HBO’s MINX is a surprisingly fun, funny, and smart series about a feminist and a pornographer who team up in the early 70s to produce a new women’s magazine that combines women’s liberation with photography depicting male full-frontal nudity. I loved this provocative but undemanding show.
Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond) is a young journalist trying to get financial backing for her feminist magazine, THE MATRIARCHY AWAKENS. Doug (Jake Johnson) is a low-rent pornographer. She’s uptight, puritanical in her feminism, and brainy; he’s loose in his morality but cunning enough to see a marriage between her ideas and titillating entertainment as the next big thing. Individually, they can’t pull it off, but if they learn from each other, they might just have something big.
The result is a show that’s quite funny, very smartly written, strong in how it tackles the major issues of women’s liberation at that time in American history, and provocative in that Joyce and Doug need each other and mitigate each other’s flaws. This is refreshing, as the issues are handled comically and without one of them always being right or wrong (like many family sitcoms where the dad is basically dumb and the wife smart); in fact, in some cases, they’re both simultaneously right and wrong. Strangely, the show has gotten some criticism for how it treats feminism, but not from men but women. I don’t know the specifics of that criticism, but all I can say is I think the show is fun and makes you think.
Besides the heyday of emerging feminism, the show is also about magazine publishing, which I enjoyed as I used to work on both sides of it as an editor and then a publisher. It’s also about, well, pornography–be warned you will gaze upon tons of penises and boobs in this show. Overall, it’s a fun situation comedy with everybody put in a jam and then yanked out of it neatly within 30 minutes and with plenty of 70s flavor.
So yeah, overall, I had fun with MINX and look forward to season 2, as the show was signed for another season in May 2022.