Michael Apted

Masters of Sex, Ep. 2.02: “Kyrie Eleison” continues to shift the show’s gears

In case you haven’t already scuttered over to Google for quickie research, “Kyrie Eleison” means “Lord have mercy” in Greek. A bit of an on-the-nose name for an episode about people having to put up with all manner of off-kilter bullplop, but it works. While steeped in an unfortunate sophomore episode downturn after the premiere, this was still a good week. The show is still shifting gears as it maneuvers the leads into the place they’ll need to be to re-start the sex study.

Masters of Sex, Ep. 2.01: “Parallax” deals with characters’ self-deception

“Parallax” is the difference in an object’s appearance, depending on the position from which one observes it. One thing won’t look the same from the points of view of two people looking at it from different angles. The season premiere of Masters of Sex showcases this phenomenon with a scene that directly follows the end of last season’s finale. After Bill makes his anguished declaration that he “needs” Gini, they go inside, have sex, and then she breaks things off with Ethan over the phone. We see it first from Bill’s perspective, and then from Gini’s, which reveals that it’s their work she’s choosing, not Bill, over Ethan. Later, Bill claims that he too considers their sexual relationship “part of the work” and not an affair. Which does not dovetail at all with the emotions he displayed when he said he needed her, nor their closeness in bed.

‘The Short Game’ a slickly produced, all surface-level golfing documentary

If The Short Game is any indication, it’s hard work being a child in the 21st century. The hook of this new documentary is fairly high-concept—it follows eight of over 1500 golfers age 7 or 8 competing at a world championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina—and yet, as slick as it is, it’s hard not to feel both a bit depressed at the almost comically driven subjects and wistful for a relaxed childhood not centered around detailed workouts or tireless practicing.

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