Open A window- I’ve been a fan of masters of sex from the first season. The acting and dialogue is first rate and it has the simmering love story for the two central characters that is seemingly necessary for these kinds of dramas (ie “The Affair”).
However, now in its third season the show has taken a dip for the worse and the reason is the godawful stench of Perfume/scents mogul, Dan Logan played by The Good Wife’s Josh Charles.
Something smells fishy- On The Good Wife, Josh Charles played a pragmatic, cerebral quick on his toes, lawyer, “Will Gardener”. His innate unruffled, taciturn demeanor played well to the thoughtful and strategizing lawyer he played on the show. However, on “Masters” his strengths as an actor seem wasted on a character that is meant to be more of a suave worldly charmer. It seems hard to imagine that this undemonstrative guy could inspire Virginia Johnson to play hooky and go to vegas or that he could unlock the secret scent of sex any more than he could unlock the drawer to his own medicine cabinet. Also, what the hell is a perfume mogul anyway?! Does this career even exist and, if so, why cast it with an actor with such a pronounced nose (Josh Charles)? isn’t this casting choice a bit too “on the nose”? and, even if we accept the conceit of the show, that perfume moguls do exist and yes they often have big shnozzes, why would these people conduct their own research? Even back in 1967, wouldn’t these people be able to hire their own assistants to do all the boring lab work?
I guess its too easy to say the addition of Josh Charles alone has “stunk up” the set of Masters Of Sex. The writers deprived Charles of much of a backstory and are making him far too much of a smitten, reactive agent on the show to be a truly compelling character. Also, part of what makes Masters Of Sex work is the fiery dynamic of Sheen and Caplan. They’re both volatile with quick shifts into anger or hurt. Charles “go to” reaction as an actor is to be on his guard and slow to show how he really feels.
So one wonders why Charles, aside from the weekly grind of being on a network show like The Good Wife, opted to transition into a less interesting character on a more niche show like Masters? Maybe the newly married Charles just wanted to do a few sex scenes with Lizzy Caplan to relieve some of his marital monotony.