This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the TV show being covered here wouldn’t exist.
From what was delivered in Minx’s Season 2 premiere, “The Perils of Being a Wealthy Widow”, I had reservations about certain character arcs’ repetitive nature. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the confidence in Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond) in Minx‘s second episode of Season 2.
“I Thought the Bed Was Gonna Fly” is an excellent display of how adding one player, Constance (Elizabeth Perkins), can completely change the game.”As Doug (Jake Johnson) and his disastrous attempt at a screening of Deep Throat unfold, we’re shown Joyce as she takes the chaos in stride; by the end of the episode, she’s glowing with triumph while Doug is left with the pieces of a life that no longer exists. “I Thought the Bed Was Gonna Fly” is an excellent display of how adding one player, Constance (Elizabeth Perkins), can completely change the game.
Doug is losing his authoritarian role at Bottom Dollar Publishing now that women have stepped up to the plate in high-ranking positions. Despite Doug making these choices in the first place, he seems to be the most negatively affected by the consequences. Most of all, there’s a crippling effect on his and Tina’s (Idara Victor) relationship.
When it becomes apparent that the wrong reels were delivered to the theatre, Doug sends Tina and Richie (Oscar Montoya) to a hot-shot movie producer with the only other physical copy—for his personal, perverted use. The thing is, Doug just promoted Tina, who is no longer his assistant but a managing editor at Bottom Dollar, yet Doug is having a hard time letting his sidekick go. As the episode continues, the showing of Deep Throat is saved by Tina’s delivery of the first reel. Still, when Richie takes longer to deliver the rest of the film, Doug once again sends Tina out to make sure the reels get to the theatre only for Richie to show up shortly after Tina’s left.
The reality of Tina’s absence doesn’t exactly hit Doug until later, and it isn’t until she walks into the publishing house disheveled, having walked most of the way after Doug’s car broke down, that he realizes his mistake. This storyline was clever, impactful and well-executed. Idara Victor’s performance was captivating when she berates Doug over his dismissal of her sacrifices and new leadership role at the company. I hope we see more of Tina in charge and calling Doug out on his bullshit.
This, in combination with acknowledgement from Constance over Doug’s clever manoeuvering with the missing reels, the police earlier that night, and her subtle hint that he doesn’t have to do everything on his own goes to show just how much Doug feels like a fish out of water within the new power dynamics at his company. I’m delighted by this direction in the storytelling.
These first two episodes appear as transitional arcs guiding us into the new Bottom Dollar Publishing and Minx, where the two struggling the most will be Doug and Bambi (Jessica Lowe), the two who flourished the most in the previous system.
What’s interesting about Bambi’s new arc is that her character is gradually depleted of the raging confidence she had in the first season. Her scrappy hippie ways were perfect for the raggedly old Bottom Dollar that grifted in the shadows of the Valley. Still, now that there’s a spotlight on Minx shoving the company into the mainstream, her demeanour is being dismissed by the incoming wave. Worst of all, Shelly (Lennon Parham) is struggling between her home life and her Bottom Dollar life now that her husband, Lenny (Rich Sommer), is trying to stake an interest in Shelly’s life outside their family. This internal crisis between family and desire is chaffing against Shelly’s good nature as we see her talk down to Bambi and behave extremely dismissive of her. Combined with all the other passive disinterest Bambi experiences from Minx’s new crowd, her once bright and hopeful spirit is diminishing.
The sad dichotomy of it all is that Richie is thriving in this environment, and even he appears dismissive of Bambi. Although, how could I be mad at the guy when he’s a Latino gay photographer, the system of power isn’t exactly set up to see him succeed. He finds companionship in the dashing Hollywood executive, acting as Lackie for the one with the Deep Throat reels, as they hook up in the darkroom at Bottom Dollar offices.
I just want everyone to be happy. Shelly, Lenny, and Bambi should become a throuple. Doug should marry Tina and retire while she runs Bottom Dollar—I honestly think Doug is the kind of character who would thrive as officially retired and unofficially running deals on the side. I’m not sure what would make Joyce the happiest, but after a long career as editor and chief of Minx, maybe she can write a few books and run for governor or something.
Although none of this is in store for this season of Minx, I’m sure. At this point, Bambi deserves better than to tag along with a couple who have so many miscommunication issues. Doug is much too stubborn to let go of Bottom Dollar and give it up to Tina. If anything, there’s a high likelihood that Tina will leave Bottom Dollar either for school or a better offer from another company. Despite her growth, Joyce is a long way from being able to commit to a book deal.
What I loved most about “I Thought the Bed Was Gonna Fly” was that the stakes were nowhere near as high as they could be on this show. It never felt like the characters were at a place of losing it all. I enjoyed the comfort and fun of the runaround. Plenty was happening, and yet not much changed. If anything, this episode focused on the emotional consequences rather than the physical or material. It was a subtle leading kind of episode that sets up and prepares you for what’s next, but it didn’t leave us hoping for a conclusion. It was well constructed; simply put, “I Thought the Bed Was Gonna Fly” was a good half-hour of television, and I’m very much looking forward to what is in store for next week.
Feature image courtesy of Starz
'Minx' 2x02 - 7/10