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The Blue & Gray Press | February 25, 2018

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'New Normal' is Uncomfortable

By NANCY BELLE

Nothing feels worse than waiting all summer for a new, highly expected sitcom only to watch the first episode and realize that you had already seen all the funny parts in the commercials that aired throughout the summer. This is the feeling you may experience if you choose to watch NBC’s new sitcom, “The New Normal.”

While most of creator Ryan Murphy’s shows start to go downhill after season one, “The New Normal,” only takes about 90 seconds to go from being brilliant to horrendous.

If you think the idea of two gay men and a baby sounds familiar, a la “Modern Family,” you are right.

Instead of everyone getting along and being excited for the couple, however, not everyone on “The New Normal” likes the idea of two men raising a child. This causes the show to be more awkward than funny at times.

The pilot episode tells the story of how the couple, Bryan and David, meet Goldie, played by Georgia King, their eventual surrogate, after deciding that they want a baby.

Goldie has just impulsively moved to Los Angeles after finding her husband cheating on her with another woman.

She wants to change the life of her daughter, Shania, played by Bebe Wood, and decides that becoming a surrogate may be the way to do it.

As great as this may sound, the show is full of issues.

For one, it is fully of stereotypes; the biggest of which is the gay couple.

Andrew Rannells of Broadway’s “The book of Mormon” plays Bryan, who is every bit the stereotypical overly flamboyant gay man. His boyfriend David, played by Justin Bartha of “The Hangover,” is a beer drinking, football-watching guy who just happens to have a boyfriend.

The characters that are not stereotypes are, for the most part, just good for a few awkward one liners.

Goldie’s “Nana,” who is played by Ellen Barkin, is one of these. Early in the show, Shania proclaims, “Nana, you’re a biggot!” which basically sums up Barkin’s rather offensive character.

Rocky, played by Nene Leakes of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” is the same, except for basically being the “sassy black assistant.”

Although marketed as a comedy, most of the laughs come from lines that were featured in the show’s commercials, shown heavily throughout NBC’s Olympics telecast this past summer. Things that are supposed to make you laugh tend to make you cringe instead, due to their unusually homophobic or racist nature.

If you want to watch a show about two men with a child, just skip “The New Normal” and watch “Modern Family” instead.