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Instead of going back to the party, he joins Sebastian at his Crystal Meth Anonymous group, claiming he’s also an addict.
The people there are a breath of fresh air, and as Max finds himself spending more time with them, he begins to realize just how draining his relationship with Lainey has been.
There was a literal show built on the concept of the helpful gay man — Queer Eye for the Straight Guy — but he exists in a plethora of TV shows from The Real Housewives of Atlanta to, most significantly, Sex and the City.
He is a fashion savant, self-help coach, and stand-up comic all rolled into one snazzily designed package.
In a twist fit for Misery, Lainey throws hot coffee in Max’s face and beats him with a stool after he lashes out at her, calling her a fag hag. “You’re doing so good today.” He’s exactly as she wants him to be again: funny, immobile, docile.
It’s a disturbing end that also pulls Max back into the vortex of their co-dependence. In this way, “Meth(od)” is less about Max and Lainey as individuals, and more about the subversion of a television trope that’s often shown in glittery pinks and abdominal muscles.
The episode begins at a bachelorette party, with Max as the token gay male among a gaggle of blondes. In pop culture, gay men have often figured as accessories to straight women (or straight men), and in High Maintenance, Max willingly plays that role.
He braids their hair, snaps their photos, and provides cultural cachet to the women who screech “Yaasss kween! He does their hair and makes snappy jokes — (“I need more bobby pins ‘cuz y’all cleaned me out”) — and runs out to get more vodka for their vodka tampons.
He’s there to aid and assist the women around him, “like a dance, monkey, dance type of thing that you find yourself becoming victim to,” Yorke described during an interview with me.