Showtime drama, “Masters of Sex,” is based on the life of Dr. William Masters, the king of obstetricians, or more easily remembered as the “Midwest miracle” when it comes to babies and all the body parts that go into making them. Played by Michael Sheen, his role as head of the obstetrics and gynecology department at Washington University hospital in St. Louis, Mo. is to save mothers in dire condition and help women become pregnant.
Dr. Williams, however, has a secret obsession that has slowly been taking priority over both his work and personal life. Sex is the name of the game, and Masters is up to his elbows in it, literally.
Now, don’t mistake this show as one where the main character is some sex freak whose main interest is in banging all the attractive nurses and patients. Masters is into sex for purely scientific reasons. “For the sake of science” is a recurring theme, and the doctor’s goal is to figure out why arousal happens, how it happens and what exactly human bodies go through in the process of creating life.
Taking place in 1956, Masters’ sex study is incredibly controversial for the time and he’s faced with a multitude of hoops to jump through – some he gets through not-so-ethically. As he struggles to keep his study secret from co-workers and his wife, Masters turns to a new office secretary, Victoria “Ginny” Johnson, played by Lizzy Caplan, to assist him in his project.
Johnson, a previous nightclub singer, has the ruthlessness that Masters is looking for and does some serious aiding when it comes to rounding up test subjects and keeping track of “sex data.” This is data involving changes in heart rate, bodily movement and temperature.
In Masters’ and Johnson’s studies, they end up debunking previous theories about the role that women and men play in sexual situations and cast a new light on how sex is perceived. Despite this, it seems that proving themselves to the medical board is a difficult task, and it gets them into some hairy situations.
The Masters/Johnson team, however, won’t give up if it means furthering science, and seeing them squirm their way to the top is both an interesting and kinky watch.
“Masters of Sex” airs on Showtime on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 10 p.m.
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