• Network: Showtime
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 29, 2013
  • Season #: 1 , 2
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 230 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 230

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  1. Sep 29, 2013
    10
    Saw the first two episodes and they're great. Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan will get Emmy nods next year. Happy that Showtime finally have a good series after Homeland. This is very promising.
  2. Sep 29, 2013
    10
    I give this show a 10 after the first episode. I went into this show knowing about Masters & Johnson and wondering how it would be handled well, to my surprise it was brilliant. At least the pilot episode. It caught me immediately and kept my interest. The acting, the dialogue/writing is so intentional that it becomes an even richer experience for me. The subject of sex for these pioneers is NOT a joke or a game but rather a real interest in the understanding of human sexuality. The respect in his work along with his passion for science and the sexual experience makes Masters worthy of respect, truly. I look forward to this show and to the whole journey of understanding how these two people changed the way we look our sex, sensuality, and sexuality and how we operate in these arenas as human beings. I cannot leave without saying that Johnson (Virginia) is a powerhouse--her intensity and intelligence is something to behold!! Expand
  3. Sep 29, 2013
    10
    Fan of the first leaked episode. Love Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan. This is an exciting series. I love Mad Men, and thankfully they are not similar at all, except for the costumes.
  4. Oct 3, 2013
    10
    Arguably, Masters of Sex is one of the most exciting new shows of 2013. It both looks and sounds promising from the pilot I have seen, which is odd because I am never convinced from the first episode. The cinematography is crisp and clean. The writing (so far) is engaging and I hope it continues that way.

    Sheen and Caplan have excellent chemistry together which is a rare thing for two
    leads of a show to have, especially from the one episode that I've seen.

    I hope Masters of Sex gets some recognition in the award season.
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  5. Sep 29, 2013
    9
    An exceptionally well done pilot. Masters Of Sex managed to set out a clear, but not obvious, line of plot and also establishes its characters confidentially and with ease. I admit I was skeptical over whether this show would be intelligent and witty or just plain coarse, thankfully it isn't the latter. I definitely recommend this.
  6. Sep 30, 2013
    10
    Mad men meets a Dangerous Method. The best pilot I watch since Game Of Thrones. This show has great potential. Hats off for Showtime. I think in a few years Showtime might be the next HBO.
  7. Oct 4, 2013
    10
    You don't get a more titillating topic than the dawn of America's sexual revolution... The writing and directing strikes just the right balance between the clinical and the profane allowing the audience to walk the same tightrope as the character. LIzzy Caplan is divine and the chemistry between her and Michael Sheen and Caitlin Fitzgerald (whom I hope we see blossom in many ways), is delicious and fraught with tension. Beau Bridges brings his usual comic genius while keeping his performance reigned in enough to assert his character's authority and the dignity of the institution. Expand
  8. Nov 1, 2013
    9
    This is, by far, the best show of 2013. After a very good start, it gets better episode after episode, thanks to very strong cast performances (Micheal Sheen on top) and really good writing and directing. It's a must-see.
  9. Sep 29, 2013
    10
    Masters of Sex is definitely the best new show of the fall season, and probably the best premiere I've seen in the past year. Sheen and Caplan are great as Masters and Johnson, and the quality of the show is top notch. It's not only a show about sex, but a smart, witty, real life tale of two historical figures.
  10. Sep 29, 2013
    10
    I am reviewing this show after watching the first 2 episodes. Masters of Sex looks like the best new show of 2013. The acting from Sheen and Caplan are amazing. The uncensored pilot episode is available for free on YouTube. Yes, there is nudity in the show, but the way they use it, the nudity doesn't seem excessive or gratuitous. Please watch this new great drama.
  11. Dec 15, 2013
    8
    Its provocative title delivers intrigue and attention that fortunately it deserves. this is no "Game of Thrones" epic historical drama or Showtime own house of conspiracy "Homeland".nonetheless, this show has shown its own merits in solid storytelling that involve complex relationship and interesting character.
    The set production is well design that kept the mood of that period intact
    and the performance is
    brilliant with Lizzy Caplan bringing the charms and wits and MIchael being more serious and thoughtful as the leading man.
    "Masters of Sex" might as well is one of the best new entry for television in 2013 and another achievement for Showtime.
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  12. Nov 29, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It's rare a show comes along where you can really care for every character. Even in masterpieces like Breaking Bad or Justified, that isn't the case. And any lesser writers would have taken this story and bastardized it to no end. The original premise is still intact, devoid of any contrived romances or senseless side plots. Sure, our two main characters start up a sexual relationship, but we can see that they still genuinely care about the work they're doing despite it. The supporting cast is also impeccable. Expand
  13. Dec 16, 2013
    9
    Season 1 of "Masters Of Sex" is no "Boardwalk Empire" or "Breaking Bad" or "House of Cards" or "Homeland". It is in a class by itself and it is at the top of the class. It is little wonder that Michael Sheen is the producer as well as the star. Lizzy Caplan and Michael are truly the MASTERS of the very best of 2013 television. I am a fan.
  14. Oct 7, 2013
    8
    After watching the two first episodes I thought it was okay, I will continue to watch, the plot is pretty good. Also the art department on this show is on par with Mad Men's I think, all the settings seemed pretty authentic, also +1 for the James Blake song at the end of episode 2.
  15. Oct 14, 2013
    9
    Compelling, well acted and crafted show with an interesting premise unlike anything else on television. Impeccable writing, authentic to it's period, rare and engrossing.
  16. Oct 11, 2013
    10
    The genre should be comedy. I couldnt stop laughing at all the awkward moments, which there are plenty of. Way to make serious matter laughable. Showtime's new series always start so strong, im used to it. Lets just hope this show wont be turned to dirt atleast for next 2 years.
  17. Dec 12, 2013
    10
    I was iffy about this show after the first few episodes, but now as the season is coming to an end, I realize I am really going to miss these characters between seasons. When a show keeps me that engaged with the characters, I see it a s a complete success.
  18. Aug 11, 2014
    9
    The series is much improved from Season 1. I wonder how accurately it portrays the actual events since since so little is written about Masters and Johnson on line. I hope the ratings are good enough for a 3rd season renewal!
  19. Jan 4, 2014
    10
    An absolutely brilliant show in which every story thread has real interest. It is intelligently written for a mature adult audience and a great cast make it come alive. Michael Sheen and Allison Janney stand out, but every one is a great contributor to what is possibly the best show of 2013.
  20. Jul 30, 2014
    0
    let me start this review by saying vagina vagina vagina, line of boring dialogue followed by some very bland look **** and the some discussion of **** gay or fornication with a stone face in the name of science. If I wanted a porno I would watch a porno this hybrid does nothing for body or mind.
  21. Oct 1, 2013
    9
    this show is unique and very well written the performance of every actor is brilliant especially martin sheen whose american accent which has impressed me the most
  22. Sep 30, 2013
    10
    This is a series of promises. The first two episodes were outstanding and I am looking forward to the next episode. The characters are well-treated and original. Who is looking for an excellent series this is the one.
  23. Oct 3, 2013
    10
    This and The Americans are the two best shows of 2013. The early episodes are rich and show few signs of pilot pains. The lead actors (Sheen, Caplan) work incredibly well together, What makes this series exciting is the writing. It's sharp and smart. Too many shows recently e.g. House of Cards and Ray Donovan, suffer because while they have good actors, the written is terrible. MoS is one of the best shows of the year, new and old. Expand
  24. Oct 6, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Awesome. Grew up in 70's when first fallout of study was felt. Remember "The Brady Bunch" parents with their twin beds. This program strikes a chord. I see the characters as real life men and women of the era. They draw me in and fascinate me as I live in sexually permissive culture. Great, great program. I'm looking forward to next week. Expand
  25. Nov 3, 2013
    10
    This is one of the best written shows I have ever seen. It is intellectual, factual, and hilarious. Virginia is smart and beautiful and makes a perfect leading lady.
  26. Nov 18, 2013
    10
    Like many TV series, it gets better as it goes and the characters become more developed. Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan are excellent in their roles and the production team has done a great job with the 1950s setting.
  27. Dec 11, 2013
    10
    I love this show! I highly recommend it. The characters are getting more and more interesting. Plus the choice of the two main actors (who play Bill and Virginia) was brilliant! I can't wait to see more of it; I think I became addicted to it!
  28. Dec 18, 2013
    7
    Interesting show. It's an absolutely fascinating topic, of course, and it's nice to get a glimpse into the challenges they faced when trying to conduct the research (something I think would be challenging even today). And it will be interesting to see if they'll be able to keep the show compelling beyond the first season.
  29. Dec 26, 2013
    5
    Certainly not a terrible series, especially with its boldness and the various emotional conflicts the series explores, but definitely overrated. Personally, I found the actors somewhat unbelievable in their roles, and that at times it is severely underacted. Though less may be more, zero is still zero. Nonetheless, I do not think it is as awful as I have seen some call it, and it is nice to see a show with no fear towards the still controversial topics it addresses. If only it was just slightly better at doing this, I would probably love it. Expand
  30. Jan 3, 2014
    9
    Masters of Sex is exceptionally well-crafted, and quite sensitive to the times in which it is set. More importantly, the show has unflinchingly given voice to its female characters, whose sexuality and person-hood is heavily policed in a male dominated world. This has obviously created room for tense and emotive drama, wrought with intelligence and wit without devolving into a showcase of unnecessary histrionics. Expand
  31. Feb 17, 2014
    8
    The colorful differences between its characters, especially those which makes Bill different from Virginia (and the other way around), .keeps us guessing just how different everyone views romance and human sexuality. HBO's first season of Masters of Sex has cooked up its smarts with finesse; having nudity pushed as a norm – studied, understood, and carefully avoiding objectification over storytelling. Expand
  32. Apr 30, 2014
    5
    I have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed with Masters of Sex at the beginning . I was really looking forward to watch the TV show when I knew about it. The main reason is because we have so many TV shows with all kind of sex, but at the end they are not about sex o sexuality. I was disappointed because Masters of Sex felt to me as a spin off of Mad Men. The production values were very similar, such as character development, pacing, editing and overall, the look of it. I was expecting a cutting edge or a more risky TV show with that topic, as William and Virginia were in that time. I think they missed an opportunity to make something new, specially today when viewers are demanding more creativity on TV. For example, the way they presented sex, it was so clean an beautiful, even the subjects as the nurse and the doctor were like models. Moreover, the whore house and prostitutes were also beautiful. William and Virginia study was something real, intimate, not always pretty or perfect, messy and uncomfortable. On the other hand, I don't think the dialogue have a deep, philosophical or clever questions or arguments about what sex is in general. I guess what I try to say is that the mood of the show could have been more acid, direct, shocking, crude and real. Even tough they are studying sex in the 50s, it could also have been a reflection of sexuality today. By saying this, its approach could have more interesting, creative and different to other TV shows. I am sure that what was happening inside William's head wasn't so slow, deep and beautiful as the production of the show. In addition to all this, I would like to mention as an example the film Nymphomaniac. This had an interesting approach, and without the sex scenes, it still went to another level.

    I must say that I do like Masters of Sex, it's just that it could have been better. In my opinion. I accepted the TV show for what it was in the middle of the season, as a love story in an interesting context. Furthermore, everybody on it are doing an amazing job such as Michael Sheen, and this new girl Rose McIver, I love her character.

    But I still make myself a question, do I want another Mad Men or Downton Abbey?
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  33. Sep 21, 2014
    5
    It is a great idea of a show, but weak acting is the biggest problem. Sheen is adequate, but Caplan is difficult to watch as she is either trying too hard to be "sultry" or ends up coming off as manic during one of her tantrums. Season 1 plot lines are far stronger than season 2. Overall it is mildly entertaining, but Caplan was a poor casting choice. Caitlin FitzGerald and Annaleigh Ashford are the two supporting actors that are holding up the show. Expand
  34. Sep 20, 2014
    5
    What starts as a reasonably thought provoking series on a taboo subject even by today's standards quickly turns into feminist propaganda that is rammed down our throats. The acting is solid, the show is well directed and produced, around 3/4 of the season has a good plot but this is quickly ruined by the 'subtext'.
  35. Sep 23, 2014
    0
    The majority of the interweb is dedicated to lascivious appetites. There is no good justification to waste prime time-slots on their vile frippery, masters of lewd.
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Melissa Maerz
    Oct 16, 2013
    91
    It's a smart show that plays dumb at first, just to get your attention. Masters may not yet be as groundbreaking as the true drama that inspired it. But like Betty, it knows how to fake it until things get real.
  2. Reviewed by: Emily Nussbaum
    Oct 3, 2013
    80
    The dialogue isn’t always subtle, but it’s often sharp.
  3. 80
    Masters of Sex is an intelligent, assured drama that gets better and better as it goes along.