Prostitutes, prudes, and prototypical chauvinistic '60s males— this is the world of Masters of Sex. In stark contrast to the progressive Victoria Johnson, there's Dr. Ethan Haas and Masters's wife Libby (Caitlin Fitzgerald).
Haas, the protege of Dr. Masters, is the show's resident dick. Unwaveringly set in the mentality of a '50s-bred husband who still expects his woman to cook and clean for him, Haas unravels when he becomes enamored with Victoria Johnson, only to realize she's cool with simply being fuck buddies. Furious in the first episode, he strikes Johnson. Haas is the guy you hate. He encapsulates the era's conservative thinking that's fighting against the research of Masters and Johnson. Haas is the guy the show begs to change.
Libby, on the other hand, is the kind of woman you see illustrated in the era's newspaper ads for cleaning products. She's sweet, quiet, and obedient to a fault. While at first she seems unfazed by her husband's absence and their separate beds, a sex scene between her and William, one that looks more like a chilly fertilization procedure than love making, reveals a loneliness behind her eyes. She's questioning who she is. To her, who can she be if she can't provide kids for her husband? The show looks beyond the Pleasantville stereotype and digs deeper into the soul of wives who were only seen as one-dimensional.
And then there are prostitutes. Each given life and purpose in the show, the sex workers that round out that cast represent a pivotal shift in the series. That is, the show isn't just interested in the sex lives of the uppermiddle class, but a whole era's experience and their role in the sexual revolution. —Tara Aquino