If Minx’s season-two premiere welcomed the magazine’s triumphant, well-funded relaunch, then the show’s very next episode, “I Thought the Bed Was Gonna Fly,” should serve as a reminder that, actually, all is not well at Bottom Dollar Productions — or should I say at BDP. Doug is relaunching the company with a new business-friendly moniker using Constance’s endless coffers and a big, invite-only screening of Deep Throat.
Joyce is dubious about Doug’s suggestion that Deep Throat is a feminist porno; she’s absolutely correct. While screening the movie certainly makes for a good episode — as well as “exactly the kind of cultural happening” that Constance hoped to be a part of — it also feels a little gross. Given when Minx is set, all of this information certainly wouldn’t have been public knowledge, but the show often colors with a bit of a modern brush, so I’m interested in whether there’s more of a message here than “Wow, what a silly porno.” Is this screening (and the later party) an indication that, actually, the general population doesn’t really seem to get what Minx is actually about? And that, maybe, the people who work there don’t even 100 percent understand it?
Only time will tell, really, but in the meantime, “I Thought the Bed Was Gonna Fly” is packed with relaunch drama, including some missing movie reels, an impromptu trip to Robert Evans’s front gate, and a whole bunch of ’70s celebrity name drops. (Red Buttons, Yul Brynner, Alan Alda, the recently departed Alan Arkin, and Ernest Borgnine, to name a few.) There’s also a whole subplot about Joyce’s obsession with the awkward and omnipresent Joan Didion, who’s at the screening just to see what all the fuss is about.
For me, one of the high points, story-wise, of the episode was whatever was going on between Shelly and Lenny. He still doesn’t seem to have a clue about what happened with her and Bambi, and the two really hit it off at the premiere, much to Shelly’s dismay. Later, amid dentist jokes at the afterparty, Lenny pops half of some pill astronauts use to focus as Shelly white-knuckles her way through the whole experience. She seems deeply uncomfortable, most likely because of her deception, but eventually seems to lighten up after Lenny, who is very sweet, tells her that he just wanted to have a little fun together because, clearly, something is going on with her. Richie says he’ll do whatever it takes to figure out their marriage, and the pair sneak off for a quickie in the magazine’s darkroom, which has only recently been vacated by Richie and his Paramount paramour. I’m rooting for Shelly and Lenny to figure it out, but only if that’s what she really wants.
Speaking of couples in trouble: Doug and Tina. She turned down business school at the University Of Chicago to become Minx’s managing editor, and while that does seem like a pretty solid choice on paper, in actuality, it’s turning out to be a total shit show. She’s still running all of Doug’s errands, and while I have no doubt he either loves her or absolutely thinks he does, he’s still treating her like shit. He only really thinks about himself, sending her off on silly errands, and that’s why Tina’s fully justified when she comes slamming into BDP at the end of the episode to tell him off. Hopefully, Doug will hire her replacement soon or something’s going to give in this relationship.
The afterparty seems to do a number on Bambi, too. While she seems initially happy to pass around a silver tray of pills in her capacity as Chief Fun Officer, she quickly realizes that being in charge of fun often means you’re not really having any. She’s bummed out that partygoers are gawking at the magazine’s stash of unsolicited dick pics (“That’s Ray. He has a Purple Heart.”), and she doesn’t want to be everyone’s maid. I hope Bambi finds purpose and peace this season, even if she did like all the old parties better.
The episode ends with Joyce banging out an editor’s letter titled, “Why I Hated Deep Throat And Why It’s Good for America,” which she then pins to the layout board alongside a smart-looking headshot of herself. While it’s certainly nice that she seems to be taking front-page ownership of what she’s created, I do worry that Constance’s money, Doug’s promises, and Minx’s rising fortunes may have created at least a little bit of a monster. Don’t forget where you came from, Joyce!
Reflections of Desire
• Minx glances over what Deep Throat is with some coy clips and plot summaries, and yes, it’s a very goofy movie, but it’s also kind of a troubled one. If you’re really keen on getting into the nitty-gritty, I strongly recommend checking out Karina Longworth’s episode of You Must Remember This about the movie and the rise of “porno chic” culture, but if the hour-plus commitment is just too daunting, all you really have to know is that Deep Throat came out in 1972 and is widely hailed as one of the first porno movies with a plot. Minx sums up the story pretty accurately in that it’s about a woman who discovers her clitoris is at the back of her throat. Still, there’s a whole lot of other backstory about the movie, including some disturbing allegations star Linda Lovelace has made about how she was coerced into appearing in the movie and others. There’s also her disclosure that, despite Deep Throat’s $600 million gross, Lovelace was only paid $1,250, which her allegedly abusive husband then took from her. She later became an anti-porn activist.
• I loved the shot of the girls at the sleepover in Palos Verdes, though I do not doubt that at least a few of those (fictional) gals left that event shook for life.
• When Tina and Richie are heading off to retrieve the reels, Richie asks Doug if he has The Thomas Guide, which is this huge, spiral-bound set of maps that basically every single L.A. resident swore by for decades. I even remember my friends having them when I visited in the early ’00s. Now, everyone uses Google Maps or Waze, but interestingly enough, California legislation requires every police and fire vehicle to carry one, so the company does still sell between 1,000 and 1,500 copies a year.
• No one can really rock a baby-blue set of tuxedo tails like Jake Johnson. It would look absurd on anyone else, but on him, somehow, it works.
• “It’s the little nubbin under the beret.” Ew.