The first season of Minx premiered in March 2022 on HBO Max, depicting the fictional story of the rise of the first erotic magazine for women in the 1970s. The show was off to a great start, earning a second season renewal less than two months later, which was then reversed in December in the wake of the Warner Bros.-Discovery merger. Fortunately, Starz stepped in to save the show a short time after that, bringing it back for a wondrously welcome second round that focuses on a transition period as success feels too good to be true.
The season premiere opens with Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond) meeting with numerous potential publishers, all of whom promise the same thing: a marvelous future for Minx with the backing of their brands. She remains unsure of what she wants to do, and enlists the help of Richie (Oscar Montoya) and Bambi (Jessica Lowe) to help her make a hard decision. Doug (Jake Johnson) searches for the next big thing with aimless pitches, and it doesn’t take long for him to realize that being a part of Minx is something that he isn’t ready to give up so quickly despite the events of the season one finale.
It’s nice to see things start out from a different perspective, with Minx no longer the object of protests or judgment but instead a hot commodity that could engage a bidding war. Joyce is initially delighted by the comparisons that executives make between her and Jackie Kennedy, along with other notable female figures from throughout history, but then soon tires of hearing the same speech over and over, robbing it of any remaining flattery. She also knows that they’re saying all the right things but that it may not be nearly as rosy once she signs with a company, and this is the moment for her to make sure she gets exactly what she wants.
The comedy in Minx remains fully on display, and it’s a delight to watch the interactions among all the characters. Joyce gets some unexpected hands-on experience helping Richie on a side job and realizes that she doesn’t actually know what goes into the work that she does, which earns her a reprimand from Constance (Elizabeth Perkins), a new addition to the cast whose role feels like it will be very influential for the season. The illicit romance between Bambi and Joyce’s sister Shelly (Lennon Parham) takes new and interesting turns, and Doug’s efforts to be taken seriously are hampered by the surprising assessment from former colleagues that he’s somehow lost his relatable touch.
Lovibond and Johnson continue to be a formidable duo, playing so well off each other, and what’s missing from the start of the season should surely be back in plentiful form as the two are afforded more scenes together. The supporting cast is simply superb, with Montoya and Lowe knowing just what to add to each scene and how far over-the-top to go without stealing too much of the limelight. Parham is terrific, and another standout is Idara Victor as Tina, who may be the most focused and intelligent player but who doesn’t always get the chance to steer the ship.
With a shortened second season of eight episodes as compared with the first season’s ten, with one new installment premiering each week, it’s already abundantly clear that this show has much more story to tell. To say goodbye after just one season would have been a true shame, and watching the rebuilding and restructuring of this boundary-breaking magazine is immensely entertaining and fun. The costumes and set pieces also don’t disappoint, complementing top-tier writing and an excellent ensemble.
New episodes of Minx premiere weekly on Fridays at 9pm on Starz.