How bad can one day of work at Masters and Johnson’s Reproductive Biology Research Foundation be? At this point in the season, bad enough to convince Virginia Johnson to park her kids with her dad, and pack her bags to flee for parts unknown.
This week, watching Masters of Sex reminded me a lot of the classic 1933 movie Dinner at Eight, in which not-yet-Glinda-of-Oz Billie Burke spends the entire film freaking out as her dinner guests slide further and further out of control. I kind of wished that proto-Glinda would show up and give everyone a good slap.
OK, I give up. After this week’s episode, it’s clear that Masters of Sex has completely forgotten that the one thing that made it different from a run-of-the-mill evening soapy drama was its main characters’ obsession with their sex research.
Masters of Sex spent two seasons building the Masters and Johnson relationship, and the first nine episodes of the third season testing what might break it. Unhappy children? Unexpected pregnancies? Johnson sleeping with other men? Unexpected fame? Flashing a gorilla? Starting projects without your partner’s approval?
Everybody lies sometimes. Some people are bad at it. Some people think they’re better at it than they really are. And some people tell their biggest lies to themselves. In this week’s episode of Masters of Sex, we get to see that whole range of possibilities.
After a decade of working on their own–as a team, but without a lot of input from other scientists–Masters and Johnson’s research is starting to have growing pains. The problem? They may be the experts on human sexual response, but that doesn’t make them experts in anything else. And if you want to expand a study in…
If viewers of Masters of Sex are puzzled by the whiplash shift in Virginia Johnson’s attitude towards Bill Masters this week, they should look no further than Johnson’s mother. That woman deserves a doctorate in manipulation.
Finally, an episode with stories that reflect back on past seasons and incorporate the science that helped make Bill Masters and Gini Johnson interesting enough people in real life to fuel a historical drama about their lives.
I guess scientific success makes for poor drama, since this week the writers of Masters of Sex have served up a mishmash of pathos that connects not at all with the science that made these people famous.
The book is out, and the reviews are rolling in. Masters of Sex opens this week with Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson reading each other the spectacular praise from the “new books” pages of medical journals and getting really hot about it.
At the end of the last episode, Bill Masters added up Virginia’s moodiness, thickening waistline, and tasteful vomiting and deduced that she was pregnant. This week picks up right where we left off, as Virginia confirms the diagnosis.
Last season’s finale saw William Masters and Virginia Johnson developing (with a lot of self-experimentation) a new treatment for sexual dysfunction. That was in 1961. The third season jumps us forward to 1965, when the pair are about to release Human Sexual Response, their first book on human sexual physiology.
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Battlestar Galactica producer Ronald D. Moore returns to television this week with his adaptation of the hit Outlander novels—and you won't want to miss it. Plus, True Blood goes on a drug-fueled search for a dead character, Teen Wolf deals with a mysterious outbreak, and someone is targeting the Candy Kingdom elite…