3. Masters of Sex
If there was an award for Best New Television Show of 2013, Showtime’s Masters of Sex would win by a large margin. Michelle Ashford has created one of the most riveting and thoughtful looks at the complexity of relationships and people — and yes, there is a lot of sex. But what makes the sex in Masters work where so many falter is its ability to push the story forward rather than shock or provoke just for the sake of it. It’s funny, it’s sincere, it’s thoughtful, it’s complex: it is the sum of all of its brilliant parts.

And the work that Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) and Bill Masters (Michael Sheen) captivated America like no other. Arguably responsible for the sexual revolution of the 1960s, these two scientists pushed the envelope in ways they never even dreamed, and had one of the most complicated and confounding relationships ever brought to screen. And if that isn’t enough to convince you that this smart and funny show is worth all the praise, perhaps the Emmy-worthy acting of Allison Janney, or her on-screen husband Beau Bridges’ closeted homosexuality will convince you that this is a series worth watching.

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