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Monday, July 13, 2015

Masters of Sex 3.1: Galley Slaves

Hey, I thought it was long since time for me to start reviewing Masters of Sex on Showtime, seeing as how I've been enjoying the first two seasons so much, and last night's debut of season three was a great place to start.

First, it's important to keep in mind what that little advisory on the screen at the end says - that the children depicted in the series, the children that Masters and Johnson have from their separate marriages, are fictitious.  In reality, Masters and Johnson did have children from their prior marriages, but not the ones seen in the series, and in all likelihood not participants in the powerful scenes we saw last night.

Indeed, as often happens in docudrama, these were the best scenes in the show - Johnson's daughter, drunk and partly undressed, kissing a surprised Johnson, whose son see this, and proceeds to curse out his father and throw his precious manuscript up in the air at the edge of the water.

The single-minded devotion that authors have for their galley manuscripts - the first embodiment of their written work beyond the pages they typed or (going back centuries) penned - is, however, a fundamental truth to which every author including me can attest.  We just returned from seven splendid weeks on Cape Cod, where I've been going for parts or all of summers since 1982, and many were the times I'd be slaving over galleys, cursing and correcting errors usually made by the typesetter, while the family was frolicking down on the beach.  Fortunately, this summer I was writing a new novella, not reading galleys, and if that sounds like much more fun, it is, certainly for me, and I suspect for most authors.

Masters of Sex last night captured that role of galleys in Master's life just perfectly, though he has mixed feelings about a lot of what he does, business as well as pleasure, as does Johnson.  But as the narrative moves into the mid-60s, both are looking better, fed by the recognition of their pathbreaking brilliance that's beginning to come in, and moving towards their own marriage which our history records as happening in 1971.

And I'll be back here well before then with more off-the-cuff commentary.

See also Thomas Maier: Masters of Sex and Biography Come to Life

"resonates with the current political climate . . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell"
-Curled Up with a Good Book 


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