Max Blum

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Max Blum
Max Blum.jpg
Happy Endings character
Portrayed by Adam Pally
First appearance April 13, 2011
(episode 1.01: "Pilot")
Created by David Caspe
Profile
Residence Chicago, Illinois

Maxima Herbert "Max" Blum is a fictional character on ABC television series Happy Endings, portrayed by Adam Pally. The character has received positive reviews for portraying a non-stereotypical homosexual character on prime time television.[1] Max is well known for his outspoken nature and masculine behavior. Pally has expressed his desire to show "America a different side of the gay community."[2]

Max's relationships, however, rarely last more than one episode. His first multi-episode relationship was with Grant (James Wolk), an ex with whom Max reconnected on the one-year anniversary of their break-up.[3]

Character overview[edit]

Max is an outspoken and non-stereotypical gay man. He loves food and hates being in a relationship. He is competitive with a few of his friends and he is incredibly sarcastic. Despite his biting wit, Max gets upset quickly when he is the subject of negative attention, especially in regard to his weight.

Max is slovenly, uncultured, and lazy. This is most evident in his style of dress (which consists of well worn clothing) and his eating habits. He is unemployed and unmotivated to find any type of work.

Storylines[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Max is introduced at the wedding of Alex and Dave, as one of two of Dave Rose's groomsmen. Later, at his best friend Penny's birthday bash, he constantly hints that Penny's date, Todd, is closeted. In the second episode, Max introduces Penny to Derek, a stereotypical gay guy who seems to be the kind of gay best friend Penny wants. After Penny "breaks up" with Derek, Max comments that Penny is already gay enough for the both of them, calling her his "gay husband". In the third episode, Max and Dave discover that one of Alex's dates has been using their crawl space as an apartment/painting studio.

Max's first major gay storyline comes in the fourth episode, when Penny informs him she cannot be his “beard” at dinner with his parents and then encourages him to come out to them. Max then asks Jane, who also turns him down and agrees that he needs to come out. Dave agrees that he should tell them, but promises to be there for moral support. At dinner, when Max's father asks where Penny is, Dave says that they broke up. Max then tells his parents that breakups are still difficult for Dave, to which Max’s mother responds that she understands and that she is okay with Dave being gay. Max reveals that he had told them Dave was gay in order to explain some porn they had found in his room. Dave tells Max he has to tell them, but just as Max starts to do so, Jane arrives pretending to be his girlfriend, kissing Max to prove they're a couple. Later, Max tells Jane that his parents had to leave earlier than expected. However, Jane learns from Penny that they are still in town. Max explains that his parents didn’t like her. Later, Max asks Alex to be his pretend girlfriend. Dave tells Max that his parents don’t think he is gay and that he should leave things as they are, but Max replies if he doesn’t show that he is taken, his parents will continually try to hook him up. Max meets his parents again and is about to come out when Jane arrives and asks why they don't like her. Brad sees Max kissing Jane, and Max has to admit that Jane is not his girlfriend. Then Alex arrives and Max pretends to be with her, but when Dave says her name, Max’s parents are shocked that Max would date Dave’s ex-girlfriend. Max’s dad says that he misses Penny. Just then, Penny walks in and says that she was finally getting into Hitler (she was dating a man named Douglas Hitler) but that apparently she is too much of a Nazi for him (referring to an earlier joke). Max’s dad asks what Max is into and Max finally comes out. His mother says that what matters is that he is happy, and they hug him. Later, when Max’s parents try to hook Max up with guys they know, Dave says that Max is taken and kisses him. The next day, Max poses as Jane’s husband to get into a country club, but their plan falls short when they can’t name their marina.

In the fifth episode, Max, Dave and Alex become obsessed with Nerf guns and decide to shoot the creepy man across the street through his window, accidentally starting a fire. The gang feel guilty until they learn that an elderly woman had been trapped in her room for days and would have died had the firemen not evacuated everyone. Feeling like a hero, Max tries to flirt with the firemen.

In episode six, the second gay-centric episode, Brad sets Max up with his co-worker Franklin, but the date is a disaster. When Brad says he had thought they would hit it off, Max calls Brad a “gaycist”, arguing that Brad thinks that all gays are the same. Brad claims he cannot be gaycist because he is friends with Max, but Max disagrees. However, when Max uses the “you people” line, Brad calls him racist. When Brad tells Jane about their argument, Jane agrees that Franklin is not a good pick for Max, at which point Brad confesses that he chose Franklin because he is gay. But Brad decides to find something in common between the two of them. The next day, when Max meets Brad at the bar, Franklin comes up and pretends to like the things that Max likes. Max says he should give Franklin another chance, and Brad says he will set it up. Later, Brad coaches Franklin on what Max likes when Max comes in with a black woman and says that she is perfect for Brad because all black people are the same. Brad finally admits that he is a “gaycist”.

In the seventh episode, Max and Jane decide to make it a competition to see who would better outlast a zombie attack. Jane proves the faster runner, but Max proves able to sit still the longest, deliberately spilling a beer knowing that Jane will feel compelled to clean it up. The final contest is ruthlessness, but they can’t figure out how to manage this. But later, the whole gang is leaving a hipster party in Dave's truck when the hipsters come after them looking for food. Max and Jane treat the hipsters like zombies and agree that they both have useful skills for surviving a zombie attack--just before Jane pushes Max out of the truck and declares herself the winner of the ruthlessness contest.

In the eighth episode, Max blows off a cute British guy named Adrian for trivial reasons. Jane thinks this is just another example of her friend dismissing someone before even giving him a chance. Max agrees to go on a date with the guy but then stands him up. But, Jane suggests to Max the possibility that perhaps Adrian stood up Max. Max and Jane head down to the place where the date was supposed to take place. The bartender knows Adrian, but says he hasn't seen him this evening. He suggests they check out a nearby theater that specializes in showing good bad movies. Showgirls is playing at the moment, so Adrian may be there catching one of the best truly bad movies of all time. As it turns out, Adrian didn't stand up Max. He waited outside the restaurant like a gentleman. When his date didn't show, Adrian opted for a bad movie night. This has Max thinking that maybe he should get to know people better before blowing them off. Of course, when his next date shows off his brand new braided belt, Max heads for the hills. Maybe he and his friends can still catch the last screening of Showgirls.

In the ninth episode, Max is appalled that a chain store like Nick's Coffee & Tea has infested the neighborhood. He joins forces with Alex in a community effort to shut the place down. In other Max news, he starts dating a great guy named Ian, who just happens to be the owner of Nick's Coffee & Tea. In lieu of a Truckie Awards after-party, Dave cruises all of his friends over to Nick's Coffee & Tea where Max makes an impassioned plea for forgiveness from Ian. It plays out like a version of that bookstore scene from Notting Hill. Max is just a guy standing in front of guy who would like a second chance…as long as they can keep things loose and casual. In the tenth episode, Max tries to get Dave to embrace the change that's befallen him. It won't be easy. A way-drunk Dave has a rather pessimistic view of the future. He feels life would be different if he was more like Steven Seagal. He wants to find the guy who rollerbladed into his wedding and put him Under Siege. An intoxicated Max thinks it's a great idea to go Out for Justice. If only they knew where to find rollerblade guy. Dave and Max break into Alex's shop (they are obviously Above the Law) to track down rollerblade guy's info. His name is Bo and he lives with his mother. It's hard to go Seagal on a guy with his mom in the next room. Bo is very apologetic and seems to be just as heartbroken as Dave. This makes it even harder to leave Exit Wounds on the dude. Max can't take all the bleeding heart conversation, so he sucker punches Bo. Dave is shocked, then he's scared once he realizes Bo is more Seagal than the two of them will ever be. In other words, Bo knows jujitsu. In eleventh episode, whilst at a concert with his friends, Max goes backstage to confront Penny's crush, Tommy. Max sneaks into the band's dressing room to tell off Tommy. In truth, he's a huge Barefoot Pedaler fan. At least, he was until he saw what Tommy did to his friend. Of course, that doesn't stop him from trying to steal the shirt off the bass player. Sadly for Max, security still has their tasers set for stun. In the twelfth episode, Max has been asked to officiate Shershow's wedding. The fact that he never had a minister's license before freaks out Jane since Max also officiated her wedding. Well, he "unofficially" officiated her wedding. Now Jane wants get married right after Shershow says "I do." His nuptials just happen to fall on her sham anniversary. Jane cordially invites her friends to a re-wedding! Max bets his pals 20 bucks that he can make them weep at the wedding ceremony. Max aces his ceremonial duties by making everyone cry with his words. That's 20 bucks he gets from each of his pals! In the season finale, Max and Brad can't take watching Penny getting walked all over by her assistant anymore, so they confront Ri-Ri in the disguise of company security. She cracks and decides it's best to quit... after a heartfelt apology to Penny, of course.

Season 2[edit]

In the season premiere, Max accidentally stabs Brad with an oyster-shucking knife and Jane gets covered in shellfish. She's highly allergic. Penny saves the day by yanking out Brad's blade, injecting Jane with an epi and dousing a hysterical Max with a bucket of ice water. Later, Brad blows off Max during movie night to hang with a few of his black friends. One of the men in this other group is like a black Max. Just call him Blax, a guy who quickly realizes that Max is the friend Brad refers to as White Daryl. This leads to a heart-to-heart where Brad admits that he didn't tell Max about this other crew because he gets all crazy whenever he feels excluded from something. At Penny's housewarming party, Max brings a group of gay guys to the bash just to show up Brad also leads to some awkward moments. The two friends eventually have a chat where Brad assures Max that he'll always be the Riggs to his Murtaugh. In the second episode, Max is having money woes. Renting out Dave's room to German tourists while he's out of town is not the answer. The guy needs a job. There are only two men whom he could possibly work for in the city of Chicago. Since Scottie Pippen currently has no need for a sassy butler, that leaves Dave. They'll be the dream team, just like Tom Cruise and Bryan Brown in Cocktail, except with steak sandwiches instead of Alabama Slammers. After the finest music montage to "Hippy Hippy Shake" since the one in the aforementioned Razzie Award-winning film, Max must get down to work on the food truck. Unfortunately, work is not his strong suit. Neither is customer service, as he drives away clientele left and right. This leads to a heated argument that ends with Dave firing his best bud. Coughlin's Law: Never hire a friend to make steaks; it'll always end in a beef. Later, Max apologizes to Dave. He sells his collection of Beanie Babies to buy a bitchin' 1984 limo to taxi people around town. He ends up making enough loot to pay the rent. Max isn't about to let the fact that limo drivers need to be specially licensed and bonded slow him down. He follows the mantra of another hit song from the Cocktail soundtrack—"Don't Worry, Be Happy."

In the third episode, Max takes advantage of tourists by cruising them around Chicago in his really old limo for the low, low price of 60 bucks a head (80 if the head is larger than normal). Too bad this particular tour guide doesn't know a lot about the Window City. That's not a typo. Max says Chicago's original nickname was the "Window City," but they changed it to avoid a conflict with Omaha. Brad and Jane (playing the part of Nebraska tourists) verify his claim. Later on, Max gets a tad greedy once the cash starts rolling in. He figures he can do the limo thing without the help of his plants. But without Brad and Jane backing his story, Max's tours take a total wrong turn. He begs Brad and Jane to do their improv act once more. In the fourth episode, Brad is having a tough time relating to his super stoic boss, Mr. Forristal. The guy's always walking around with food on his face! The only thing that impresses Forristal is Max's limo. Soon Brad is hanging with the big boss as his pal cruises them around town. Max is unhappy with this arrangement until he and Forristal become chummy. The boss was impressed after Max told him about all that food plastered across his face. Max and Forristal pal around while Brad is shuffled away to do busy work. Needless to say, this causes a bit of a rift between the two friends. It doesn't last. Max won't be hanging around the office much anymore. Apparently, he misread a moment while alone with Forristal. But Max was able to tell the boss man what a great guy Brad is before he got fired from that job he never really had.

In the fifth episode, Penny's boyfriend of three weeks dumps her after she asks him to be part of a "couples" costume. Max volunteers to be her baby. It's the only way he can get into the party since his Lady Gaga meat suit went bad. At the bash, Penny meets a great guy dressed like Abraham Lincoln. Honest! They hit it off immediately, but it's hard for them to get any alone time with baby Max dangling by Penny's belly. The slow dances are truly awkward. Things get even more complicated when Max meets a guy he likes, too. They need to split up. The only way to do this is if Max dons the one-piece bathing suit Penny has on underneath her outfit. Max and Penny later dismember, and Max's win the prize for best dressed in Penny's red bathing-suit. In the sixth episode, Max's high school girlfriend, Angie, has moved to Chicago. A jealous Penny says, "She's the high school girlfriend. I'm the college girlfriend. It's a clash as old as The Clash. I have to hate her." Yet Penny enthusiastically welcomes Angie into the group. It's all part of her diabolical plan to make this woman believe she actually likes her. She's even thinking of buying Angie a $200 accent rug. Yes, Penny is pure evil. Penny may not like Angie, but Dave sure does. This disturbing turn of events has Max invoking "the code." It's the unwritten rule that dudes don't date other dudes' ex-girlfriends, even when one of the dudes in question is gay. Dave doesn't buy it, so Max lays a passionate kiss on Alex. Message received. Dave will back away from Angie. That's the good news. The bad news is that sloppy smooch has Alex crushing on her gay friend.

The code war gets taken to the next level when Max gives his roomie a home permanent while he was sleeping. Penny thinks a curly-haired Dave looks like Keri Russell after she ruined Felicity. It's a spot-on observation. Later, Dave realizes that the code isn't really about sex; it's about his pal's broken heart. This code war is officially over, as is Alex's infatuation with Max after witnessing his disgusting, shirtless eating habits.

In the seventh episode, Dave's Steaktanic idea sinks fast. His next move is to do a commercial. Max wants to direct since he has experience. He says, "You remember my award-winning short film I did in college, Dogleg Right — the gripping tale of a semi-professional golfer who had his leg amputated only to have it replaced by that of his beloved German Shepherd?" Dave decides to hire a pro to do his very first commercial. It doesn't turn out well. At this point, he has no choice but to give Max a shot at directing the spot. The second commercial is a moving portrait of a man who discovered a love for Chicago street food after sharing a hot dog with his dad. This remarkably stirring commercial makes absolutely no mention of steak sandwiches or Dave's truck. Hey, at least he and Max learn they were able to reunite a young man with his estranged father through their ad. Now the two strangers are off to get a hot dog somewhere else.

In the eighth episode, Max is freaking because he must watch his brother's kids for the next three days. This is a huge problem. Max has a blistering hatred for children and all their creepy, tiny features. This looks like a job for Aunt Penny. Kids love her! Well, not these kids. They get really scared out when Pen takes them to a downright disturbing doll museum. The items were hand-crafted with real human hair and teeth! Max gets free tacos for life at a Mexican food joint because he had their logo tattooed on the side of his body. The kids are impressed by this. They love their Uncle Max. This drives Penny crazy. She's desperate to have the children love her, too. She dresses up as Princess Penny from the Palace of Chicago and puts on a puppet show featuring Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Nothing works. The kids still prefer Max. Max explains that the reason the children flock to him is because he treats them like adults. Uncle Max keeps it real. Unfortunately, he keeps it a little too real. When the kids get uneasy hearing about Max's theories about what happens when you die, Princess Penny swoops in to save the day. She tells the kids tales of a heaven where you can eat free tacos all day long even if you don't have a tattoo. Sounds like a nice place.

In the Ninth episode, Penny needs someone to play Santa for a charity clothing drive. Max is jazzed strap on his best chunky belt to portray jolly St. Nick. Actually, he probably won't be all that jolly since he hates holidays and kids. On the bright side, Max does love making extravagant promises he can't fulfill. Plus, the $500 the job pays will be a welcome Christmas gift. Max gives a rather lackluster performance as Santa until a young boy's selfless attitude melts his cynical heart. He's amazed at the effect he has on people while in his red and white suit. Max's mere presence stops a young thug from stealing Penny's purse. The mugger just couldn't do something like that in front of Santa. So he accosts another lady a little farther down the block. It's a Christmas miracle! Max is overcome with the Christmas spirit. The kids sitting atop his lap often bring him to tears. Then a local cop wants to bring him into police custody after Gita accuses him of stealing her bonus money. Jane knows that she must stop this miscarriage of justice, so she tells the officer that Max didn't steal the money. The real culprit is Brad. Eventually, Jane comes clean and no one gets arrested. But Gita still gets to go to Turks and Caicos. In the tenth episode, Max and Jane both calls dibs on a sweater that Penny found at her place. There's only one way to determine the rightful owner. Each must pick out a hideous outfit the other must wear. The person who takes off his or her ugly ensemble first loses. Let the bad fashion games begin! When Max dons his outfit, he's an odd vision in white with suspenders, a fluffy hat and a picture of Princess Di on his tight t-shirt. Jane looks like an extremely hippie version of Carol Brady. There's only one way to end this competition. They place a call to the fire department, as neither of them can resist looking hot for firemen.

In the eleventh episode, Alex is lonely, so she gets a parrot from Craiglist. His name is Tyler and he's a racist/homophobic little birdie. But the big news of the day is that suspicious middle-aged white guys are always going into Hop Sing's, the Chinese restaurant across the street. Alex, Max and Brad do a stakeout where they see lots of Asian women entering the place. They conclude that Hop Sing's is front for an illegal sex ring. Alex, Max and Brad go undercover just like they do on The Wire. They eat lots of Chinese food until they see a guy they believe is there looking for sex. In reality, this suspicious middle-aged guy is just teaching an "English as a Second Language" class in the back room. This embarrassing incident spurs Max to admit that he's never actually seen The Wire.

Season 3[edit]

Reception[edit]

The character has received positive reviews for portraying a non-stereotypical gay character on prime time television.[1] Ed Kennedy, writing for the gay-interest website AfterElton.com, claimed that Max might be a starting a new trend of slacker gays.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Joshua Lyon (December 14, 2011). "Happy Endings Is the Most Important Gay Show on TV Right Now". Huffington Post. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Is Max the Kevin James of 'Happy Endings'?'". The Insider. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Jim Halterman (14 January 2012). "ABC Scoop: "GCB" Banks On The Gays, Max's New Romance on "Happy Endings" and Dawson's Gay Assistant". AfterElton. Retrieved January 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ Ed Kennedy (18 October 2011). "Gays Weird Out Guy Fieri, Joe Manganiello's Revealing "Magic Mike" Tease, and Wilson Bethel Gives a Shirt". AfterElton. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 

External links[edit]