Oct 8, 2014

Max & Shred: Nickelodeon's New Drake and Josh

Nickelodeon has always been very good at gay-subtext teencoms, from Salute Your Shorts in the 1990s to Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide in the 2000s to the contemporary Henry Danger.   

Max & Shred, which premiered a few days ago, is a reprise of Drake and Josh, which in turn was a reprise of The Odd Couple: two guys with opposing personalities are forced to live together.

 Here it's celebrity snowboarder Max (Jonny Gray, right), cool, athletic, a teen operator in the mold of Drake, who moves to Blizzard Springs, Colorado to train for a snowboarding event, and must room with science nerd Shred (Jake Goodman, left), Josh without the extra weight.

There's also a mad scientist girl-next-door who climbs in through the window, a sister who is older and popular, a couple of parents, and the usual friends, jocks, bullies, and science nerds at school.

Max and Shred have the same physicality as Drake and Josh -- their hands are all over each other all the time.  And Shred draws has a pleasant non-gendered transgression.  But the show seems to be trying to avoid the gay-subtext-filled Drake and Josh.  Their hetero-mania is established through drools and double-takes, and in the second episode, they both fall in love with the same girl.

Jonny Gray is a relative newcomer, with only a few credits on the Imdb, but Jake Goodman has appeared in 18 projects, including a starring role in the Canadian teencom Life with Boys (left, with "brothers" Nathan McLeod and Michael Murphy).