Thursday, September 13, 2012

NEW SHOW: The New Normal

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

This is probably the most fussed-over new series this season. You may recall that the One Million Moms boycotting it. The latest is that there's a Utah NBC affiliate that won't be airing it on Tuesdays this fall. (The same one who wouldn't air The Playboy Club last year.) Another local channel will be showing it on Saturdays, but we all know that's not the same. Well, now that the pilot and the second episode have aired, I'm gonna echo hundreds of other critics - it's not that bad. Yes, there's a strong emphasis on the fact that not all families fit a certain mold. There's also a character who despises all differences, making hateful remarks in reference to homosexuals, Hispanics, and more. Will the show last? I don't know. If folks aren't willing to look past the somewhat-confusing premise, probably not. If they tune-in by accident and then figure it out later, it could work. For now, we're loving it! What do you think? And what do you think others (will) think?

The New Normal "Pilot" (S01E01): Brian makes a video for a future child and gives us a backstory to how everything got going. [this might be an ongoing thing, as David later makes a video about waiting to hear whether the conception succeeded.] See, he was at the mall when he fell in love with a baby, going home to tell his partner, David (an OBGYN) that they should have children. David is skeptical, but after they talk about it and see some "abnormal" families, they start to check out egg donors. [how much "talking to the audience" are we going to get on this show? because that tends to be a bad thing, in my opinion.] They think they've found one but it's a terrible experience when they meet her. [OMG that was DISASTROUS!] Another problem is that both want to be the biological father. While this part is going on in California, over in Ohio, a young mother, Goldie, steals her grandmother's car after her husband, Clay, cheats on her. [awkward scenes for a pilot, guys!] Well, Venice Beach, CA, seems to be where Goldie and her daughter, Shania, will start a new life.

Goldie doesn't have a lot of skills (previously, she was a waitress), so she decides to be a surrogate to earn money. She specifically requests a gay couple because she wants to help people be happy, and Brian and David fall in love with her. Brian even decides that David can be the bio-dad because he's an only child and there needs to be more people like him in the world. [awww!] In the procedure room, David is freaking out over becoming a father when Jane shows up, having tracked down Shania via Twitter. [Clay's girl helped Jane?? and that Chinese joke- yeesh!] Jane busts out the comments against gays and blacks, explains that she once caught her husband with a black man, and tries to get Goldie to stop what she's doing. 
(Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)
Well, Goldie is set on turning her life around and becoming a lawyer with cute clothes like she's always dreamed - and the guys even gift her a royal blue suit as they wait to see what the pregnancy test reveals. 

The New Normal "Sofa's Choice" (S01E02): Someone has drawn in permanent marker on Brian's leather sofa, so he freaks out that he'll lose all of his nice things when he becomes a parent. [rent-a-belly! haha!] Brian tries to confront Shania about it, but she's acting like she's Little Edie in Grey Gardens so they wind up bonding over that instead. [so.weird.] Shania is picked on at school so she stops the act until Brian explains that "normal" isn't for everyone. She also reveals that it was Jane who drew on the couch. [I hate that woman so much already! Let's hope that's the writers' goal!]

Goldie has found a new apartment, but Jane is convinced that her granddaughter is making horrendous mistakes, so she orders Clay to fly out there and beg for forgiveness. [I laughed at the Satan joke, too.] He's an idiot, so Goldie asks him for a divorce. The guys decide to ask Goldie and Shania to live in their guesthouse for free to save her rent money and childcare. [dang. these are some awesome people to be a surrogate for. Though, Eden on Suburgatory and Eden on The Exes get the royal treatment, too! dang... what's with all of the surrogacy on television lately? are there any other instances??] But, Goldie is afraid of getting too comfortable, and wants to demonstrate independence to her daughter. [eh... it wouldn't be bad to take it for a little while! they have nothing!]

David tells a bunch of his basketball doctor buddies that he's trying to have a child, and they all tell him that they've been living vicariously through him... they're not big fans of parenting. David starts regretting always being so responsible, so he and Brian decide to have a weekend out at the bar... but instead wind up realizing that their lives are changing. [we do learn that they met at a gay bar on David's first time out - on the day he graduated from medical school.

The (urine) pregnancy test was negative, so David orders a blood test, which comes up positive!
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