of Sex’ Gets Personal — and Better — in Season 2

Late in the first season of Masters of Sex, a frustrated Bill Masters (Michael Sheen) says to Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan), “There’s always something to prove.” It’s a line that’s been floating around in my head ever since, not only because it sums up Masters’ general approach to life (and is one of the reasons why he can be such a distasteful character), but because it also applies to the show as a whole. Masters of Sex had to prove itself during its first season — especially amidst the endless comparisons to Mad Men — and it mostly succeeded, save for some shaky plots here and there (ahem, Libby). Now it has to prove that it wasn’t a one-season wonder and that it can adapt to the new world that the Season 1 finale created. … Read More

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