'Masters Of Sex: The Complete Series'
(Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan, Caitlin FitzGerald, Annaleigh Ashford, et al / 8-Disc Blu-ray / R / (2013-2016) 2018 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: William Masters and Virginia Johnson are known as pioneers of the science of human sexuality. Their research shoots them to fame on a trajectory that takes them from humble beginnings in the Midwest to the cover of Time magazine.
Masters is a brilliant scientist who is out of touch with his own feelings. Johnson is a divorced mother who is ahead of her time on many fronts, including her determination to have a meaningful career.
The pair's relationship isn't just professional, as it evolves into a three-way "marriage" with Masters' wife, Libby.
Blu-ray Verdict: '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, The 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. That said, popular guest stars that populate the show throughout the run include: Annaleigh Ashford, Teddy Sears, Camryn Manheim, Rich Sommer, Barry Watson, Tate Donovan, Barry Bostwick, Peri Gilpin, Greg Grunberg, Josh Charles, Sterling K. Brown, Judy Greer, Mae Whitman, Sara Silverman, and more!
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 highly under-rated 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.
As for the story to begin with, well, in truth, it's not overly intriguing to begin with, but it most certainly ramped up as we got to know The Masters. It's obvious the overall premise of the show grew (and quickly) with the public, especially because of the purely intellectual way Masters treats it.
To my mind, and not to give anything away, I wasn't too sure how long they could rivet a story around the concept, but watching onward through the episode, over each season, well, I most assuredly found out!
Again, the actors, well Sheen essentially, is what the show is worth watching for and with the main part of the show being, of course, the study of human sexual response, yes, there are many scenes of mature content.
That said, and please know, these scenes, however tastefully done, may be a little too strong for the average viewer, but if one can get over the explicit content, one can see their relevance to the plot, trust me. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
The History of Sex
Cast & Crew Commentary on Pilot Episode