AV Club review: A-
From episode three on, however, he begins to give one of the most fascinating performances on TV, a man who shattered into pieces long ago but keeps acting as if he’s perfectly assembled. He seems rather like a robot replicating human behavior in places, and that makes the moments of genuine emotion that seep through more devastating. Sheen has long been a great actor Hollywood had no idea what to do with, but this project utilizes every bit of his talent. The chemistry—of all sorts—between Sheen and Caplan is so electric, the series likely could have coasted off of it.
The Joy of Watching Sex by Willa Paskin
The show is set in 1956, before the sexual revolution, but Masters of Sex is never condescending about the past. This is another contrast with Mad Men: Think of the infamous scene in which Don and Betty have a bucolic picnic and then leave all their trash behind, inviting us too pooh-pooh customs before environmentalism. Masters of Sex doesn’t pooh-pooh, it sympathizes, even with the most sexually clueless.