There’s only a small window of time (i.e. right now) where it is socially acceptable for me to drool over hot gay kissing on TV before depictions of gay relationships are more commonplace, and our culture rightly recognizes my fervent ogling as the objectifying lechery it is. Until then…HOW ABOUT THAT HOT GAY KISS, HUH? Why every sitcom isn’t filled with hot gay kissing is beyond me. NBC, this could be your niche! IT IS THE FINEST NICHE OF ALL!
In case you haven’t guessed or haven’t seen the episode yet, the (INCREDIBLY AWESOME) gay kiss is shared by Max (obviously) and his erstwhile ex Grant, a delightful gentleman with whom Max blew it last Valentine’s Day, choosing to spend the evening with a gigantic party pizza as his date instead of a human. But before we get to said smooching, clearly everyone else’s Valentine’s Day plans have to go awry. And oh, how they do.
Dave and Penny (who…should have had some hint of chemistry, right?) face the opposite sides of the VD dilemma: Penny struggles to make it through the holiday politeness window before dumping her wink-happy manfriend, while Dave begins to suspect that crazy sexy fedora-wearing Lindsay ia simply waiting to dump his ass after said window has passed. After Lindsay cancels their plans once again, Penny lets Dave in on the slow break-up secret: “Let’s face it: no one has ever had a friend in town.” It goes without saying that Penny gets dumped and Dave botches his chance at a once-in-a-lifetime give from Lindsay. “A sit-down with Guy Fieri?,” he gasps. IF ONLY! No, Dave’s gift was a V-V-P threeway, the second or third best kind of threeway there is. For a man who’s email address was once firstname.lastname@example.org, Dave does not have his priorities straight.
Meanwhile, Alex is the only one of the gang excited about the feast of St. Valentine the Prussian Martyr (“They ripped him tip to taint,” she recounts fondly), so it only makes sense she gets mistaken for a sex worker and taken to jail. God only know what happened to her on Vienna Beef Presents National Hotdog Day, the only placemat-based holiday in the Western Calendar.
The suave lover he is, Brad surprises Jane with a list of surprises, including a horse-drawn carriage and a reservation at Tableau. “That’s harder to get into than Obvious Joke Here, the new comedy club downtown,” Jane gasps. The only thing standing between them and Valentine’s bliss is a quick trip to the dentist, which of course will be quick because Brad has never had a cavity in his entire blessed life. “I’ve never had plaque,” he enthuses. “Except for that one they gave me for never having plaque.” Brad’s happy dance through the waiting room was the highlight of the show/season for me, even if there was not a shadow of a doubt he was immediately going to get sloppy on goof juice and ruin his romantic plans with Jane. “I won’t sue if I poo,” Brad promises, as he begs the dentist for more gas.
With everyone’s evenings ruined, it seems only natural/adorable that they turn their romantic energies to getting Max’s love life on track. “Me…care? About…anything? Ever?” Max laughs desperately. With Brad down for the count (“Ross! Rachel! Phoebe! Fat Joey!,” he yells at them lovingly), Max musters his Valentine’s Day spirit and romances Grant with a horse-carriage ride and a dinner reservation at Tableau and, oh right, ONE FUCKING HOT GAY KISS. Homina homina homina! Boi-oi-oiiiing! And doesn’t that make St. Valentine’s brutal martyrdom all worthwhile? Yes. Yes, it does. Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody! You’re welcome, NBC!
Max: “This is a really bad area. The guy I sell my gray water to lives down here.”
Brad: “Oooh? I think you mispronounced Ahhhh!”
Penny: He also doesn’t like that I say “ah-mazing,” but I’ve barely said that at all this season!
Max: You mean this winter?
Penny: Yes, it’s more of a summer word.
Jane, struggling with a loopy Brad: It’s like Weekend at Bernie Mac’s back here! (Too soon?)