What We Love: The Gay Guy on Happy Endings

He bucks the stereotypes in this new prime time comedy

Max Blum is played by Adam Pally on Happy Endings (courtesy of ABC)

Max Blum isn’t like a lot of gay characters you see on television. He’s neither swishy nor effeminate. He shares a loft with a straight dude. And he doesn’t channel Paul Lynde, like, ever. In fact, he’s more into sports, beer and video games – than reciting lines from Mommy Dearest. And while we fell in love with “Just Jack” on Will & Grace way back when, it’s nice to see a smattering of more diverse gay characters on TV – and that Hollywood is starting to take notice of the community’s diversity – these days (hello, Modern Family). Not every gay man, after all, has a thing for leather chaps or showtunes – not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Blum, a character on the Gen X-inspired TV show Happy Endings on ABC, is played by Adam Pally, a New School grad and character actor who’s appeared in a handful of shows and films, usually taking on unnamed characters like “douchey guy” and “bookstore crier,” so says IMBD. But Pally has started making a mainstream name for himself on this sitcom about young adults navigating relationships, work and a sometimes incestuous circle of dysfunctional friends.

In one episode this season, the character of Penny describes Max as “a straight guy who likes dudes.” Aptly put.

Pally – in playing Blum – doesn’t spend a lot of time pulling gay male stereotypes out of his hat, and the character himself doesn’t really discuss gay issues in a serious way. He’s looking for love, sure, but he’s mostly just one of the guys. Blum’s silly, sometimes quite lazy, and a little awkward. It can take awhile to figure out he’s even gay – even if casually flirting with another guy in a bar scene pretty much gave it away.

And while the show itself struggles with trying too hard, using overly snappy dialogue between these 20 and 30 somethings – sexuality isn’t a big deal for any of the characters written into the show, especially Blum. He has a lot in common with most aging single people looking for a date. All the characters are somewhat dysfunctional, if not occasionally endearing. And they all have their share of issues – not just the gay guy.

And that sure seems to mirror what goes on in many of our everyday and – dare we say it – sometimes boring lives.

In this week’s “very special” Halloween episode, two of the straight characters were mistaken for being gay and, yep, they were fine with it. In fact, when one of the women was mistaken for being not only gay, but also a drag queen, she embraced her inner diva and entered a drag contest, coming in a close second to, you guessed it, Blum. He was wearing an ugly red women’s bathing suit, an abundance of chest hair and not a single fake eyelash.

The show itself may not be long for this world (the upside: at least it doesn’t have an awful laugh track like Whitney), but we’ll enjoy seeing Max Blum for as long as he stumbles into our living room each Wednesday as a sometimes unaware, mostly just ordinary, gay guy we swear we knew in college.

Watch the latest Halloween episode by clicking here.