Not content to let the world exist only with a show called Californication, Showtime has decided to completely drop all semblance of nuance and introduce a new show called Masters of Sex. In initially puzzling casting news, this show will star Hobbit-esque Michael Sheen, best known for being a fairly forthright, upstanding chap who starred as Tony Blair in The Queen, and also as a vampire in Twilight, but we won’t hold that against him.
I’m going to do a bit of free-response here. When I hear the title “Masters of Sex“, I think either of an extremely bad Mike Myers movie that will go straight to VHS (it’ll even bypass DVDs, that’s how bad it’d be) or I think of some sort of extremely exhausting reality competition wherein couples attempt to prove their prowess between the sheets to a panel of frowning, thoughtful judges. Or even a makeover show where an angry, possibly Russian sex expert comes in to help troubled couples bring the spark back into their marriage a la Tabitha’s Salon Takeover. (Please, please, Bravo, do not take that literally and make that a thing. It was a joke.)
Apparently, though, Showtime desperately needs this title because Masters of Sex, despite my knee-jerk assumptions, is actually a historical drama about two pioneers in the field of sex research whose work heavily influenced sexual liberation in the 60′s. Also, one character’s last name, coincidentally, was Masters. Good one, Showtime. This series will shed light on an important point in human biological research that is perhaps outside the realm of familiarity with today’s youth. So obviously nobody’s going to watch it unless it’s called Masters of Sex. And the premise actually makes the casting of Michael Sheen a lot more understandable. I knew he couldn’t remain naughty for long.
Will I be tuning in? Well, let’s put it this way. If I’m out with my friends and someone asks me what I was watching the night before, I do not want to have to say, “Masters of Sex.” I do not think that anyone in America would like to be in that situation. Come to think of it, I don’t know how the cast is going to deal with it, either. “So, what’s your next project?” asks an interviewer. “Masters of Sex,” they reply and then there’s an awkward five second pause where everyone shifts uncomfortably.
Maybe they should rename it, “Michael Sheen is: Masters of Sex.” It sounds so much more proper that way.