Christopher Meloni has spent his post-"Law & Order: SVU" years starring in increasingly quirky and unexpected projects. In the Channel 4 series "Maxxx," (which debuts in the U.S. today on Hulu), an almost unrecognizable Meloni plays Don Wild, the former manager of a washed-up former boy band member hoping to get back into the limelight.
O-T Fagbenle plays Maxxx, whose girlfriend (supermodel Jourdan Dunn) has left him, his career is over and the only friend he has is a son Amit (played by Alan Assad), whom he adopted when he was a superstar.
Maxxx has a fairly insane plan to get the band Boy Town back together and he's so desperate he turns to help from cousin and superfan Rose (Helen Monks, "Raised by Wolves") whom he hires as his personal assistant and social media manager. Rose is so unstable that back when Maxxx was a star, he had to file a restraining order against her. But when you're desperate, you'll do desperate things.
Desperate includes Maxxx frantically asking a favor from his ex-manager, whom he claims owes him a favor ("I swallowed a condom of mescalin for you on the way to Burning Man!"). Wild returns the favor by enlisting Tamzin (Pippa Bennett-Warner), a budding music industry type who is currently managing a French group named Le Mec. Wild wants her to find a way to reunite the band. A task made much more difficult when one of the trio, Lucky (Javone Prince), dies.
"Maxxx" is a bit like "Absolutely Fabulous" on crack. Maxxx is a truly loathsome character, but that's offset by his ability to nearly always make the wrong decision. Meloni is hilarious as the seedy manager and opposite some impressive acting, Pippa Bennett-Warner steals the show by managing to be wide-eyed and accepting of the chaotic situation while also not coming off as dense or unaware.
One of the sweet spots in British television are these insanely dark and unapologetic comedies that somehow manage to be endearing and cringe-worthy all at the same time. "Maxxx" is one of those shows and when it's over, you'll find yourself wishing there were more than six half-hour episodes.
"Maxxx" premieres in the U.S. July 28th, 2020 on Hulu.