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Thursday, September 20, 2012

The New Normal- Baby Clothes

Pic By Nick Step ( [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

This episode needed to move forward from establishing premise and message. It didn’t. We feel like this show would be a better movie. Where are they going from here? At some point, won’t they repeat all the jokes? We liked the pilot because it was funny and entertaining, but since then, we’ve been getting bored watching this “controversial” show do all the things that better shows have done before it. What this show is doing is not completely working. It belongs on televisions ten years ago. 

This week, Bryan bought Shania a shirt that showed her stomach, so a boy in her school took notice of her. Grandma found them making out in a closet and raised hell. She got the boy’s parent to talk to him about sex, and she got Goldie to realize that she needed to protect her daughter’s innocence. Bryan bought clothes for the baby, but David wanted to wait to do that until all the tests were in and they were sure the baby would be healthy and brought to term. Finally, he caved.

Also, a mean man in a fanny pack started berating David and Bryan for being gay in public. David and Goldie ignored it, and Bryan yelled back with some pretty good comebacks. At the gym, David cracked and punched a fellow gay guy for making fun of a mentally retarded person who turned out to be a bigot himself. Jeez! People are NOT that mean outside of a frat house or high school football team, are they? The most homophobic person we know is still nice and friendly to gay people’s faces. We know there are some real jerks, but they aren’t around every corner like in this show. Right?

The only thing we loved was the fact that Bryan confronted the bigot in a frog hat. We want one of those hats. We also liked that the grandma was right about something, for once, and that she’s seemed to have thawed a little toward the boys. If we were David, we wouldn’t have had the clothes taken back. Keep them boxed up and store them until the day comes. 

There weren’t that many good one-liners in the episode. The episode seemed to be telling us that ignoring hate isn’t good enough. We think it’s the best option. What do they want? Rules against it in local gyms? Actually, that’s not a bad idea. And we agree that you should stand up for your friends when you see hicks hating on them. But really, there’s not much else you can do. At this point, we only love Shania and the actor playing Bryan.

The show had its protagonist defend a mentally retarded person from being made fun of…after the show made fun of the mentally retarded person. Yep, that’s how you know it’s the same creator who did Glee. Redheads, babies with Downs, babies with defects, CNN anchors, people with tattoos, and people who take the bus are also targets for this show’s jokes. We like the lack of political correctness, but on a show that preaches political correctness for one group, it doesn’t fit.

Also, the tone was really uneven. Post-Modern Family. Will and Grace, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, this show isn't needed. What would better serve gay people are shows like Grey's Anatomy grafting in gay characters who are just normal people who love each other, rather than stereotypes. You can't hate Callie and Arizona. You just can't. Also, movies like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang having gay men who are just a lot of straight men. It needs to be not a big deal. It needs to actually be treated as the new normal, emphasis on the normal. Also, these mainstream shows reach your audience that needs to be softened. The New Normal preaches to the choir. 

Ryan Murphy is stuck in the past. He needs to focus on projects like American Horror Story. We love when his shows get preachy about beauty and that industry. That's the issue that's still an issue in the media. The media is defending gay people right and left. The first season of Murphy's Nip/Tuck made Ern not ever want to have plastic surgery. She was a teen when she watched it. That's a good job well done, making a teenage girl go, "Oh...looks really aren't that important." Don't worry Ryan, if we ever meet the fanny pack-wearing dude who hurt your feelings, we'll punch him for you. 

We don't see things changing, so we are nixing this show from our schedules. We've replaced it with the upcoming Chicago Fire for now.

Episode grade: D

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