I love that "sports loving slob" as R19 described "Max" on "Happy Endings." Being gay doesn't have to mean being an ultra-thin fashion plate, ostentatiously over-cultured and endlessly fussing over pop-culture or similarly shallow minutia.
I'm not into sports, but I wear sweatpants, hibernate in the winter and am comfortable and open about my sexuality without letting it dominate my persona. Watching "Max" on "Happy Endings" makes me feel like I'm okay just the way I am and not being "fabulous" doesn't mean I'm any less gay.
I hope "Max" fans start watching "Happy Endings" more regularly, playing the episodes on the ABC app on our tablets and computers, and-even better-contacting the network to let them know how much we like the show. Otherwise, I'm afraid it might be in danger of cancellation.
As for "Cam", the formula on "Modern Family" is a tightly wound father, daughter and son are married to, or partnered with, spouses who are the equivalent of the classic sitcom "wacky neighbor" or "out-of-control spouse." Think of the Prichetts as Desi Arnez's and "Gloria", "Phil" and "Cam" (plus the children) as the "Lucy's." It's a funny, successful show-so it obviously appeals to a large number of people.
"The New Normal's" pilot and initial episodes had too many cringe-worthy moments of excessive stereotyping, hostility from Ellen Barkin's character that was too biting and cruel to be acceptable. However, all shows-sitcoms especially need a few episodes, or a whole uneven first season, to "find their groove."
"The New Normal" has done that. I would recommend giving it another chance. It celebrates individuality, portrays people striving to grow as human beings and is laugh-out-loud funny. Most surprisingly, Ellen Barkin has given some of the most touching, emotionally brave performances I have ever seen on television. She deserves the Best Actress in a Comedy Emmy next year.
Brandon Routh's character on "Partners" was a plus for positive gay portrayals and I wish "Partners" had lasted, but the stereotypical character on that show was an embarrassment and just too annoying to be the lead in a television show.
Overall, I'd say this season has been fairly good in the diversity of gay male characters. But, if we lose "Max," the 2012-2013 TV season will most definitely not have a "Happy Ending."