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    Masters of Sex Ep. 2.10: “Below the Belt” explores clashing perceptions

    “Everyone has their own version of everything that’s ever happened.” There’s more weight and truth to these words Ann Dowd speaks than in any of the many speeches she got to deliver in The Leftovers. It’s an easy sentence to seize upon as a master key to interpreting the ideas in “Below the Belt,” but “easy” doesn’t mean “unintelligent.” It’s there from the opening scene, in which Gini confesses to her psychiatrist that she’s set all their sessions up as a charade to try to help Barb. It’s in the fundamental misunderstanding between Langham and Flo about the nature of their new sexual relationship. And of course, it’s at the heart of the episode’s biggest conflict, as Bill and Frank clash over whose version of their past is the truth. More

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    Masters of Sex Ep. 2.08-2.09: “Mirror, Mirror”/”Story of My Life” Shapes Up the Season’s Back Half

    This season of Masters of Sex appears to be shaping up to be more like two mini-seasons aired consecutively. The first six episodes had Masters, Johnson, and their sex study bouncing willy-nilly between different hospitals. There was a minorly conclusive note by the midway point, what with Lillian dying, Libby settling her feud with Coral by firing her, Bill and Gini getting kicked out of Buell Green, and Betty’s marriage collapsing. The back half has seen the study finally settled into a home, with the opening of its own clinic, and new characters have been introduced (along with a few old ones not seen since season 1 coming back). This show is not settling into a lull by any means. The lack of cohesion in the central narrative is frustrating, but the series has consistently upped its game in every other respect this season, so I don’t feel compelled to complain too much. More

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    Masters of Sex Ep. 2.03-2.04: “Fight”/”Dirty Jobs” reach, but cannot sustain, new heights

    Masters of Sex Season 2, Episode 3, “Fight” Written by Amy Lippman Directed by Michael Apted Masters of Sex, Season 2, Episode 4, “Dirty Jobs” Written by Steve Levenson Directed by Michael Engler Airs Sundays at 10pm (ET) on Showtime One of the breakthroughs in television as an art form came when creators increasingly realized that […] More

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    The Televerse #141- Party Down with Vikram Murthi

    There were a handful of premieres and finales this week, which while nothing compared to the deluge that will come next week, nonetheless give us plenty to discuss on the podcast. We kick things off with somewhat morosely, with Kate predicting doom for herself in The Televerse’s The Amazing Race pool, then break down the comedies, […] More

  • Party Down promo image season 2
    in

    The Televerse #141- Party Down with Vikram Murthi

    There were a handful of premieres and finales this week, which while nothing compared to the deluge that will come next week, nonetheless give us plenty to discuss on the podcast. We kick things off with somewhat morosely, with Kate predicting doom for herself in The Televerse’s The Amazing Race pool, then break down the comedies, […] More

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    Masters of Sex, Ep. 1.12: “Manhigh” wraps up a patchy but still-promising first season

    Masters of Sex, Season 1, Episode 12: “Manhigh” Written by Michelle Ashford Directed by Michael Dinner Airs Sundays at 10pm ET on Showtime – Project Manhigh was a primitive pre-astronaut experiment that sent men into the stratosphere in balloons; it’s all kinds of appropriate that this tentative step towards full-blown space exploration in a principal […] More

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    Masters of Sex, Ep. 1.11: “Phallic Victories” punctuated with incisive acting and writing flourishes

    Masters of Sex, Season 1, Episode 11: “Phallic Victories” Written by Amy Lippman Directed by Phil Abraham Airs Sundays at 9pm ET on Showtime As the first season of Masters of Sex draws to a close, it’s worth taking stock of the series’ considerable contribution to the televisual landscape, even for those among us (myself […] More

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    Masters of Sex, Ep. 1.09: “Involuntary” struggles with plot and character beats

    Masters of Sex, Season 1, Episode 9: “Involuntary” Written by Noelle Valdivia Directed by Jennifer Getzinger Airs Sundays at 9pm ET on Showtime – The most noteworthy aspect of “Involuntary,” as it relates to Masters of Sex‘s long game, is its redemptive take on Estabrooks Masters. As played by the great Ann Dowd, Estabrooks displays […] More

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    Masters of Sex, Ep. 1.07-08: “All Together Now” and “Love and Marriage” show off thematic breadth with mixed results

    Characters on Masters of Sex are prone to syntactically ambiguous pronouncements. In “All Together Now,” this one stands out: “I’m not discussing my sex life with you.” Those words pass between William and Virgnia, who quite suddenly fold themselves into their own study with little fanfare. Actually, no fanfare whatsoever: in the episode’s opening seconds, they are literally mid-coitus, and apparently not for the first time. The ostensible central couple of the series has made a serious move into practice, and though we see the moment they make that decision (the previous episode’s final scene), we skip the rest of the foreplay and get right in on the action. More

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