I guess HBO Max is going by just Max now? Whatever the streaming service may be called, they and HBO have been knocking shit out of the park in 2022. If I ever lost access to my buddy's account, I'd definitely bite the bullet and get my own subscription.
It's not for everybody, but I loveedd The Gilded Age. As a low-key historian, I'm a big period-piece guy, and that terrible era is one of my favorites. Righteous Gemstones season 2 was hilarious and heartfelt at times. Winning Time: the Rise of the Lakers is fantastic. I love how they splice in 70s quality film to make it feel like you're there, even though it'd be crisp footage if you were. But Minx is my favorite of them all.
I'm gonna do my best to avoid spoilers and major plot points because I'm a hashtag good guy.
Starting in 1971 California, Minx tells the story of Joyce Prigger, a Vasser alum trying to get her feminist magazine The Matriarchy Awakens published. Right away, that might scare some people off, and I get it. I used to scoff at that f word like millions if not billions of others, but during my real-life character development, I've grown and swapped teams. But this blog isn't about why you should support EQUALITY between the sexes; it's about why this show is fucking incredible and hopefully gets at least four seasons.
As an aspiring writer, I can relate to Joyce's story. How she's trying to produce the content she believes in with minimal support from friends and family (her boyfriend basically tells her it's the magazine or me). Joyce has been working on her dream for years and gets caught in the classic creative dilemma: how much of my baby will have to change for it to be embraced by the masses? If Joyce wants her feminist message in the masses, she's gonna have to have her articles wrapped in a 6 inch soft cock....which is unfair for multiple reasons!
But the show is so much more than just Joyce and her vision for the magazine. Her housewife, vibrator loving sister Shelly (Lennon Parham) steals the show as comedic relief (who you might recognize if you're a big Documentary Now fan).
Then there's Jake Johnson. I've loved him since his time on New Girl, but this is the role he was meant to play. JJ was cast perfectly as Doug Renetti, the head of Bottom Dollar Production (the porn company that agrees to publish Joyce's magazine..with a twist!). It doesn't even feel like he's acting. If Jake Johnson was born in like 1943, I could totally see this being the life he led. Doug is a combo of the changing, forward-thinking psyche of the day while also knowing how the game was played in the early 70s. I wouldn't call him sleazy, but I'm sure some prudes would.
But Doug doesn't run the show at Bottom Dollar alone, his "secretary" slash silent (not by choice, remember it's 1971) partner Tina is the "good head on her shoulders, let's put some actual thought behind this decision" ying to Doug's fly by the of seat his leather pants yang. I thiiink they're just friends, but the show also makes it seem like they're undercover lovers. That's not a fucking spoiler.
I'll be honest with you (I always am, that's just the peanut butter for this medicine); there are a ton of dicks in this show. Like, a lot, far too many for me. I haven't sat there and counted 'em, but I'd conservatively say you see triple-digit dicks throughout the first six episodes (especially the first one)...which reminds me... I loveee how Minx drops two episodes at once. (I watched the first four in one sitting, then saw the most recent two last Friday and already rewatched them all) That's probably more of HBO saying we'll give it a chance, but not a 10-week chance, but I love the format. I wish more shows did it (like IASIP's most recent season).
So yeah, lots of dicks, but this show is about leveling the playing field, which is why I wouldn't hate them sprinkling in a titty or two for the straight men/lesbians in the audience, but we've also had our turn, so I get it.
Minx isn't perfect, but it's entertaining and addresses the real issues of the era that, unfortunately, are still "unsettled" today (I'm looking at you, Oklahoma), over 50 years later....with fantastic set design and costumes and at least one Steely Dan song so far. I've always been a character guy with shows, and this show is chockful of characters you can't help but love. I've already mentioned Joyce, Shelly, Doug, and Tina, but there's also Richie, a gay man discovering himself as he transitions from make-up artist to his role behind the camera.
And lastly, "Centerfold Coordinator" Bambi, a former model who's finding her niche in an office setting. I love her developing friendship with Shelly.
These six characters mix like a Harvey Wallbanger to bring IMO one of the most promising shows on (hbo?) Max. Growing up in an era where magazines went from a massive part of our lives to something nobody buys anymore, it's incredible to see the process of getting an issue to print. It's like a fictional, combo of A Futile and Stupid Gesture and the Big Brother magazine doc on Hulu wrapped in a tampon (which should be free!) string. So not only is Minx funny and informative, but you learn something along the way...which I guess is just another way of saying informative, but in this case, I'm talking about production and not the sexist ways of society. Between Minx and Winning Time, HBO has both ends of the 70s covered.
Six of the ten scheduled episodes have already aired. I haven't seen anything about a second season yet, so please check it out, so that can happen. New episodes premiere on Thursdays.