Hulu's Maxxx Features a Refreshing Nonbinary Romantic Interest
Hulu's 'Maxxx' Features a Refreshing Nonbinary Romantic Interest
The crude comedy has some groundbreaking representation in a character named Roxx.
The Handmaid's Tale star O-T Fagbenle plays Maxxx, a washed-up former boy-band star desperate for another big break that'll help him win back the love of his life. A few other wacky characters get swept up into his dust storm, including Christopher Meloni as Don Wild, a manipulative and overly-sexual money-hungry record executive.
The series is a rocky rollercoaster ride of emotions as we watch Maxxx's self-destructive attempts to claw his way back into fame, but the truly groundbreaking bit comes from a character named Roxx.
In a typical night of neglect, Maxxx leaves his son Amit to his own devices at an outlandish music industry insider party. Amit waits for his father in the car until an intoxicated Roxx stumbles into the SUV, thinking it's their Uber.
Amit quickly becomes enamored with the glittery, drug-fueled enigma that is Roxx and hops out of the car and follows them into the party, desperate for a chance to interact. It's immediately clear that Roxx's gender expression isn't just androgyny, as their friends only refer to Roxx with they/them pronouns. After some hilariously uncomfortable shenanigans, he ends the night with Roxx's Instagram handle.
The fling between the two plays out like many teenage romances; the awkward boy tries to become cool to get their crush to pay attention to them. But whenever Roxx came on screen, I found myself holding my breath, waiting for some crude jab about their gender.
We're used to seeing scenes where people outside of the gender binary are derided for their gender expression, clothes, or looks, especially when everyone else in the cast is heterosexual and cisgender, so I was waiting for the other shoe to drop from at least one of the selfish and immoral characters on Maxxx.
I was pleasantly surprised that it never came.
Besides a respectful jest from their father, Roxx's gender-identity isn't questioned once, isn't the butt of a joke, they aren't misgendered or derided, and it wasn't open for dissection from the other characters. Roxx is not only allowed to live and express themselves freely, but they're respected. They're confident and powerful, they get to be playful and annoyed, and they have sexual liberty over who they want to date.
It's sad that this is so rare, but we're happy to see Maxxx doing something many comedies fumble.
All six episodes of Maxxx are streaming on Hulu now. Watch the trailer below.