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!