MASTERS OF SEX: Michelle Ashford on 'Fight,' and What's to Come - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

MASTERS OF SEX: Michelle Ashford on ‘Fight,’ and What’s to Come

July 28, 2014 by  


MASTERS OF SEX took a deep-dive into Bill and Virgina’s relationship with Sunday night’s incredible episode, “Fight,” as most of the hour focused on the duo’s interactions in their hotel room. (Outside of the hotel room, Bill delivered a baby boy with ambiguous genitalia, and was unsuccessful in trying to convince the parents to hold off on surgery to make the child into a girl.)

“You know, it’s funny, we had a lot of discussions with Showtime about how to do it,” MASTERS OF SEX executive producer Michelle Ashford told me during the recent Television Critics Association press tour visit to the show’s set. “And we knew the fact that they were kicked out of this hospital, so what do they do? In research, we found they did use hotels. So that’s really interesting. And it’s like, let’s see it, they’re going to a hotel. I just felt like, with a cable audience [can handle it]: let’s not show it [at first]. Let’s see that they’re going, so you know something’s happening, but you don’t know what it is. And so it seemed like it was the right time. You don’t know what’s happening, but then you get to settle in [for an entire episode]. So that’s how we pitched it. The lovely thing about cable now is if they feel you have an idea about your show [should work], do it.”

One of the key reveals in the hour was Bill telling Virginia about his difficult childhood — something his wife, Libby, had noted earlier in the season she didn’t have insight into.

“It’s a really important [he told Virginia],” Ashford acknowledged. “You have to ask yourself, what is it about these two that has drawn them together? And it’s not an accident. We talk a lot about how they look at each other. They’re deeply connected, but the question is what are they connected by? And it’s a very complicated question to answer. And hopefully as the episodes go on, you realize they’re connected by a lot of things. Some of them very dark. And some of them are wonderful: both of them are dreamers. They have big ideas, and big dreams, and big visions of who they want to be. They’re bound by that as well. They see their work, and go, ‘This work could be huge,’ while other people are like, whatever.”

“Sometimes [their connection] will sometimes boil up, and then go into a big, messy, complicated thing again,” she added. “And I think that’s very reflective of what their relationship was. And I also think it’s [reflective of] having two enormously complicated people who don’t seem to ever meet at the exact same level at the same time. That’s the weird they’re realizing: ‘We’re never quite [there].'”

And as the duo continue to circle around each other, the show will pick up the pace in order to cover a bigger chunk of the more than three decades Masters and Johnson did research together.

“We have a really packed season,” Ashford acknowledged. “We go a lot of different places. We go into the African-American community. A lot happens. We jump through time [three years]…I felt like we killed ourselves on that episode. It’s the seventh one of the season. It’s really fun. We got to the point where it’s like, we have to move [through this story]. Now, we’ve always got to move, because this is a long story. I can’t think of another television show that has to cover this amount of real-life [time].”

MASTERS OF SEX airs Sundays at 10 PM on Showtime.


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