In order of premiere schedule:
“The New Normal” Cast: Justin Bartha, Andrew Rannells, Georgia King, Bebe Wood. Premiered on September 11.
Novel premise – story of country bumpkin – a mother to a nine-going-on-thirty daughter, who decides to change her life around, quit her dead end job, leave bigoted parent and a small town behind, by escaping to big city and becoming surrogate mother to a gay couple. This show created a lot of buzz for all the wrong reasons before premiere – networks in hicks lands refusing to broadcast it because of “gay family” issues and insensitively chosen premiere date being just tip of an iceberg.
When pilot was made available via Hulu I meant to do full, in-depth review but in all honesty, first episode was just cheesy, preachy, over the top and simply bad, I could not force myself to waste any time dissecting it. I hoped overall ratings would inevitably do it for me. Oddly enough, “The New Normal” managed to survive the ill picked premiere date, grumpy outrage of right-wing lobbies in middle states and its own general “bleh-ness”, sloppy writing and lunatic acting. It also vastly improved in episodes that followed. But even with aforementioned improvement, I found the show to be rarely funny but overly dramatic in the way it tries to clash “raving homophobia” against “flaming campness” for viewer entertainment. Most of the time it doesn’t come out funny, it comes out loony. Caricature. Even as a show elected to be a poster boy for “agenda” driven TV productions this season, it falls short. There are simply better and smarter shows revolving around gay-in-general and gay-as-parents story lines already on the market and “The New Normal” simply doesn’t match that level. “Modern Family” it ain’t.
My verdict: waste of time – pass. My prediction – half a season then abrupt cancellation.
[Note: On October 2, 2012, NBC ordered a full season but in May 2013 the show was not renewed for second season ]