Updated: Sep 15
Warning: this review contains spoilers for Season 2 of Minx.
Originally a Max Original, Ellen Rapoport's TV series Minx was canceled by Warner Bros. Discovery just as shooting wrapped its second season. Luckily, the Minx team and its fans didn’t have to worry long, as Starz picked it up a month after the announcement (and thankfully, my mom pays for Starz).
Beginning on July 21st, the series again rolled out on a weekly basis until September 8th. As with last season, the next one is not promised, and I am marginally less hopeful that it’ll be renewed this time around. Although a wilder ride than the previous season, the show has lost some of the magic and momentum that had been accumulated.
Granted, that lost momentum is due to the way season one ended. Minx (Joyce, Ritchie, and Bambi) splitting from Bottom Dollar Publications (Doug and Tina) took the show back to square one: a magazine with no publisher. But within the first episode of season two, Joyce and Doug kiss and make up, and Bottom Dollar and Minx are back together. Pockets empty from the fallout, their saving grace takes the form of Constance Papadopoulos, a pioneering ex-CEO and widow who has money to spare and is looking for a new project. By episode three and after a six-month time jump, Minx is once again a revolutionary and profitable publication.
This setup for the following six episodes felt rushed and inconsistent with the series as a whole. Change happens simply because it must in order to get from point A to point B. The trust that was gradually built and then lost in season one is now merely a small bump in the road. As a viewer, it was difficult not to envision the other paths the writing could’ve taken to stay true to the foundation of Minx. But with the showrunners working only one season at a time, this restraint points to why the story felt rushed. Worst of all, each episode is only half an hour long. This is my formal petition to make Minx longer —longer episodes and longer seasons. The show is operating on sitcom runtime while the writers seem to want to cover deeper themes and utilize its ensemble cast more.
Out of the group, Ritchie and Bambi’s shared arc of feeling underappreciated ironically yielded the least amount of screen time. There’s untapped potential in Ritchie’s queer photography being shut down by '70s homophobia and Bambi being oversexualized and underestimated. They previously offered what the rest of the team lacked to make Minx a success, but in season two, they’re given less to do and feel more like accessories both within the magazine and the show. While we get to see the other characters outside of work, we rarely see Ritchie or Bambi outside of Bottom Dollar’s warehouse. However, with Ritchie pushing to cater more towards their gay readers, it asks how much space queer people should have in a forward and feminist magazine. It’s something that is relevant today and provides a frustrating reminder of how the first season was willing to ask harder questions like this.
This season, the Prigger sisters got the most screentime and growth. Both women explored their sexualities more, as they had a history of finding one man and settling down. Shelly, who married shortly after graduating high school, dons the alter ego of Bella LaRoux. With her husband, she hosts “dinner parties,” inviting other couples in the neighborhood, swapping spouses, and dipping a toe into BDSM. This arc provided the most comedic scenes of the whole series, and if the show was just Shelly’s kinky shenanigans hidden in suburbia, I would still watch fervently. Shelly continuously subverts the expectations of a '70s stay-at-home mom, and her shedding conventions feels like a win for all.
Joyce also receives a transformation in the form of a clichéd (but enjoyable) step into the world of beauty and fashion. The hair gets bigger; the drab pantsuits are swapped for chic dresses. She also takes more control of her sexual agency. At the start of the series, she had only seen “two and a half” penises. It’s safe to say that she’s witnessed more now. Her growth from an uptight, scholarly think-piece writer has shot to the other end of the spectrum, culminating in a domineering pose on the cover of Rolling Stone. While inciting a sexual revolution, she’s become a sex symbol at the encouragement of the world around her and what’s expected of her. The character development that viewers did get to see was either oddly inspiring or crushingly relatable, garnished by Ophelia Lovibond's comical delivery. I only wish we had more of it.
When the finale ended, I felt satisfied overall. The gang is back together with a strong and present obstacle. I’m ready for more, but I also can’t help but feel that we didn’t get out of this season without a few losses. Minx is not quite what it used to be: a simple tale of a square journalist entering a dirtier, grittier world to launch an underdog magazine. The show must evolve, but the growth and pace keep gaining speed. It’s unclear where the characters will emotionally go from here, but I’m trusting the process that this is all part of the plan.