Sunday, August 23, 2015

Superhero Media: The Maxx (TV Series)

I recently finished watching the entire The Maxx MTV series from the early 90s; I found it on a streaming site and having only seen a couple of episodes in the mid 90s, thought I'd give it a fair run. Most episodes run about ten minutes and there are only thirteen in total, so you can mash it out in an afternoon if you're keen. Just be warned, The Maxx is not really about superheroes, it's about therapy. I'm actually glad I didn't start watching The Maxx until I started studying Counselling, so that I had a decent grounding in Psychology first. The Maxx is about dysfunctional relationships, psychological defense mechanisms and the fringes of sanity, there is one big fight scene between Maxx and Mr Gone early on, but anyone expecting big Supers action will be disappointed. 

My enthusiasm for getting a Maxx mini for Ultimate Alliance has waned. He's not really a hero, he's a crazy homeless guy trying to find his lost memory and identity, both of which are linked to Julie, his Social Worker. For those interested in postmodern interpretations of Freudian psychoanalysis in a narrative format, The Maxx is probably worth a look. Points of view are demonstrated through different animation styles and shifting narrators prevent too much stagnation of, what is, a bit of a plodding story at times. 

When the Maxx or Julie are in the Outback, there are some bigger action pieces, but these are mostly about servicing the Id and breaking down defense mechanisms around painful memories. Despite the name, the Izz aren't related to the Id, but rather are manifestations of Anxiety, which is why they are devious and hidden in the real world, but stupid and easily overcome in the Outback. I had assumed, at first, that the Outback was the unconscious, but now I think it has more to to with the Superego, especially for the Maxx, as it is the place where he must be responsible for Julie, an inversion of the real world.

1 comment:

  1. Maxx was a great series, very deep psychological thinking in it...