This essay was original published at Roxy Reviews and is reprinted here with permission.
Poor Roxy. In the Jem Bible she's made out to be a bit of a goon; Pizzazz's "yes-woman" who obeys commands and hurts those who get in her way. While she's certainly the toughest character on the show, I don't think she is all that bad.
Out of all the Misfits, Roxy is perhaps one with the most justification for anger and bad behavior. Unlike Stormer, who seems to have had a somewhat happy family, or Pizzazz, who at least has had financial comfort, Roxy is an illterate dropout. She was a teenage runaway. Her "family" in Philadelphia is a street gang. More likely than not, she's always had to do for herself and be her own best friend. No wonder she's a tad bitter.
Roxy's runaway mentality can be seen in a number of episodes. When Ashley approaches the Misfits in "Truly Outrageous," Roxy immediately asks her if she has been kicked out. She later tells Ashley "from now on, you're a Misfit." She reacts the worst when Ashley turns on the group, seeing it perhaps as a breach of pack loyalty. As someone else mentioned in another review, when the street kids in "Treasure Hunt" explain their philosophy, Roxy nods in understanding and does not even give them a snarky comment.
Yes, she's illiterate, but is she dumb? I don't think so. As Kimber says in her diary in "The Scandal," Roxy is ignorant, not stupid. She has a good wit and a talent for quips, she is adept at maneuvering machinery and computers, and she can do maths and read music. She puzzles out solutions to the Misfits' schemes and problems on many occasions. And, she's managed to bluff her way through life without anyone discovering her illiteracy--a talent in itself.
I don't think Roxy is dyslexic. When she finally sits down to read, she sounds out the words in a normal fashion. Dyslexia would also interfere with her music-reading--a friend of mine who is a professional singer is dyslexic has to learn all his songs by ear.
Roxy is sometimes said to be afraid of heights, but the only evidence of this appears in "The Music Awards" when she is petrified of the hang glider, and in "The Rock Fashion Book" when she doesn't want to climb through the cave. In the same episode, though, she has a great time on the roller coaster and the ferris wheel, something an acrophobic person probably wouldn't really enjoy. In other episodes she's seen riding cable cars and walking along high rocks ("Adventure in China"), screaming with laughter in small planes and helicopters ("Aztec Enchantment" and "Rock N' Roll Express") and climbing cliff walls ("Island of Deception"). She's even depicted on the roof of the Misfits Music building again, perfectly calm, in "The Jem Jam."
During the first episodes of the show, she really is pretty evil, in line with her characterization in the Jem Bible. Setting off the explosives on the movie set in "Starbright" and locking Ashley in the trunk aren't exactly positive activities. However, after the end of "Starbright," I would argue that Roxy mellows considerably. While she certainly goes along with the Misfits' ideas, we never really see her trying to do direct serious physical damage to anyone again. She calls Shana to harass her in "In Stitches," but it's Eric who comes up with the more nefarious idea of stealing the designs and costumes. In "Adventure in China" she leaves Aja on the cliff, but Jetta would have pushed her off.
Something else about Roxy...in the Jem Bible, it indicates that she steals music from others and passes it off as her own. No evidence of this is ever seen in the show. The only time music is ever stolen is during "...Stolen Album," and that isn't even Roxy's idea. It's clear that Stormer is the group's composer.
I sometimes wonder--and this is just sheer speculation--if Roxy likes the movies. In "Culture Clash" she answers Pizzazz's question about the diamonds with a quote from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: "a girl's best friend!" In "Starbright," it is Roxy who suggests doing a Misfits movie. She likes taking photos ("Rock Fashion Book" and "Scandal"). In "Roxy Rumbles," she has a Marilyn Monroe Hollywood dress after her makeover, complete with diamonds. Her video, "I'm Gonna Change," is very Hollywood, changing from black and white to color and ending with a shot of Roxy on the Walk of Fame with her own star.
ROXY AND STORMER
I tend to go with the idea that Roxy and Stormer have a good friendship. It's not exactly an equal partnership, but I'd still say they were close. Perhaps they are more 'sisterly' than anything else--they depend on each other.
Little Stormer and Roxy friendship bits are everywhere in the series. When Stormer pulls Roxy out of the canal in "In Stitches," she has her arm around her. The two walk closely, arm in arm, to get out of the jungle in "Aztec Enchantment." Roxy and Stormer share a snowmobile in "Last Resorts", leaving Clash with her own vehicle. They are often depicted sitting together, apart from Pizzazz and later Jetta, both in "offical" settings (eg, on the Linzi PIerce show) and at leisure. They work well as a team on pranks ("Truly Outrageous" and "Last Resorts" are good examples) and on occasion team up against Pizzazz ("The Jem Jam"). In the Misfits videos, Stormer and Roxy also appear to have a lot of fun. In both the early and later episodes they are often shown together--not scowling Misfit-style, but smiling and having a ball. Roxy even gives Stormer a piggyback ride at the end of "Gimmie a Gimmick" in "The Jem Jam."
The friendship doesn't seem one-sided to me. When Stormer falls in the wild boar stampede in "Last Resorts", Roxy freaks out. She sometimes seems to snap at Stormer (for instance during the "We're off and Running" video) but she very rarely really goes after her the way she does Pizzazz or Jetta. Even in "The Talent Seach," when band relationships are at their most contentious, Roxy seems to be on Stormer's side. She doesn't make fun of Stormer's real name, and most notably, she doesn't say a word to back Pizzazz or Jetta up when they threaten to kick Stormer out. When Stormer leaves in "The Bands Break Up," she is the only one who doesn't knock Stormer personally. She ridicules Stormer's music, but not the girl herself. Later, she is the only one who doesn't say she hates Stormer, and the first to admit they need her back.
Stormer, by all accounts not a physical character, comes to Roxy's defense at least twice in the series--once during "Rock N' Roll Express" when she hits Jetta with food, and again in "Roxy Rumbles," during the fight in the television studio. If you look closely, she seems to be trying to separate Pizzazz and Roxy, and she's on Roxy's side.
The most telling scenes to me are those in "Roxy Rumbles." Roxy has confided to Stormer that she is illiterate, and Stormer has kept the secret well. Who helped Roxy learn all the Misfits lyrics? It must have been Stormer, unless she learned them by ear after everyone else (which would have blown her cover). The fact that Roxy felt comfortable enough to tell Stormer such a deep secret speaks of a certain level of trust between the two. In the same episode, Stormer is visibly upset when Roxy walks out, and she's also the only one that truly believes Roxy is serious about leaving. She's angry with Pizzazz about it, and she worries that they won't be able to convince Roxy to return.
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