Tuesday, September 29, 2015
In Which I Review Masters of Sex (Season 3)
--While the Bill and Gini story line suffered immensely this season, there are two that surpass it just out of sheer stupidity and silliness. Nora being an impostor working for the Bible Thumpers was cheap and too hi-jinks filled to be taken seriously. The same can be said for Betty and Helen and the baby story line. While it's natural for Helen to want a baby, it was (shock) repetitive of past story lines with these two in which Helen and Betty lament that they, as lesbians in the 1960s, cannot have a normal life.
--Alison Janney as Margaret Scully is always a welcome sight, but her counterpart, Beau Bridges, not so much. Again this goes back to subtly. Mad Men knew how to do closeted homosexuals in Sal Romano and the fear that he felt everyday that someone would learn his secret. But it also wasn't in your face. Everyone watching knew Sal was gay but it was not absurdly pushed so that every scene he was in was somehow reminding the audience that Sal was, in fact, gay. With Dr. Scully in MoS, everything somehow comes back to his closeted homosexuality, and maybe never more so than this season when his reappearance had nothing to do with the bigger narrative, but just more examinations of homosexual life in America, 1960.
--I still have no idea why Austen Langham is on this show. But thankfully, he's zooming over to The Flash, one of the best shows on Network TV right now (unnecessary plug, I know).
--A few other story line notes: Tessa could have been a very interesting and sympathetic story had the writers not simultaneously chosen to make her a mustache twirling villain of the highest order. I had immense sympathy for her early on as the teenager girl obviously struggling to find a connection with anyone, especially her mother. Her rape was horrifying to watch and could have been a narrative point between her and Gini given that it was Gini's book and the knowledge contained inside that prompted the rape. However, directly following the rape, the writers took every chance they could to make Tessa out to be "bad girl" to the point of cliche deviousness. It got old really fast.
--Let's end this on a positive, shall we? While I had issues with the season overall, obviously, there were two truly spectacular moments. First, the moment between Bill and Dan in which Bill declares, "Masters and Johnson. That's how people see us. It's how we see ourselves" is the entire thesis of the show and the fact that the writers are emphasizing that gives me hope that the stalled third season was just a misstep. Second, Bill declaring his love to Virginia reminded me how much l loved the Masters and Johnson dynamic since the start.