“The New Normal” barely succeeds in recreating the ordinary


Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and David (Justin Bartha) introduce themselves to thier new neighbors. The New Normal faces subjects like homphobia head on with dialogue and heartfelt situations carried by strong performances from its leads.

Lylia Li, Staff Writer

The New Normal, one of NBC’s newest additions to its comedy lineup, is pushing the envelope.

Combining a progressive message with charming humor, it tells the story of a gay couple, Bryan Collins (Andrew Rannells) and David Murray (Justin Bartha), and their endeavor to have a baby with a surrogate, Goldie Clemmons (Georgia King). Goldie, motivated to improve the life of her biological daughter Shania (Bebe Wood), clashes with her conservative grandmother Jane.

The conflict between her grandmother’s bigoted attitude and Goldie’s honest mission is a prime example of just how deep and important the issues covered in the series can get.

The show’s script is sometimes flawed, with certain lines that are more offensive than funny. Nevertheless, the show is usually charming and has many heartwarming moments. Rannells combines goofiness with serious themes in instances such as when he delivers a tear-jerking monologue when he and his partner are confronted by a homophobe while shopping. Rannels expresses fear for his future child, who might be taught to feel ashamed of his or her parents.

The show, despite being a comedy, has incredibly important messages that strike chords with all sorts of viewers and draw from important obstacles that the LGBT community faces today.

Normal is worth watching for Rannells’s performance alone, but the rest of the cast is just as talented. Bartha and Rannells have great on-screen chemistry, and they are an enjoyable pair to watch throughout.

Shania is a quirky addition to the show and Ellen Barkin’s character, Jane, with her caustic and intolerant dialogue, is the antagonist and is used by the show to poke fun at people who aren’t as open to more progressive ideas. While this may seem initially like it detracts from her character and the show, Barkin’s acting makes the character tolerable and funny.

Normal also gives us a different perspective on families many consider to be abnormal. The mixed bag of characters includes a gay couple and a former teen mom.

Normal spreads the positive message that even the most unconventional families can be loving and caring ones. It is a show that teaches viewers to be more accepting of others. Its social commentary makes The New Normal the most important TV show of the season.