I only recently heard of this Nickelodeon show - mostly 'cause of my proud Disnerd status - but when I finally gave it a try a couple of weeks ago, I was happily surprised by a network I'd ignored until last year when I discovered Henry Danger and Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn (yes, I love kids' shows so get over it) and while I enjoyed those two (especially Henry Danger), I still found Disney Channel to have the better shows.
Until Nickelodeon's newest bromance, Max & Shred, that is. And yes, it's better than Drake & Josh. Yea, I said it.
First of all, Jake Goodman (Alvin "Shred" Ackerman) and Jonny Gray (Max Asher) are both talented actors and play their respective roles well. Saara Chaudry (Jill "Howie" Finch), Emilia McCarthy (Abby Ackerman), Jean-Michel Le Gal (Lloyd Ackerman) and Siobhan Murphy (Diane Ackerman) round out the impressive cast. The writing is well done and does not talk down to viewers in ways other kids or family shows do - which is one reason why fans of any age can enjoy it.
It also ignore some of the usual tropes found in these kinds of shows: the siblings (Shred and Abby) not only get along but actually help each other (especially when Shred is, again, confused by his greatest nemesis, emotion, and Abby is the one he trusts for useful life advice) and don't spend all their time together plotting against their parents (who are, quite possibly, the world's worst parents - they have no idea where their kids are half the time and when they do, they don't know how to parent).
Max and Shred also have a relationship not often seen on screen, at least when the bffs (or "best bros") are boys. As in, they actually have one. They talk, show emotion (or at least Shred tries to - I'm pretty sure there'll be an emotional eruption one of these episodes) and make physical contact. It shows what a healthy relationship between boys and/or men can be. Points to Nickelodeon.
They're also not bound to the stereotypes often portrayed for their character types: Max is athletic and maybe a little conceded (he's proud of his shiny hair) but he's not an egotistical jerk nor is he a muscle head moron. And while Shred is scary brilliant, he's not (always) science-tunnel vision and can actually have fun and he has friends at school, not that they're shown frequently but they are there.
Abby, as I've stated before, does love her brother (and Max, who she quickly sees as another sibling) and does her best to help him figure out life. Even on the rare occasion she's real mad at him (for maybe ruining six birthdays), she's still never mean. She's got her brother(s) back(s), unlike so many other television brothers and sisters.
Howie, though only nine, is also portrayed as smart (not as much as Shred but still wicked intelligent) and mature (until caught out, like for manipulating a certain nervous adult for treats) but still has her school girl crush on Max, which does get a little creepy at times but it's (mostly) a harmless creepy. Side note: there was one episode where Howie went a bit far and I didn't really like her. She was too mean to poor Shred but once she was back to her happy, bouncy self the following episode, it was quickly forgotten.
It's definitely a show worth your time, as long as you don't need adult content, strong language and copious amounts of nudity to enjoy what you're watching. Nickelodeon has a few episodes available for streaming as long as your cable provider is on the list (which, of course, Xfinity is not). Otherwise, Amazon has the first season available for $19.99 USD. Go for it, you won't regret it.
Oh, and in case you couldn't tell, it's a total 5/5. My new favorite show.
You can follow the show (for updates) and the cast (just 'cause) on Twitter:
Max & Shred (and the Official Website)
Jean-Michel Le Gal
Love it? Hate it? Let me know.