Is Michael Sheen's 'Masters of Sex' The Finest TV Show of the Year?
Masters of Sex has some of the strongest reviews of 2013.
TV is where it's at. It just is. With Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead thriving and the likes of Robert De Niro and Matthew McConaughey turning to television roles, the small-screen is beginning to match its big brother for sheer quality and in most cases, provides far more in terms of character and story. Can you imagine Walter White unfolding over just 2 hours of cinemas?
Michael Sheen and Lizzie Caplan in 'Masters of Sex'
And that brings us on to Masters of Sex, a 1950s set drama based on the book by Thomas Maier and stars the Welsh actor Michael Sheen as a pioneering human sexuality researcher. Bolstering Showtime's fall offering (it will premiere Homeland season three on Sunday), Masters of Sex is easily one of the best reviewed TV shows of the year.
"A few plotlines look rocky, and a few lines of dialogue stumble, but based on the first six episodes, we're being introduced to a show that can enlighten, entertain and contend for Emmys, all in the same breath," said USA Today.
"Humor is also key in the capacious pilot hour directed by John Madden ("Shakespeare in Love"). Subsequent episodes echo its deft balance of epic scope and whimsical humanity," wrote Newsday.
"The performances, nurtured by such A-list directors as Michael Apted and John Madden, are extraordinary. There isn't a clinker in the bunch," added the San Francisco Chronicle.
"It makes the most of its pay-TV platform by showing plenty of skin, but the sex scenes service a bigger story made all the more compelling by a couple of strong leads in Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan," continued the Chicago Sun-Times.
"There's a lot of humor here, but it's more innocent than leering. And there's also a great deal of understandable awkwardness that seems as pertinent to 2013 to the '50s. You may not want to watch this with Aunt Tildy, but it is certainly worth watching," said the Detroit News.
Sheen is one of the world's most respected actors - audiences know what they're getting. Lizzy Caplan, however, may be the performance to take from the first season of the show.
The actress plays Sheen's co-sexuality researcher Virginia Johnson and see recently opened up to GQ magazine about her character, "They basically figured out that the female body is far better equipped for sex than the male body. Women can have multiple orgasms; men cannot. They're actually the sexual athletes, not the men."
Masters of Sex premieres on Showtime on Sunday (September 29, 2013).