Ophelia Lovibond and Jake Johnson in 'Minx'

HBO Max’s ‘Minx’ Offers a Savvy and Silly Look at Sexuality in the ’70s

5/5 dongs.

Between Love Life, The Sex Lives of College Girls, and Insecure, HBO Max has become the go-to hub for comedies centered on female sexuality. And we would expect nothing less from the network that inspired the genre via their iconic series Sex and the City. The latest entry into the fold is Minx, a snappy new comedy series created by Ellen Rapoport (Desperados).

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Minx follows Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond), an ambitious Vassar grad who is pitching her feminist magazine The Matriarchy Awakens to publishers. Unfortunately, it’s the early 1970s, and Joyce’s passion project is met with glassy stares from the old, white men who run the publishing industry. However, she does capture the attention of Doug (Jake Johnson) a prolific porn publisher who wants to turn her dream project into the world’s first porn magazine for women.

And Doug’s finger is right on the pulse of the zeitgeist. A major plot point of the pilot sees Cosmopolitan magazine breaking the magazine world by publishing their first-ever male centerfold of Burt Reynolds naked on a bearskin rug. The centerfold was such a sensation that it inspired Doug Lambert to launch Playgirl magazine the very next year.


Joyce and Doug enter into a tentative partnership, where they must balance her feminist vision with his desire to upend the pornography market. They’re joined by kindhearted model Bambi (Jessica Lowe), Doug’s savvy assistant (and maybe more) Tina (Idara Victor), and Joyce’s homemaking sister Shelly (Lennon Parham). The cast has terrific chemistry, and the dialogue crackles with a brisk, enjoyable energy. Fans of GLOW and Good Girls Revolt will appreciate the female-driven ensemble and the stylish ode to the era. Minx is also doing its part for nude scene equality, showing dozens of penises in a montage that must surely break the record for the number of dicks on television in a single episode (take that, Euphoria).

Minx is especially engaging when it focuses on the shifting sexual mores of its era. Joyce is forced to confront her own prudishness and prejudices against the porn industry via her own sexuality, while inspiring the staff at Bottom Dollar Publications to aim higher than the average skin mag. She even inspires Doug, who sees Joyce’s polished, preppy image as his ticket to publishing legitimacy.

Lovibond and Johnson have terrific chemistry together, but the series doesn’t seem invested in making them a will-they-won’t-they couple (not yet, at least). And that’s a good thing, as the series find much more to dig into with their work dynamic and prickly partnership. There’s a lot to enjoy with Minx, a smart and highly watchable series, and we’re excited to see where the show goes from here. No doubt there will be plenty of dongs along the way.

(image: HBO Max)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.