Last night I re-watched the first few episodes of The Maxx for the first time in probably about a decade. It was every bit as strange as I remembered it being. Possibly more so.
There are probably some deep observations I could make paralleling The Maxx and RPGs, talking about escape into fantasy worlds and heroic self-images and such. Instead, I'm just going to say that The Maxx is awesome, in a totally-screwed-up sort of way.
One of my favorite scenes focuses on this kid at a gas station, filling up his car and moping about how nothing interesting ever happens to him. In the previous episode, we saw The Maxx and Mr. Gone (which is a great name, btw) battling on top of the gas station, and this kid's life becomes briefly interesting, if not so pleasant. It was a wonderful innocent bystander moment.
Anyway, it also reminded me of this idea for an RPG that I had a long time ago (and which I don't think I've mentioned in this blog). It was tentatively called In Our Dreams We Are Heroes, and it focused upon people who, when they slept, traveled to an alternate world in which they had incredible powers. The game would play as a (somewhat odd) superhero-type game in that world and a dark, quasi-conspiracy-style game in the "real" world - where the PCs could relate to each other and bond, but most anyone else would think them insane. When I came up with the idea, it was based on A Nightmare on Elm Street III, some novels by Charles de Lint, and assorted other things... but The Maxx actually fits it better than just about anything.