MASTERS OF SEX Recap: “Fight”

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Prior to “Fight,” the most promising moment of this season of Masters of Sex – the moment when many of us sat up, adjusted our glasses and thought, “here we go!” — was when Ginny and Bill had the heart-breaking conversation in the hotel where they tried (and failed) to define the intricacies of their relationship.  In “Fight,” the topic was brought up again, and explored with the depth it deserves, and with a strangeness and emotional honesty that made Masters of Sex feel, for the first time truly, like Mad Men.  Hit the jump for why “a hole is easier than a pole.”

MASTERS OF SEX Recap: “Kyrie Eleison”

by     Posted 10 days ago


After an emotional premiere, Masters of Sex slowed things way down in “Kyrie Eleison” (meaning “Lord Have Mercy”).  But, it maintained its focus on place (as in, position).  Each of its characters is adrift, longing for something they have lost or cannot achieve.  “Kyrie Eleison” also separated Bill and Ginny again, but as with all things Masters, the study must go on, and their connection to it drives them back together.  It also is the only place the two feel at home.  Hit the jump for more.

MASTERS OF SEX Recap: “Parallax”

by     Posted 17 days ago


Masters of Sex returned for its second season without missing a beat from its first.  There was no lull to get viewers reoriented slowly — things picked up essentially where they left off, except “Parallax” made the decision to exam some of the events that took place after last season’s finale from different viewpoints.  Per usual for the show, how things played out circumvented the expected, and allowed an intimate look into both Ginny (Lizzy Caplan) and Bill’s (Michael Sheen) obsessions and dedications.  Hit the jump for why “that study was worse than the Mummy’s Curse.”

New to Blu-ray: 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE, ENEMY, A HARD DAY’S NIGHT Criterion, and More

by     Posted 36 days ago


This week’s new Blu-ray releases include the bloody 300 sequel, one of the weirdest and underseen movies of the year (with double the Jake Gyllenhaal), a Beatles entry to the Criterion Collection, and more.  Briefly:

Rose McIver Talks BRIGHTEST STAR, Acting in All Mediums, Working on MASTERS OF SEX, ONCE UPON A TIME, and More

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The indie dramedy Brightest Star tells the story of a young man (Chris Lowell) who’s fresh out of college and devastated because the girl of his dreams (Rose McIver) has dumped him.  While trying to transform himself into the man she desires, he starts to find the person he might actually be.  From director Maggie Kiley, the film also stars Clark Gregg, Allison Janney and Jessica Szohr.

At the film’s press day, actress Rose McIver spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about how she came to be a part of this film, what she thought she could bring to this character, working with Chris Lowell, what Maggie Kiley was like, as a director, and what she loves about acting in all mediums.  She also talked about the great experiences she’s had working on Masters of Sex, where Beau Bridges and Allison Janney play her parents, and playing Tinker Bell on Once Upon A Time.  Check out what she had to say after the jump.

2014 PaleyFest Lineup Includes LOST 10th Anniversary Reunion, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER Farewell, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, VEEP, and More

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The Paley Center has announced the initial lineup for the 31st Annual Paley Television Festival, which honors the best in television with enlightening and entertaining panels for various TV shows.  The headliner this year seems to be a 10th anniversary reunion panel for Lost, which is sure to be a fascinating watch.  Also part of the lineup is a farewell panel for How I Met Your Mother, a reunion for the cast of Veronica Mars, and panels for current series Orange Is the New Black, Mad Men, Parks and Recreation, Veep, Masters of Sex, Community, and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Hit the jump to check out the full lineup for PaleyFest 2014, which will be held in Los Angeles March 13-28th.  For ticketing information, click here.

Year in Review: Allison’s Top 10 New TV Series of 2013

by     Posted 221 days ago


Whether you subscribe to the idea of a “Second Golden Age” of television or not, there’s no denying that 2013 was a great year for TV.  Outstanding, even, because for all of the trash there were so many treasures.  Hit the jump for the first batch of treasure: a look back at the best new series from this year (in no particular order, and miniseries are saved for another list), which are all worth binge-watching to catch up with in preparation for their second seasons in 2014, if you haven’t indulged already.

MASTERS OF SEX Season One Finale Recap: “Manhigh”

by     Posted 227 days ago


The moment of truth for Bill and Ginny’s study on Masters of Sex proved to be a 100% ringer … for an attendee named Ethel.  For everyone else, it was a complete bust.  A big day of big decisions weighed heavily on both Bill and Ginny, and neither came out of it very satisfied.  The news of a launching of a man into the upper regions of the atmosphere paralleled Bill and Ginny’s own perilous ascent into regions not yet explored by anyone — regions that include copious film shots of vaginal walls.  Predictably, their decent to Earth was swift and unceremonious.  Hit the jump for more.

AFI Announces Top 10 Films and TV Shows of 2013; List Includes GRAVITY, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, and WOLF OF WALL STREET

by     Posted 233 days ago


This weekend we saw three more critics groups announce awards for the 2013 movie season, and now it’s the American Film Institute’s turn.  Today, AFI unveiled its Top 10 films and TV shows of the year, and the film list includes Oscar frontrunners Gravity and 12 Years a Slave as well as burgeoning contenders like American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Her.  Over on the TV side of things, usual suspects like Mad Men and Breaking Bad made the cut, but so did Netflix’s original series House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black as well as Showtime’s Masters of Sex and ABC’s smash hit Scandal.  The sole comedy on the list of HBO’s excellent Veep.

Hit the jump to check out the full Top 10 lists for movies and television.

MASTERS OF SEX Recap: “Phallic Victories”

by     Posted 234 days ago


More emotional payout this week on Masters of Sex, where so many of the simmering relationships are playing out in the hour leading up to the first season finale.  Masters of Sex has had an interesting trajectory for its inaugural season, and taken some unexpected but appreciated detours (with the Masters/Johnson relationship in particular).  Everyone is still suffering though — the de facto emotion of the show — and “Phallic Victories” (what a title…) was indeed not about victories though at all.  Hit the jump for why “having a dick doesn’t hurt.”

MASTERS OF SEX Recap: “Fallout”

by     Posted 241 days ago


Despite the fact that Masters of Sex has been very heavy-handed in its themes in the last few weeks (particularly in “Fallout”), the payoff, for those of us who have stuck with it, has been immense.  The personal dramas have unfolded and refolded and been folded again in ways that are surprisingly believable.  The central relationship between Bill and Ginny is one that seemingly has to be kept fresh and ever-changing since their future together is known, but the way the show has kept them from becoming anything more than partners (either in the study or at work) has not been arbitrary.  Ethan is available to Ginny, and Bill is not.  She likes his wife, plus, he insults Ginny with his guilt after his own emotional failings — something that happens a lot with the men on the show.  Hit the jump for more.

MASTERS OF SEX Recap: “Involuntary”

by     Posted 248 days ago


Masters of Sex continued to give itself over to the weepies this week, with its particular focus on sadness.  Did anyone, save for that hospital worker changing the light bulb, escape with a shred of positivity this week?  This isn’t a sudden shift — the show has always had a dour pall to it.  Still, a few small triumphs along the way have helped temper the gloom in the past.  No such luck in “Involuntary,” though, where hard truths were faced with difficult decisions.  But, uh, hey!  Naked, masturbating Lizzy Caplan!  Hit the jump for more.

MASTERS OF SEX Recap: “Love and Marriage”

by     Posted 255 days ago


There are many things that Masters of Sex has in common with Mad Men, but no episode has felt like part of the Mad Men canon more than “Love and Marriage.”  Masters of Sex has grown away from its focus on just the physical, toward exploring the emotional (and less scientific) part of sexuality.  It was a pivotal point in the series when the characters began to show more signs of life as the camera adjusted its gaze.  The physical side of sex — both on the show and in the study itself — is still an integral part of things.  But without this expanded time with the characters out of bed, the show would just be the cadaver on the table instead of a living organism.  Hit the jump for why “vaginas don’t bite.”

MASTERS OF SEX Recap: “All Together Now”

by     Posted 262 days ago


Masters of Sex, like Bill and Ginny’s study, is moving from the physical to the more psychological.  Though there is still plenty of the physical, it led to some important emotional moments this week.  That’s exactly what the show needs moving forward.  Ginny says she can separate love from sex, but that connection is something that this particular narrative needs to make us invested in it.  And as Ginny finds out in “All Together Now,” things are not so clearly delineated as she once believed.  Hit the jump for more.

MASTERS OF SEX Recap: “Brave New World”

by     Posted 269 days ago


Masters of Sex‘s sixth episode, “Brave New World,” marks the end of the first round of advanced screeners that critics received before the show officially aired.  Since there was already a plan for me to recap the show week to week, I’ve been watching it like that instead of binging it all at once.  I’ve always subscribed to the idea that if I’m going to be experiencing it weekly with everyone else, might as well get that perspective rather than just say, every week, what a lot of other critics were saying to me on Twitter: “it gets better.”  Where were the receipts for this?  It took five weeks for us to get any emotion out of Bill Masters, and yes — last week’s “Catherine” and “Brave New World” were great episodes that included some decent payoff for our troubles.  And if you are binge-watching the series then that’s great, but it’s also a lot to ask of an audience to wait for over a month to be given a compelling reason to stay with something, even if people who have seen future episodes swear it’s going to be worth it.  With that in mind, hit the jump.

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