Category Archives: Week 1

Dear Television, Masters of Sex, Week 5 Snake

You Won’t Read This Review of “Masters of Sex”: The Problem of Episodic Criticism

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I WANT TO TALK with you about Masters of Sex. I want to talk about Michael Sheen’s acting, Lizzy Caplan’s costuming, and the friction between its serial and series elements. I want to tell you that the weepy, one-dimensional wife got, at least temporarily, less weepy, and that the show, for its initial resistance to […]


Dear Television, Masters of Sex, Week 5 Loofbourow_DTV_Masters_MG_Orig

Sex and the Slightly Unreliable Narrator

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Dear TV, I’D HOPED Masters of Sex would resist following Mad Men down the sepia brick road to the land of overburdened flashbacks, and so far so good; five episodes in, it seems to have a comparatively sane relationship to its past. So far we’ve met Mr. Johnson and the original Mrs. Masters. Mather Zickel’s George Johnson […]


Dear Television, Masters of Sex, Week 1 Masters_image3

Against Pop-Freud

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Dear TV, WE’VE TALKED A BIT HERE about Masters of Sex in relation to Mad Men and The Sopranos, and I want to wrap up our first week back at LARB by talking about how these shows use Freud. Here’s my working hypothesis: Masters of Sex is — surprisingly, for a show that’s explicitly about […]


Dear Television, Masters of Sex, Week 1 Masters_image3

Masters of None?

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MASTERS OF SEX, “PILOT” Dear Television, Let’s talk genre. WHEN I WATCH Masters of Sex, here’s what I see: 1) a hospital, an operating bay, white lab coats, doctor politicking, neurotic middle-aged male with horrible home life (medical drama); 2) ‘50s hairstyles, outdated politics played as plot points, beautiful mid-century modern homes, big band jazz […]


Dear Television, Masters of Sex, Week 1 Masters_image

S is for Scandal

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MASTERS OF SEX, “PILOT” Dear Television, BEFORE WE GO any further in discussing the pilot of Showtime’s new drama, Masters of Sex, I want to take one more look at its title. I’m in full agreement with Phil: Michelle Ashford’s show about the famous team of sexperts — William H. Masters and Virginia Johnson — […]


Dear Television, Masters of Sex, Week 1 caplanmasters

Exposing Yourself on Television

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MASTERS OF SEX, “PILOT” Dear Television, FIRST OF ALL, it’s great to be back at the LARB. I’m also excited to be back covering an early sixties period drama about sex, ambition, and women in the workplace with all of you. (And no, I’m not talking about ABC’s Pan Am.) I’m talking, of course, about […]