Allison Janney's alcoholic character Bonnie on Mom may have relapsed, but the actress feels that her character Margaret on Showtime's Masters of Sex is far more vulnerable.
"I think that Bonnie's a little tougher. She's got a little thicker skin than Margaret does," Janney tells TVGuide.com. "I definitely think Margaret is ... young, not young age-wise, but young and naive in her emotional life. A woman in the '50s, there's so much that's undiscovered in Margaret. She's not reached her full potential for anything, because she's been kept down by the mores of the time and her husband, the lack of honesty there and what's going on. I feel she's just a woman who has had blinders on and doesn't know the world."
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On Masters of Sex (Sundays, 10/9c), Margaret Scully has come a long way from the first time we saw her as the dewy-eyed provost's wife, but she still has a lot to learn when it comes to sexuality and, more specifically, her husband's sexuality. When last we saw Margaret, she was still reeling from her husband Barton Scully's (Beau Bridges) confession that he hired a pimp to procure prostitutes for him, a revelation that explained why Barton no longer desired her sexually. This, coupled with the demise of her own brief affair, led Margaret to conclude that they should divorce. "This marriage of ours is broken, and unless you want me to break along with it, you have to let me go," she told her husband.
Unfortunately, Barton's confession was a lie to cover up an even bigger lie: He's gay and has been seeing a male prostitute regularly. It's not a truth that Margaret can even conceive of, much less suspect. "I don't think Margaret has a clue that that is even in the realm of possibility," Janney says. "I think that is the last thing that she thinks. She thinks it's something to do with her, that there must be something wrong with her. He's not attracted to her. What an awful thing for her to think and live in, that her husband -- he says he loves her and she believes him, but he doesn't want to touch her. My heart breaks for her."
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It's clear to see why she was easy prey for the good-looking lothrio Dr. Austin Langham (Teddy Sears), who introduced Margaret to her first pleasurable sexual experience. Despite Langham's loose morals -- he's also married and works for the provost -- and dumping Margaret just before their trip out of town, she's grateful to him. "For her to have her first orgasm and be with this young guy, it just smacked her awake," Janney says. "And I think it wakes her up in a good way, in a way that she's going to start demanding more and she's not going to settle for less. I think it's a very important thing that's happened for her, and whatever pain she has to go through because of it, it's going to make her a stronger and better woman and feel so much more self-confidence. It's great that it happened."
Do you think Margaret will finally learn the truth about her husband? How would she react?
Masters of Sex airs Sundays at 10/9c on Showtime. Mom airs Mondays at 9:30/8:30c on CBS.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, Showtime's parent company.)
Additional reporting by Liz Raftery