Thursday, March 17, 2022

REVIEW: 'Minx' - Joyce Hopes to Lure in Upscale Advertisers Despite Their Overall Trepidation in 'Au Revoir, Le Double Dong'

HBO Max's Minx - Episode 1.02 "Au Revoir, Le Double Dong"

Doug courts his usual advertisers, while Joyce looks for more conventional companies to do business with. Bambi looks to channel her newfound feminism into a new role.

"Au Revoir, Le Double Dong" was written by Ellen Rapoport and directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg

Joyce walks into the studio with complete confidence. That's her first action in this episode. That suggests she has fully adapted to this environment. As a result, she may no longer be as tentative with the central premise as she appeared in the premiere. It was a hopeful note. She was an active participant in everything happening. She was friendly with the many people who work in this building for Doug. She listens to Bambi's desire to find something more productive to do with Minx. She looks over the photos from the recent shoot. She's excited by how well her vision was executed. She's also happy to hit the road with Doug to lure advertisers in to support their magazine. And then, all the spirit is drained from her eyes while attending those meetings. She sees the blatant sexism that seeks to condemn everything she aspires to do. These aren't the people she wants to be in business with. Now, that's similar to the conflict she faced in the premiere. She didn't want to transform her magazine into eroticism because she thought that would dilute the power of what she wanted. This episode confirms she has successfully made that transition. However, everything will still be driven by her expectations clashing with her reality. She has long had ideas about how this magazine would operate. She is confident with compromise in some situations. However, she's out of her comfort zone in so many ways. She has always stood out wherever she went. That has been part of her life. She doesn't enjoy spending time at the country club. She always endures it because it's the typical thing for a woman of her age to do. Her family has a membership. And so, she must attend. It's the spot to discuss various things in society. It's a place to engage in athletic activities. It's also where she faces sexual harassment. That is prevalent in every aspect of society. She can't escape it. She hopes to create a space that is freeing for woman. She wants to empower others with her words. Bambi is certainly inspired. On set, she wants to better understand the motivations of the people engaged in these sexual acts. The energy is exciting but misplaced. She wants to contribute to the conversation but doesn't quite know how. She has many talents beyond simply being the beautiful girl in the pictures. She simply has to find the best way to deliver all her potential. That's an exciting prospect. One that immediately gives her priority in a narrative that can be sparse in sharing the spotlight beyond Joyce and Doug.

Everything seemingly centers around the sexual awakening of Joyce. She's uncomfortable by the ad offers that come in. She hopes to bring in better products from more lucrative companies. Doug wants that as well. He's simply realistic about which brands will associate themselves with a magazine that features nudity. He has the experience. Joyce is trying something new. It's purely aspirational. It's not wrong for her to want more. She is the one driving this ship. Doug receives the camaraderie of being accepted by the boys club. Joyce is left out of the conversation. Doug will make a deal trading sex for ad placement if Joyce is also fine with it. It's a despicable action. Joyce has always known the president of the country club is a depraved man. He is always commenting on women's bodies and leering at their behavior. He hates that Joyce is using this space to conduct business. It's not a woman's place to be doing so. In fact, everyone wants Joyce to always be the perfect tennis player they have in their minds. She gave up the sport years ago. She did so because she was assaulted by this man. He invaded her privacy when she was just a young teenager. It's sick and twisted. Joyce won't force anyone else to endure that trauma. She understands the weight of that moment. It can cost her so much. It's good for her to always push the boundaries of this business arrangement she has gotten into. That means she also has to be comfortable when things don't work out. She should never be surprised by the behavior of others. The show still gives her those moments though. It wants to make things abundantly clear instead of always just letting them be completely accepting. These emotions are necessary in order to fight the battles ahead. It has to be fun for these characters too. Not much happens as a result of Joyce's friends showing up for this event in costumes from set. They don't fit in. And yet, they still have a good time. Shelly enjoys being with them. Plus, Joyce and Shelly finally get to have a conversation about sexual pleasure. It's something Shelly is much more comfortable talking about than Joyce. But again, it's all about helping Joyce discover herself. That's the pleasure she receives by the end. It's necessary for her own enlightenment. It helps her be a better writer and owner of this business. It can still be rather didactic and overly focused on her when so many other interesting characters exist in this world.