5 Reasons to Watch ‘Masters of Sex’ (Besides Sex)

Masters of SexShowtime

When you take into account the name of the series along with the network it airs on (Showtime), it’s pretty clear that Masters of Sex spends a good chunk of its run time on sex scenes – but as a die-hard Homeland/former Dexter fan/Mad Men-obsessee, I had to give it a try. Now, obviously, if you like your TV to equal sex scenes with a side order of drama, this is your show. But what if you’re more interested in the drama? Don’t worry, this show has plenty of that too.

5. The CLOTHES! The clothes are amazingly beautiful, and they look very authentic (at least to a layman like me). Caplan’s burgundy strapless gown in episode 2? Ugh, still swooning over it. The attention to period detail is pretty astounding – apparently, a lot of thought went into making Ulysses, the giant lightsaber-esque dildo, as period-appropriate as possible.

4. I’ll hazard a guess that Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan not having sex is hotter then them actually having sex. That’s just by the old Moonlighting theory, though: I’m happy to be disproven.

3. The acting! Michael Sheen is understatedly tortured, Caitlin FitzGerald is heartbreaking, and we are more than happy to see Lizzy Caplan on award watch. The ensemble on this show is pretty darn phenomenal, and the guest stars are great, too: Allison Janney blew our socks off as the tragically inexperienced wife of the closeted gay provost (Beau Bridges).

2. Bad sex puns: If you like suggestive wordplay, this is the show for you. Everything it touches turns into sex jokes – it has the Midas touch in that respect. Suddenly, an innocent comment about the direction of the elevator turns into a raunchy one-liner (especially as it’s directed at someone experiencing a little…ah…impotency). You get the picture.

1. And finally: It’s officially more interesting to watch ultra-repressed William Masters watch people having sex than the actual sex scenes themselves. His near-expressionless face watching two male prostitutes get it on was pure perfection. And perhaps even better than watching Masters watch sex? Watching Virginia Johnson watch Masters watch sex (phew). If you’re not sold on him alone, her side eyes and quirked eyebrows will definitely seal the deal. Lizzy “Your Mom’s Chest Hair” Caplan is master of sardonic snark.