Showtime's latest drama Masters of Sex follows the lives of two sex researchers in the 1950s. Based on the lives of William Masters and Virginia Johnson the series will depict their life and work. As sex sells it's likely to be successful, if not somewhat controversial for more conservative viewers.
Michael Sheen at the Broadcast Television Journalists Association's (BTJA) 3rd Annual Critics' Choice Television Awards, Beverly Hills.
Masters of Sex will follow the early working relationship of Masters and Johnson. It draws heavily from Thomas Maier's non-fiction book of the same name which documents the pair's research into sex. Their research centred on the theory that sex could lead to more intimate feelings which they attempted to test whilst monitoring and observing couples in coitus.
In keeping with Showtime's tradition, the show promises to feature graphic sex scenes ranging from the mundane to the bizarre. The cast found themselves acting out such bizarre scenarios as sex scenes complete with monitoring wires. In one take actor Teddy Sears said "it looked like a bird's nest" which "gets decidedly unsexy after a while", as reported by USA Today.
Michael Sheen, who plays William Masters, also had to watch the performances of the naked extras whilst acting the part of the observing scientist. On this element of the show he said "after a while of seeing so many people so naked in front of you, you inevitably just get used to it. I never thought I would get used to having a naked woman in front of me and I would almost not notice they were there."
Watch the teaser trailer for Masters of Sex:
Sheen's co-star Lizzy Caplan, who plays Virginia Johnson, commented on the relevance of sex in society then and now. She said "I think it's a daily part of your life, whether you are having it or not having it".
However, the prevalence of nudity and discussions of sexuality should not suggest the show will simply be one sex scene after the other. Sheen commenting on this said "my experience of working on this show.is that I found I started talking about relationships and emotions and difficulties and challenges. I became far more open about that, which is probably an indication of the show itself".
The premiere of Masters of Sex is scheduled to air on 29th September 2013.
Lizzy Caplan at the 2013 Entertainment Weekly Screen Actors Guild Party in L.A.
Teddy Sears with Milissa Skoro at a radio event in L.A. in 2012.