In the article Popular Culture and Queer Representation Diane Raymond speaks of a type of symbolic annihilation in past decades to describe the invisibility of gays and lesbians in mass media. As of recently, three recurring tropes have been identified: the increased appearance of glbt as the major or supporting characters, the gay pretender, and the straight-mistaken-for-gay (Raymond, 99). While the increased representation of homosexuality is commendable I do wish that they types of homosexual representations were more diverse.
As soon as I discovered that this week’s topic was gay-themed TV I knew instantly that I wanted to look into the character Max from my new favorite show Happy Endings. In a previous article examined in class, the bromance between Max’s character and his friends is examined. In the article the author, Ron Becker, describes Max as a gay guy who isn’t too gay. I instantly liked this character because he went against typical gay stereotypes. Even today, many of the homosexual characters we see on television are stereotypically flamboyant, like hanging out with women, and love to shop. However, in an article from OutSpoken NYC, the author has taken opposition to the shows execution of an essentially completely straight gay man. As I read this article I couldn’t help but feel irritated because most of the time we hear a lot about how homosexuals are negatively stereotyped and pigeonholed into one type of representation. However, Max represents a new and different portrayal of a homosexual male (one that is actually very realistic) and some are still taking offense to it. In class when discussing the representation of women in the media we said that it is better to have fewer, more diverse representations of women instead of a lot of the same. This is also true for portraying homosexuality. I believe that this is what Happy Endings is trying to do with the character Max as he represents a type of gay man that is stereotypically different and for that I commend them.
To see more of Max and his relationship with Grant check this youtube link out...and DEFINITELY watch Happy Endings on ABC :)