Minx Season 2 Episode 5 Review: A Stately Pleasure Dome Decree

Spoilers

It was a battle of the sexes all over the place on Minx Season 2 Episode 5, which saw the backdrop of the infamous Billie Jean King versus Bobby Riggs tennis match create a real-time divide between the women and men.

While Joyce and Doug were off in Vegas trying to sell the international rights to Minx, Tina was dipping into her fun bag by hosting a party at Bottom Dollar.

And it was messy all around, as Joyce ran into some familiar faces and Tina struggled to keep things under control.

Minx Season 2 has been a mixed bag thus far, as so much of what made the first season fun seems to be missing this time around.

I can’t put my finger on what’s missing, but it lacks some of that charm that made the characters so endearing.

It makes sense, with Minx’s success, for everyone to be engaged in a transition period as they acclimate to their new roles and deal with overnight success. It’s not easy to suddenly have everything you think you want.

Nor is it easy to feel unsteady and unsure about your position in this new paradigm, as Richie and Bambi do.

You have to feel for Bambi because she’s out of her element now and doesn’t have a proper role within the company. She’s desperately looking to find her place at Bottom Dollar, but she’s lost, and no one really sees that.

It’s not as if it’s anyone’s responsibility to, but at the same time, they’re all friends here (which was much clearer in the first season). And Bambi isn’t exactly shy in expressing how lost she is, yet no one seems to be taking it seriously.

Everyone has painted Bambi into this box of who they think she is, and they assume she’s happy and will be fine because everyone loves Bambi and she’s always there when you do end up needing her, but Bambi is confused, and Bambi needs her friends to understand that.

It’s unclear whether Doug ever hired her full-time, so what is she doing at the company?

Tina: Wait, are you shadowing me? Jumped off the Doug bus on to the Tina train?
Bambi: Yes. It’s just you’re always calm in the eye of the storm. And I got so invested in Club Minx. I just want to be cool like you.
Tina: I don’t want to be your role model. I just want to have fun. Why won’t anyone let me have fun?

Here, she followed Tina around, hoping she would rub off on her somehow, but that didn’t exactly happen because Tina was going through her own mini-crisis, and being Bambi’s role model wasn’t something she had time for.

Tina was on this quest for fun during this installment, but I’ve never cataloged her as a character who was unfun per se. She’s a more work-oriented and serious person than others, but that doesn’t make her someone in desperate need of a good time.

When she wasn’t invited to the off-site party, she took that as a personal slight and brought the party in-house. But without Doug or Joyce around, all the responsibility fell on her shoulders, and an awful lot was going on at that party.

Only at Bottom Dollar would there be an impromptu tennis match with rackets attacked to the male genitalia.

Those models were pure caricatures, as they paraded around naked and disparaged women any chance they got.

This was an episode that, outside of the costumes, could have taken place in the present day because a lot of that old-fashioned thinking is still prevalent today.

The whole “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match originated because Riggs, coming off another match in which he defeated a woman, began taunting other female tennis players. So, Billie Jean stepped in, got paid handsomely, and beat the man for the world to see.

But a man taunting women and reveling in his superiority? Where have we seen this before?

We saw it while Joyce was up on that panel, surrounded by men who were the leaders of their women’s magazines, and immediately took the opportunity to pit Joyce and Maggie against one another.

Joyce and Maggie left on strained terms when we saw them back in Minx Season 1, and Joyce wasn’t ready to let bygones be bygones until she saw Maggie floundering under the weight of that panel, which was precisely what Maggie was banking on.

Maggie and George’s sole mission was to get eyes on their magazine, and they knew they could do that through Joyce. It was reminiscent of the last time Joyce saw Maggie, and they argued about how Joyce treated Maggie’s guests, who were only interested in delving into the sordid parts of her life.

She accused Maggie of basking in her reflection, and Maggie decided to take that and spin it on its head.

Joyce teaming up with Maggie and not being against her opened up people’s eyes to Gal, which had a lot of overlapping qualities with Minx. And she knew the only way to get Joyce on her side authentically was to get the other guys thinking everyone was in on the schtick and would play it in a way that benefited them all.

It was actually a pretty intelligent plan, and it almost worked if not for Doug swooping in to point it out to Joyce.

Doug is a lot of things, but he’s not dumb. He saw Maggie’s playbook from a mile away, and his and Joyce’s little chat at the casino reminded me why they can work well together: they balance one another.

Joyce mentioned more than once during this half-hour how valuable Doug can be, and it’s true. They both see things the other doesn’t, and they would have never reached the heights they’ve currently reached without the other.

Buying up Gal should have been exciting for Joyce, but it was another victory that ran hollow for her. And I’m wondering if the current projectory of Minx will ever bring her legitimate joy because it doesn’t seem like it’s what she really wants.

Is she happy Minx is successful? Surely. But with each success, it may be starting to feel like she’s getting away from the central message behind Minx.

With only a few episodes left, we get a little tease here with Joyce believing Doug should lead the international Minx, but what will Constance want? She’s been deferring to Joyce for most things, but this is a major decision.

She seems much more keen on Tina than Doug right now, so is it crazy to think she takes that decision entirely out of Joyce’s hands?

Everything Else You Need To Know

  • Shelly feels like she’s due for some kind of break because she’s hanging on by a string. She and Lenny seem to be doing better, but it doesn’t feel like Shelly is all that cheerful right now.
  • Constance is laser-focused on the business side of the magazine and making money, and you can see little instances where everyone wants to push back but ultimately doesn’t. I think someone will snap.
  • Doug Renetti walking into a casino in a different city and immediately getting punched in the face by someone from his past was totally on-brand for him.
  • I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I need Richie out of Minx. Not only is he not being fulfilled creatively, but he needs to be heard. And he’s far too gracious and talented to be stifled in his current role.

Bottom Dollar and Minx are only getting bigger, but no one seems happier right now!

Let me know in the comments where you think things are headed over the final three episodes of this season and what you thought about this week’s installment! 

Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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