The New Normal

 THE NEW NORMAL

 

Tuesdays @ 9:30 EST

Premieres September 11th

 

Bryan Collins and David Murray want a child. As they cannot conceive a child on their own, they choose surrogacy. But while choosing the egg donor turns out to be easy (hello Gwenyth Paltrow!), finding a surrogate is another matter. Meanwhile, across the country, young mother Goldie Clemmons has an existential crisis when she walks in on her husband cheating on her. In response, she takes her nine-year-old daughter and drives from Ohio to L.A., determined to start a new life. When she runs out of money, she turns to surrogacy to support her family. Having requested a gay couple to be the parents, she meets Bryan and David and that is that.

You may have heard that this show is already causing controversy as a local NBC affiliate in Utah is declining to air it. Luckily, other stations have agreed to air the show on weekends so viewers have the chance to see it.

 

Familiar Faces: Gwenyth Paltrow makes an appearance as the egg donor. Sadly she does not sing about it. Also NeNe Leaks (Real Housewives of Atlanta and Glee) and Justin Bartha (The Hangover trilogy).

 

Favorite quote: “She’s just like an Easy-Bake Oven, except with no legal rights to the cupcake”

 

This Reminds Me: It’s a more family-centric Knocked Up or a grown-up Glee (imagine a future where Kurt and Blaine ask Brittany to be their surrogate). Oh, and you may have heard of this other show that showcases a modern interpretation of the nuclear family. There’s a gay couple, with an adopted child… a bunch of other family members that stick their noses into each other’s business… If Modern Family focused solely on Cam and Mitchell’s lives instead of the whole extended family, the similaritieswould be more clear. But even if The New Normal is not a carbon copy of Modern Family, it is clearly NBC’s response to the popular ABC show.

 

Other Aspects to Consider: Ryan Murphy has made quite a fuss with his portrayal of gay characters on Glee. It is easy enough to find opinions that state he has taken it too far or not far enough when handling the relationships between Kurt and Blaine and Santana and Brittany. The New Normal may prove to be just as divisive. But while Glee will sometimes set out to prove a point and seem too eager to do so, The New Normal does only that. The stereotypical characterizations sometimes showcased on the teen show are magnified here, and even I, who often find myself overlooking Glee’s overzealousness, cannot look away here. The New Normal just tries too hard to prove a point, and without the levity of song, this becomes unforgivable.

 

Remaining Questions: Will Goldie’s divorce be uncontested? Will her husband have something to say about her surrogacy? Goldie may have left him in the pilot, but Clay Clemson is listed as part of the cast in future episodes…But more importantly, do I care?

 

The verdict: DNR. I wanted to like this show so badly. But although this made me tear up at the first scene, after that, I felt absolutely nothing. The characters are just too far this side of too much, and the preachiness gets to even me. Perhaps it is just the pilot, but with shows like Modern Family around, I feel like I do not need to waste my time investing in these new characters

 

What Do You Think?

Now that I have given you my detailed opinion, it’s your turn. If you’ve seen these shows, let me know if you agree or if you think I’m crazy. Until next time!

 

18 Comments
  1. I haven’t seen this show yet, but knowing Justin Bartha is in it, makes me want to watch it. I don’t know though how his acting will be though? I mean I watch him mostly in movies and that’s it. I never seen him in a TV show, so I don’t know if his character will be funny at all times or if he has a more serious role?

    • Justin Bartha is one of the highlights. He definitely has his funny moments, but he’s not non-stop comedic.

  2. I am not in love with this show either, but I am giving it a chace and think it has potential. I do like modern family, but as you say I don’t find it to be a carbon copy. The grandmother is hard to take, but I am hoping she comes around a bit in the next few episodes, I know it isn’t likely, but a girl can hope.

  3. I did try to watch this when they had the preview during the Olympic Games. I have to say that I couldn’t get into it, seem as if it was trying to hard to get its message across. As someone else said it seems a bit too much like Modern Family. Well, I am one of those who isn’t a fan of Modern Family (yes there are some of us out there) so I don’t know why this show would be different for me. I do think its awful that some places are refusing to air it just because of the subject matter, its time for a wake up call. As the series title says this is the new normal.

  4. I’m going to watch a couple more episodes on Hulu and give it a chance. But I did not warm up to the characters in the first episode.

    By the way I think it’s asinine that the network in Utah is censoring what adults can watch. It reminds me of how the Cuban government censors any shows that show Castro in a unflattering light.

    If I lived in Utah ,I wouldn’t watch or support that network. I’m an adult and don’t like being told what I can watch.

  5. I liked the first episode. It did a really good job of showing how homophobic and bigoted people can be but keeping it loose and funny. I appreciate the gay jokes and how the guys don’t get offended.

    I enjoy the concept and hope this can make some waves and get a nice, long run going. I think everyone was perfectly selected and they really can play their roles extremely well. It just goes to show you that “normal” can be anything you want it to be.

  6. I don’t think I’ll be watching this show. I didn’t like how Ryan Murphy portrayed Santana and Brittany’s relationship – it never seemed genuine, and it really came out nowhere – and he’s not good with character development either. I can barely keep watching Glee as it is.

  7. Sigh. When will you stop being so goddamn homophobic, America? The rest of the cultured world already adapted, why can’t you?

    By the way, pretty surprised to see Gwyneth in a TV series. Are they not a place where burnt-out movie stars take their careers to die anymore? (I’ll be glad if that was the case, as I thought that was pretty silly)

  8. It seems like a strong cast, but it does sound like a bit of a rip of Modern Family, going by the description it does not seem like one of my type of shows to watch. I probably give it 1 or 2 seasons.

  9. Why is the ocal NBC affiliate in Utah is declining to air it? It is because of the surrogacy plot? I am trying hard to think of what could be so offensive about the pilot but coming up with nothing. It can’t be because there is a gay couple. I desperately want to believe we have moved past that stage in this day and age

    In any case, doesn’t sound like my type of show. I will stick with ABC’s Morden Family

    • Actually, Wikipedia says that the affiliate refused to air citing ” the show’s dialogue might be excessively rude and crude. The scenes may be too explicit or the characterizations might seem offensive… For our brand, this program feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time.”, and they also mention that the same affiliate refused to air Playboy Club and Friday Night Lights, so I may have jumped the gun thinking it was because of the plot. But it’s still dumb to decide for the viewer what is and isn’t appropriate for him/her, though.

      • I immediately jumped to the homophobic station conclusion as well. But after watching the pilot too many times to count, I think they might be objecting for the opposite reason. Some of the stuff the grandmother says goes way too far, and that is one of the reasons I couldn’t get into the show (although I gave the second episode a chance when I saw it on Hulu and found it much better because there was a greater focus on Bryan and David).

      • I also need to correct myself, because I’m dumb and I wrote Friday Night Lights instead of Saturday Night Live. 😀 So, yeah, go figure, it’s an affiliate that banned SNL from airing, no wonder they will have problem with a show like this.

        As for me, I’m not yet sure if I’ll watch it. Honestly, the TV season starts in October for me, casue I’m looking forward to Arrow the most! 🙂

      • October is all about the CW. The Arrow and the return of TVD. I might even check out Beauty and the Beast…

      • I’m not going to watch too many shows to be honest. Just Arrow, TBBT and Two and a half men. Unless something exceptionally good arises.. 😀

      • I would suggest you check out my Revolution review: http://reviews.realtvchat.com/revolution/. You might want to add that show to your rotation 🙂

      • I watched it on your recommendation, and, well.. You can read my thoughts on the review page, I guess, but it’s not pretty. 😀