NBC’s new sitcom, “The New Normal,” from Ryan Murphy, co-creator of “Glee,” has already sparked controversy.
In Utah, the NBC affiliate KSL-TV has refused to air the show because it “simply feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time,” Jeff Simpson, CEO of KSL parent company Bonneville International said in a statement to Deseret News. The advocacy group One Million Moms considers the show “damaging to our culture” and has called on advertisers to pull their sponsorship.
Why is there so much hate against a show that has only just premiered?
The pilot episode introduces us to David (played by Justin Bartha) and Bryan (Andrew Rannells), a gay couple who decide they want to have a baby.
Enter Goldie (Georgia King), a sweet, wide-eyed young mother who is desperate for a way to change her daughter’s life and willing to be David and Bryan’s surrogate.
The characters on “The New Normal” aren’t blind to their controversial situation. They try to, as the title suggests, redefine “normal.”
“Do you really think it’s such a good idea to bring a kid into the world with such a nontraditional family?” David asks Bryan when they are still deciding whether or not they really want this.
“Look around,” Bryan answered as he gestured to a playground full of diverse, “nontraditional” families. “Your definition of ‘traditional’ might need a refresh.”
When asked if she felt comfortable being the surrogate for a gay couple, Goldie simply said, “A family is a family, and love is love.”
The sentimentality of “The New Normal” would almost be unbearable without the comedy, and all the characters have their own unique wit and flair.
There’s Bryan’s bold and outspoken assistant, Rocky (NeNe Leakes), a self-proclaimed “half giraffe, half drag queen.”
Then there’s Nana, or Jane (Ellen Barkin), Goldie’s blatantly homophobic and racist grandmother who calmly pulls a gun on Goldie’s cheating husband of nine years.
And, of course, there’s Goldie’s daughter Shania (Bebe Wood), a sassy, intelligent, technology-obsessed eight year old who calls Bryan “lady pants” and tells her great-grandmother that she’s going to “unfriend” her for her bigoted comments.
The comedy consists mainly of one-liners that have to be carried by the supporting characters, and at times the show puts a bit too much emphasis on being heartfelt and adorable. These flaws are not overwhelming, though, and give the show balance, making “The New Normal” more than just a sitcom about two gay dads. It’s about the unique, ever-changing definition of family and love.