In the ADD-addled world that is the 21st century, television shows are defined by their characters. It's not enough to keep the narrative momentum of a series churning forward, superfans want their worlds filled with rich, fully realized characters.
Every week, we at Blursto will take time out to identify a show that has gone the extra mile and created a secondary character that's as entertaining as any lead.
Character Profile: Max Blum
Actor: Adam Pally
Show: Happy Endings
Occupation: Slacker, occasional limo driver, commercial director, sandwich truck employee
I did that double spit take to illustrate how insane you sound right now?
I'm not at a point in my life where I can be taken seriously.
Watching these people makes me feel like I have my life together. -watching Room & Hoard
It's a slippery slope, alright? You let one guy in who likes Dave Matthews Band, the next thing you know you?re playing Frisbee Golf and taking it really seriously.
Happy Endings is, to most people, that show after Modern Family with the one gay guy and all those attractive people. While that's all true, it?s also a nearly criminal undersell.
With a stacked cast and a blink-and-you-miss-two-jokes pace, Happy Endings has blossomed over into a wacky, hilarious comedy that generates more laughs than anything else on ABC--except for Work It (RIP), but that goes without saying.
While it's an ensemble show at its core, Happy Endings owes a lot its big laughs (and subsequent modicum of success) to one man: Max Blum.
Max is the gang's resident gay member, but in a refreshing twist, the show doesn't beat you over the head with it. Max's sexual orientation is just another trait, not necessarily what defines him (in fact, his laziness is what defines him).
So instead of having a gay slacker, he's just a slacker who happens to be gay. The show makes no attempts to shy away from it, either. His sexual proclivities are mentioned along with everyone else's and no one bats an eye. It's refreshing to see a gay character so comfortably entrenched with a group of straight people, although as Max points out, Penny is already his "gay husband."
Max's lack of ambition and poverty-borne hijinks provide most of the laughs, whether he's driving an unlicensed limo or staging an inter-Veen-tion for Dave's addiction to V-necks.
Max can be paired up with every other character on the show, and while that storyline usually takes on a higher level of silliness, it's still completely enjoyable and often one of the highlights of the show.
Max is played by Adam Pally, who most importantly sports an Imdb picture with Shaquille O'Neal. An alum of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, Pally has an improv background that makes sense in the frenetic world of Happy Endings.
He's also been featured in videos on Funny or Die, and has a couple of classic appearances on the Comedy Bang Bang podcast. To put it bluntly, the guy is funny.
There's a few reasons Happy Endings is slowly morphing into a cult classic, and Max Blum is at the top of the list.