When ABC’s Happy Endings concludes its second season one week from tonight, not only will there be the sound of wedding bells, there will be the sound of Madonna — as interpreted by Max. Turns out, Derrick (Stephen Guarino) is getting hitched to his boyfriend Eric (Nate Smith), and persuades Max (Adam Pally) to reunite with his all-male Madonna cover band, appropriately and awesomely titled Mandonna, for a gig at the reception. The result? An unusual performance of “Like A Prayer” led by Max, who will be seen sporting “fingerless gloves, a long cross earring, some blond highlights, and, of course, a pretty gnarly mole,” according to Pally.
Granted, it took a little time and genre-leaping to figure out exactly how to pay tribute to the Material Girl in a Happy way. “We had many versions of it that were similar to Madonna’s version except it was me singing it,” explains Pally. “We didn’t land on it until the idea was like, ‘How would Max sing in a band?’ and we decided, ‘Well, it would probably sound a lot like Eddie Vedder singing ‘Like a Prayer.’” And what would Pally say to Madge — who gave the show permission to use the song — if she were to tune in and witness his take on it? “‘I’m sorry,’” he quips. “And then I would say, ‘It’s probably better than whatever Enrique Iglesias would do with it.”
As you can see in the photo, Max finds a suitable prance partner in Brad (Damon Wayans Jr.). “Wait ’til you see him dance to ‘Like a Prayer,’” says Pally, adding: “I would look out for a couple of choreographed dance moves that hearken back to the golden era of Kid ‘N Play.”
The season finale features some high-tech romance as well: At the reception, Penny (Casey Wilson) is seated at “the Skype table,” which is reserved for guests who can’t attend the wedding, and she winds up video-flirting with guest star Brian Austin Green, who plays a gregarious guy recovering from a ski-boxing accident. “He may or may not show up at the wedding,” hints Pally. “I don’t want to give any spoilers, but let’s just say he knows how to dance in a wheelchair.”
It also sounds like the romantic triangle involving Penny, Dave (Zachary Knighton), and Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) will be squarely addressed. “[The finale] does what the best Happy Endings episodes do, which is you’re left feeling like you want something more than just a friendship from a lot of the characters,” hints Pally. “I think that’s the best place we can be emotionally, especially with Dave and Penny, and Dave and Alex, and Brad and Jane (Eliza Coupe). What’s great about Happy Endings is that although it is light and it’s about jokes, you are left saying, ‘When are they going to get together? or ‘When is that going to happen?’ And the finale points in that direction… There’s a little bit of a resolution as to where we’re going to head in season 3.”
For more with Pally, click on the video to see what he told my colleague Sandra Gonzalez when he stopped by the EW offices, and check out the “First Look” section in the latest issue of EW.