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Michelle Ashford, 2013

Sony

The research carried out by William Masters and Virginia Johnson on human sexual response “taught America how to love”, in the words of their biographer Thomas Maier. His book is faithfully served in this Showtime series, which manages to be both intimate and unsensational. Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan are first-rate, but it is the more shaded performances of the subsidiary cast that give the series its lustre. The nuanced script is a reminder that taboos are exploded by stealth, and the protagonists’ boldness under fire is movingly conveyed.

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