Masters of Sex has received impressive reviews from the critics ahead of its premiere on 29th September. Some critics have found certain issues with the dialogue and plotlines, nevertheless overall the response has been positive.
Michael Sheen stars as William Masters.
Showtime's Masters of Sex is based on the lives of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, two sex researchers working during the 1950s. The pair's research centred on the theory that physical relations could lead to more intimate feelings, testing their theory by watching and monitoring couples having sex. The series follows the early working relationship of Masters and Johnson, drawing from Thomas Maier's non-fiction book Masters of Sex.
Masters is played by the brilliant Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon) and Johnson by Lizzy Caplan (True Blood). The pair are described as "strong leads", an element which diverts attention from the physicality of the show. This is commented on in a number of reviews, particularly Lori Racki (of the Chicago Sun-Times), who stated Masters of Sex "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."
Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen photographed outside an L.A. restaurant.
This is echoed by the actors themselves who, in interviews, felt after overcoming the initial discomfort at being amidst naked bodies constantly, that the show was even beneficial. Sheen stated "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".
Where critics have commented on the show's weaknesses, it has primarily been due to "a few rock plotlines" and a "few lines of dialogue stumble" (Robert Bianco of USA Today). Yet these are simply a few and even Bianco admitted that the show could possibly "enlighten, entertain and contend for Emmys, all in the same breath."
The premiere of Masters of Sex is scheduled to air on 29th September 2013.
Lizzy Caplan plays Virginia Johnson in Masters.