TV Review Jackie K Cooper
"Homeland/Masters of Sex" (SHOWTIME)
"Homeland" is back and it has brought along a friend for some entertaining television viewing. "Homeland" is seen Sunday nights on SHOWTIME at 9PM and "Masters of Sex" follows at 10. This means you have two hours of possibly entertaining and engrossing TV to watch back to back. "Homeland" is the main course for your viewing meal and "Masters of Sex" is your dessert on the menu.
"Homeland" is an intense drama about the CIA and the spies they seek out. Claire Danes stars as Agent Carrie Mathison, a bi-polar woman who tries to keep her moods balanced through other means than medication. As this season starts Carrie is appearing before a congressional committee investigating the terrorist bomb incident that killed over two hundred people. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) has been accused of formulating this terrorist attack, and is now on the run.
Carrie is doing everything she can to assert Brody's innocence but she is becoming more and more a lone voice. It looks like she can't even trust her friend and mentor Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) to back her up. Saul has been named acting director of the CIA and he has to balance everything with what is best for the Agency.
So as this new season starts Brody is on the run, Saul is playing defense, and Carrie is falling apart. All this and a few other subplots promise to make this one of "Homeland's" most intriguing seasons. And at the center of it is the amazing performance by Claire Danes. She is stunning in each and every scene in which she appears.
The follow up series, "Masters of Sex," is the story of William Masters (Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan), two people who studied the physical manifestations of sexual activity and the psychological ones which affect our human behavior. Masters was a renowned physician when he became interested in this study. Masters was a two time divorcee with two children who came to work for Masters as his secretary, later became his assistant, and ultimately his wife and partner in research.
This series promises to explore their studies as well as their personalities. Their studies involve watching humans take part in sexual activity and have their reactions monitored. This means the episodes involve a good bit of nudity, but in most instances it is a very clinical look and not meant to be exploitative or titillating.
The acting is stronger than the storylines. Watching someone plan how to get a social and medical study off the ground and find funding for it, is not the source of high drama. Also the relationship between the two major characters is not overly compelling. Masters comes across as a bit of a stuffed shirt who is not responsive to anyone's needs other than his own.
From initial viewing it appears that "Homeland" will continue to enchant and fascinate audiences while "Masters of Sex" may be a harder sell. But at least "Homeland" is the first show on Sunday night and "Masters of Sex" will certainly have an advantage from that lead-in.
To watch the first episode of "Masters of Sex" click here:
Jackie K Cooper