Minx Season-Premiere Recap: Old White Dicks
Season 2 Episode 1 Editor’s Rating4 stars ****
Photo: MAX When last we left the cheerful pornographers of Minx, they were facing certain ruin after a housewife (Allison Tolman) gave her asshole radio DJ husband (Eric Edelstein) a jalapeño-infused HJ that left both his dick and his pride injured. She was inspired by Minx, it seems, and so DJ Willy had to sue them into oblivion. It looked like a case they’d never win — particularly after the Bottom Dollar offices were overrun with a January 6–style group of men’s rights activists — but somehow, they managed to come out on top … sort of. Bottom Dollar was flat broke, and everyone was out of a job, but Doug (Jake Johnson) gave Minx back to Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond), so she was free to do whatever she damn well pleased with it.
But with “The Perils of Being a Wealthy Widow,” Minx is back for season two. While Joyce is being feted by packed rooms of old, white publishing dicks who want to be in the Minx business, Doug and Tina (Idara Victor) are off trying to figure out how to scrape together enough money to distribute all the other magazines Bottom Dollar made. Doug’s also trying to launch a new, non-porno mag, Joggin’, which, I agree, could be a big success in the wake of the running fad. He’s striking out left and right, and it seems like Doug could have finally really lost it all, but this is Minx (and Jake Johnson) we’re talking about here, so we know he’ll pull through soon enough.
Bambi (Jessica Lowe) and Richie (Oscar Montoya) are still technically working for Minx, though working implies that they’re getting paid. They’ve both had to take other jobs to pay rent, with Richie spending much of his time now in the back of his aunt’s Boyle Heights bakery. As a side hustle, he takes a gig shooting some older woman’s boudoir photos, and after Bambi ghosts him, Joyce tags along as an assistant. That’s where we meet Constance Papadopoulos (Elizabeth Perkins), a former shipping tycoon who was run out of business by a board full of woman haters. She’s taken an interest in a young man named Esteban, and she wants Richie to capture tasteful pictures of them together. She’s clothed, he’s not, and just like that, we’ve got our first full-frontal shot of the Minx season.
Joyce, apparently, is a big Constance groupie, and not just because the heiress’s windswept ’do is massive and gorgeous. Joyce studied her plight in college and basically falls all over herself trying to impress her idol. Constance blows her off, but after Joyce mentions the run-in to Doug, he sees dollar signs and heads up to Peregrine’s Reach himself. We don’t get to see that conversation, but we do get to see the orchestrated run-in he manufactures with the heiress at a dog show, where he brings along his beloved (i.e., stolen) Afghan hound, Abracadabra. They deliver the hard sell to Constance while she mixes and mingles with her dogs, Ferdinand and Isabella, and after Doug is sent off to deal with some doggy business, Joyce manages to win her over. It could also have been Doug’s promise of merchandising, events, and global expansion, but Constance sees the value in Minx and agrees to fund their venture. We end the episode with the group plowing through some kamikazes at a dingy tiki bar.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Shelly (Lennon Parham) and Bambi’s B-story here, because it’s juicy: They had messed around at the end of last season as part of Shelly’s sexual awakening, but then Shelly left Bambi high and dry and went back to her old drudgery. When Bambi shows up at her door this episode, though, it’s quickly on once more, despite Shelly’s initial insistence that it could never happen again. We get to see the aftermath of their afternoon delight as they lounge in the family pantry, musing about cereal-box prizes, until Shelly’s husband, Lenny, blows into the house. He’s home early from his dentist job because some dude bled like crazy during a molar extraction, and while it seems like they got away with their dalliance, it’s awkward as hell. Lenny comes to Shelly later and says that he saw something between her and Bambi, though he seems to naïvely think it’s friendship and thinks she should return to work at Minx. Given how much I love Shelly’s sass and mom energy, I’m all for it.
Reflections of Desire
• We should mention that Minx, the show, also went through a whole lot of drama between season one and season two after HBO Max (now just Max, man …), the streamer that had greenlit and paid for the shooting of season two, decided to drop the show just when it was filming the season-two finale. Max did it for gross tax write-off reasons, but luckily Minx quickly found a spot at Starz, a network I think does a great job making space for shows that aren’t necessarily meant to appeal to every single person living in the world at any given time. Here’s hoping Starz gives it a long enough runway to find an audience — and that everyone figures out that you can add Starz to most streaming platforms pretty easily.
• I like Constance’s advice to Joyce: “If you’re going to be a boss, you should know how to do the jobs of everyone working for you.”
• Bottom Dollar’s failed senior porn endeavors: Silver Sluts, Oldies But Goodies. Doug: “People just don’t want to see gray bush. I don’t know why.”
• I loved Lennon Parham’s delivery of this admonishment to her kids: “The Kiwanis are hardly stupid. You’re talking about one of America’s foremost service organizations!” Bless her heart.
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