Paul Bettany had originally agreed to star as Dr. William H. Masters, but withdrew and was replaced by Michael Sheen. Interestingly, both actors are British, while the real-life Masters was born and raised in the U.S. See more »
In the introduction sequence, the quarter being inserted into the vending machine behind Michael Sheen's name says, "Quarter Dollar" under Washington's profile. This design was introduced for the "50 State Quarters" program, which began in 1999. A quarter from the time of this show, set more than 40 years earlier than this TV show, would clearly show the year of minting beneath Washington's profile. See more »
Masters of Sex is unique in the way it begins to grow on you even though you never thought it would. And, it is typified by none other than the lead character, Masters.
Michael Sheen plays the doctor obsessed with physiological interpretations of sex, who would go to almost any length to pursue his longtime dream. He is complemented by the beautiful Lizzy Caplan in the role of Virginia, Masters' street-smart secretary, who is not afraid to stand up to him, or to take matters in her own hand. The two are joined by the rest of the cast, which does an alright job, though it is hard to look past the performances of these two.
Back to Masters, Sheen shows his versatility as an actor again here. William Masters is condescending, arrogant and a cold character. Yet, Sheen plays him with such finesse, with so many layers, that you cannot help but get intrigued by Masters' haughty mannerisms. Sheen is brilliant here, and plays a diametrically opposite character to his Brian Clough from the Damned United, proving his incredible range as an actor. Take a bow, Mr. Sheen.
So, while you are caught up in the conflict whether to like William Masters or to hate him, Lizzy Caplan as Virginia is a welcome distraction. And, she too plays her character with great finesse. I haven't seen Caplan's past performances, but here, she is doing a terrific job.
The story is not too intriguing to begin with, but I believe the premise will grow on the public, especially because of the purely intellectual way Masters treats it. Not too sure how long they can rivet a story around the concept, but for the moment, the actors, well Sheen essentially, is what the show is worth watching for.
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