**This article contains spoilers for HBO Max’s Minx.**
HBO Max seems to be hitting it’s stride when it comes to original comedy series, thanks to both the critical and commercial success of shows such as The Righteous Gemstones and the Emmy Award-winning Hacks. Minx, a fictitious take on the origins of the first women’s erotica magazine, continues the tradition with a refreshing take on what it was like to be a woman (and a queer individual) in the 1970’s.
The series stars Ophelia Lovibond as Joyce Prigger, a feminist living in Los Angeles who is looking to leave her mark in the magazine world by peddling a well-meaning, but dry, feminist-centric publication. She ultimately forms an unlikely alliance with Jake Johnson’s Doug Renetti, a renowned porn publisher who sees the promise in Joyce’s work, to create the world’s first female erotica magazine, Minx. The two take the magazine publishing world by storm, with Joyce in charge of the editorial side and Doug handling the male models and centerfolds.
As simple as the premise is, the show –like Minx the magazine itself– is a Trojan horse of sorts. You may have come for the plentiful, yet tasteful, male nudity shock value, but you’ll end up staying for the shared life lessons and friendships that develop between the stellar cast of characters. Joining Lovibond and Johnson are: Jessica Lowe (The Righteous Gemstones) as Bambi, a centerfold who is yearning to reach her full potential while keeping her clothes on; Idara Victor as Tina, Doug’s righthand woman; Oscar Montoya as gay head photographer Richie; and Lennon Parham as Shelly, Joyce’s supportive, yet repressed, sister.
At just ten episodes, the entire first season of Minx goes down as an easy and enjoyable binge. The writing is sharp, the chemistry between the cast crackles, and the costumes are to die for. While there’s a lot of glitz and glamour that to the series, at it’s core it is a great commentary on both the inward and outward struggles everyone faces in their lives –but especially women, POC, and the queer community– and the uphill fight everyone goes through to in order to make their dreams a reality.