God Save the Queen of Dicks continues after the blazing bonfires of Minx at the local college. Councilwoman Bridget Westbury (Amy Landecker), who tried to shut down Bottom Dollar Publishing in episode 3, has created an action group against Minx. Doug (Jake Johnson) believes that all press is good press and is taking interviews from every newspaper around the country. Joyce (Ophelia Lovibond) is still frustrated that people aren’t seeing her magazine as a means of empowerment, but more as a source of embarrassment. Doug agrees to let Joyce handle one of the interviews and her words get taken horribly out of context by the reporter.
Richie’s (Oscar Montoya) photography has been noticed by Edward Shawn, a prominent gallery owner in West Hollywood. He goes to make good on Edward’s offer to chat, but is overwhelmed and frightened by the prices of the art on display in the gallery. After encouragement from Bambi (Jessica Lowe), Richie takes Edward up on his second offer: a party in the Hollywood Hills. There, he meets painter David Hockney (Laurence Fuller) who calls Richie a pioneer.
The magazine is selling out in cities all around the country, but Joyce is the subject of increasing hate mail. The majority of the series has seen Joyce in a stressed out tizzy, but this is a new level. It sends her back into the bed of her ex-boyfriend, Glenn (Michael Angarano). After spending the night together, Glenn tries to get Joyce to leave Bottom Dollar Publishing. He’s been sitting on a massive inheritance and wants to start his own publishing house with Minx as the lead magazine. Joyce grows immediately angry that only now after she’s proven the success of Minx that Glenn wants to take a chance on her.
The episode ends with Joyce on a misogynistic radio show where she fully embraces Doug’s ideology of not caring what everyone else thinks. It’s exciting to see Joyce finally let loose and fire back. She’s spent a lot of this series either holding her tongue or being misguided, but this radio show feels triumphant. All of the nervousness and regressions in her character led to her being in the right place at the right time with the right experiences to make an impact.
Oh, You’re the Sun Now? You’re the Giver of Life? sees Joyce in New York City, about to be interviewed on The Dick Cavett Show. The strides taken by Joyce are overshadowed by Doug’s meeting with Bill Brunson (Austin Nichols), a football star. Doug wants Billy to be the face of issue three of Minx, but Billy has his reservations because of the “women’s lib crap” and the gay male readers.
Bambi, Richie (Oscar Montoya), and Tina (Idara Victor) watch Joyce’s interview from Tina’s apartment back in LA. Richie finds a vase of roses hidden away and a crumpled note in the trash saying that the roses were from Doug. Bambi expresses her concern that Doug might not be the right guy for Tina because their previous relationship did not end well.
Intercut with the present day are scenes of Joyce’s days working on the New Yorker Magazine with her friend, Maggie (Gillian Jacobs). Joyce had pitched an idea to her editor, whom she was also sleeping with, about misogyny within the liberation movement. She had gone undercover in a liberation group and wrote about how poorly she was treated by these “liberated” men. Without giving Joyce any feedback, her editor passed off her concept to a male writer who didn’t even scratch the surface of what Joyce wanted to expose.
The conversation on The Dick Cavett Show turns sour when Doug is asked to join the interview. It’s heavily implied that Doug had only made Joyce editor in name, but not in power. It’s the same push and pull in the same relationship that is starting to feel exhausting. Had these power grabs and the wrestling of Doug and Joyce’s ideas for the magazine been more spread out, it probably wouldn’t feel like this. It’s getting harder to justify this same conflict returning when so many interesting characters are pushed to the sidelines.
With only two episodes left, Joyce has quit the Minx team. It’s such a stark contrast from where she ended episode seven. Each week, it feels like Joyce takes one step forward only to fall two steps back. It’s to the detriment of Joyce’s character and to the time management of the series. During the radio show in God Save the Queen of Dicks, Joyce alludes to the fact that her sister Shelly (Lennon Parham) has never had an orgasm with her husband. Instead of seeing a conversation between the two of them, it’s just forgotten. Bambi, Richie, Tina, and Shelly account for a lot of screen time without having actual growth and plot lines.
The sheen of Minx is wearing off as the episodes dwindle down. What started as a fun workplace comedy has turned into deja vu with each passing episode. All of these interesting and funny characters have been reduced to circling aimlessly around Doug and Joyce who refuse to maintain their growth episode to episode. Hopefully the final two episodes will remember that Doug and Joyce are not the only characters on the show.
Episodes 1-8 of Minx now streaming on HBO Max.