Minx: A Rich Concept Brought to Life
“The concept is so rich for somebody in my position; to be able to dig in and just help bring it off the page” says Melanie Jones of her work as the production designer on the series Minx.
Carleigh Herbert, the head of the make-up department agreed, saying about her work, “They were looking for someone who could do beauty, special effects and prosthetics, and then once I learned that it was a period piece and that we were going to have nudity, I was super stoked. I’ve been very fortunate to be working on all this wildness.”
Set in 1970s Los Angeles, Minx is about an earnest young feminist who joins forces with a low-rent publisher to create the first erotic magazine for women.
The series, created by Ellen Rapoport, stars Ophelia Lovibond as optimistic editor Joyce Prigger, with Jake Johnson as her ambitious publisher Doug Renetti. Also starring in Minx are Oscar Montoya, Jessica Lowe, Lennon Parham, Idara Victor, and Elizabeth Perkins joins the cast in its second season as Constance Papadopoulos.
Executive Producer Dan Magnante explains the evolution of the series, which recently moved from HBO to Starz, saying, “I remember taking it out to 12 places and leaving every pitch knowing that we would get an offer, and none of them came. Then on the 13th we got it and the thing that was most remarkable about the pitch was not only the world, but Ellen’s approach to it, which was talking about feminism and the politics of the 70s but not in a didactic way. That stuck with me.”
The Role of Music and Personal Relationships
Period appropriate tunes play a key role in the narrative of Minx, explains music supervisor Brienne Rose.
To do this, she points out that her team does, ‘so much introspective work on every single theme, [asking], ‘what is the song bringing? What is it not bringing? What do we want to try here? What are we saying?’
“I think it’s always such a fun challenge because we really want to say something [with the music],” she says.
Delving a little deeper, Rose says in the first season, “One of the concepts that we really focused was that this magazine and these people were underdogs, so we had so many great artists and bands that were mostly underdogs in the first season, like much lesser known people and a lot of female songwriters.”
But, as there is a shift in the storyline moving forward, Rose says, “In season two, we were able to bring in larger artists to mirror what was going on with the magazine.”
Speaking about the depth of the personal relationships displayed in the series, Magnante gives credit to Rapoport and the creative team. “I think it mostly comes down to Ellen’s leadership; the mission statement she sets for the show and how creative and wildly intelligent the writers are. So just imagine what they all come together with the autonomy to bring their own experiences and stories and talk about things that are important to them and do it through the lens of the 70s. With all of this, you get something that is fun, but also impactful.”
The Fun and Feminism of Minx
He says that the emphasis in the second season is in, “moving [Joyce and Doug] into success and seeing how they deal with [that].”
Magnante adds, “I think the other thing that makes the show so fun, especially this season, is putting [the characters] around the pinnacle of movies, television, and music of the 70s.”
Summing it up, Magnante concludes, “So, the show is a lot about feminism, and you’ll see a little bit about capitalism, but it’s also just about embracing the fun of the 70s.”
To further promote the series, Rose adds, “I don’t want to spoil anything, but we have some famous singers doing appearances this season.”
And, if that that’s not enough to entice viewers to watch Minx, Herbert adds that in the second season there is something that she created that she believes, “probably in my entire life, that’s gonna be one of the moments of like, ‘What the hell? How did that happen?’ Like, no creature makeup or anything is ever going to top that.”
‘Minx’ airs Fridays at 9pm ET on Starz and is available for streaming on the Starz app.