In Paramount+ show Minx, California in the early 1970s is portrayed as a place where binaries clash; men and women, rich and poor, mainstream culture and counterculture. In the shadow of glamorous Hollywood, porn flourishes in the suburbs of LA, and in Berkeley, second wave feminism is brewing.
Against this background of radical cultural change, Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond), an idealistic young writer, is set on getting funding for her radical feminist magazine The Matriarchy Awakens.
Disappointed with the vapid, dating and diet-obsessed agenda pushed by women’s magazines, she is determined to propel them into the future by taking on more serious issues, like pay inequality and reproductive health.
But her pitches fall on deaf ears as she gets rejection after rejection, with the overwhelmingly male publishers she meets turning up their noses at the mention of the dreaded f-word.
Her unlikely saviour comes in Doug (Jake Johnson), an unsophisticated publisher with several porn titles in his roster, his own vision for the future, and an offer she can’t refuse.
He proposes to wrap Joyce’s incisive articles around some more tantalising content, subverting the gaze to make something that has never been done before: a porn magazine geared towards women.
Minx the magazine is a ground-breaking endeavour, soon gathering as many haters as it does fans – and you could say that Minx, the show, has the same potential.
“It comes across as shouty… you gotta hide the medicine,” Doug advises Joyce. And in its own way, the show does exactly that, putting together small pieces that together make a big patriarchal puzzle, hidden behind groovy outfits, a cheeky script and a liberal amount of full-fontal male nudity.
Despite its scandalous subject matter, it’s ultimately a funny, wholesome show that takes its characters on their own personal journeys as they form unlikely relationships with others, and themselves.
With Season 2 on the way, I personally can’t wait to see where Joyce will go next.