Fall Preview: NBC's 'The New Normal'

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Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy is putting his own spin on the modern family in NBC’s new comedy, The New Normal.

Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy is putting his own spin on the modern family in NBC’s new comedy, The New Normal

THE CONCEPT

The shows centers on a Los Angeles couple, David (Justin Bartha) and Bryan (Andrew Rannells). The two men are both successful and they are in a committed, loving relationship. They decide they want to have a baby, but they quickly learn that adoption is not an easy process, especially for two men.

Goldie (Georgia King) is a single mother to a precocious eight-year-old girl, Shania (Bebe Wood). After she catches her deadbeat husband cheating on her, Goldie decides that she wants more for her life and she wants to find a way to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a lawyer. Despite objections from her bigoted grandmother, Jane (Ellen Barkin), Goldie offers to be the surrogate for David and Bryan. In exchange, they want to help her make her dreams come true.

NeNe Leakes (a frequent Glee guest star and star of The Real Housewives of Atlanta) also stars as Rocky, Brian’s nonsense assistant, who is always quick to add her two cents to the conversation, whether she’s asked to or not.

The New Normal is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Ryan Murphy Productions. Murphy serves as creator/executive producer and director along with creator/executive producer Ali Adler (Glee, American Horror Story) and executive producer Dante Di Loreto (Glee, American Horror Story).

MY TAKE

The cast is solid. Everyone is bringing their A-game and I felt for David and Bryan as well as Goldie as they struggled with their disappointments and tried to rise above them. Barkin is talented enough to pull off her over-the-top character, but I can see this character going the same way as Glee’s Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) where her act gets old real fast.  I thought Wood did a nice job as well, but Shania’s wise-beyond her years gimmick has been done a million different times. As for Leakes, she made me laugh, but I didn’t see much difference between this character and the one she plays on Glee.

For me, the biggest thing missing from the pilot is the actual comedy. As I watched it, I could sense which parts were supposed to make the audience laugh, but I barely cracked a smile. There was a lot of heavy handedness with the storylines and frankly, it w as a little depressing to watch. My biggest pet peeve is when comedies try to be dramas and this show is already guilty of that in the first episode.

The New Normal premieres Tues. Sept 11 on NBC at 9:30 p.m.

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About The Author

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Editorial Director since 2012. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.