So, for the main part, I’m quite enjoying The New Normal (TNN from now on). But…
Okay, so before I discovered and became obsessed with The Book of Mormon, I saw a preview for TNN and as I watched I was more and more excited that this kind of show was gonna be on…until they said, “created by Ryan Murphy”. Then I was all /o\ UGH. Because seriously, he’s THE WORST at character continuity and plot and depth of story, etc. I really really really wanted to like Glee, and I’ve definitely watched it all, but fuck. So, I had already taken TNN off the table.
Then my BoM obsession came around, and I was all, “OH NOOO! Andrew’s in it! I have to watch it now!!” And he IS SOO good on it. But, I’m just so very wary of getting into the show, because Ryan Murphy is going to FUCK US OVER, I guarantee you.
The A.V. Club did a very good job at explaining why they show sucks, despite the awesomeness of Justin Bartha and Andrew. Read it here.
The New Normal is at once a series that wants to be a gentle public service announcement about how beautiful non-traditional families can be and a series that seems to be issuing a grave warning about what will happen if the average gay man becomes a parent. By aiming to be both a heartwarming family comedy and an envelope-pushing satire, the show succeeds at neither, and it ends up sending all sorts of messages it would never dream of sending, wholly unintentionally.
The good bit about Andrew and Justin:
The New Normal isn’t a complete failure. There are pleasures to be had here, mostly from the cast. Rannells and Bartha, in particular, are absolutely fantastic at conveying the longing Bryan and David have for a child (at least once the script settles down and moves past the idea that Bryan might just be thinking of a baby as some sort of handbag). The scenes where either tears up with joy, or where the two excitedly await Goldie’s news, are among the episode’s best, and that’s simply because of Rannells and Bartha.
I will keep watching, because considering my extremely low expectations, it’s not that bad yet. I warn you all who are getting emotionally invested, that Ryan Murphy doesn’t give a shit about his characters. But, maybe – hopefully – he’ll treat Bryan better because it’s basically just him.