Not since "Modern Family" has a sitcom been hyped to the extent that NBC's "The New Normal" has been over the past couple of weeks. While I could have watched it online in a free preview, I ended up watching it in its natural habitat: the television screen.
And while I admire the topical premise, I just wasn't all that into it. Unlike "Modern Family," none of the characters felt real. Also, the dysfunction was a little confusing (Goldie is Jane's granddaughter, Shania Goldie's daughter?). Some may call me a bigot for being confused, but dysfunction on television can be done well and in a less confusing manner ("Arrested Development").
Aaron Sorkin gets a lot of crap for his style ("the walk and talk," alliterative character names), but Ryan Murphy, creator of "Glee" and now "The New Normal," also has a distinct style that can get kind of annoying.
1. One authoritative female character. Sue Sylvester, meet Jane Forrest (Ellen Barkin).
2. Suck it, Ohio. Like in "Glee," the state takes a beating once again for sterotypical bigotry in "The New Normal."
3. Unique family situations. Rachel Berry's mom on "Glee" gave her up for adoption to two gay men; on "The New Normal," Goldie Clemmons gives up her baby to two gay men.
4. Musicality. Is it any coincidence that "The New Normal" sounds kinda like Next to Normal?
It's just a "Pilot" episode, so maybe I'm being uber-critical, and maybe the next episodes will explore this, but it seems just a little bit too easy for Goldie (Georgia King) to give up her baby to David and Bryan, especially when the child she is carrying has a biological sister to the same father.
Also, I'm about as gay-friendly as they come (devotees know of my obsession with Logo and "RuPaul's Drag Race"), but I find the gay stereotypes on the show a little offensive and over-the-top. I resent the fact that Ryan Murphy makes sure viewers just know when characters are gay.
Whelp. I've gone and done it. Ryan Murphy hates me now. Like Kings of Leon, I'll never have my terrible, terrible music played on "Glee."