Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"The New Normal" is a new comedy about a gay couple having kid by surrogacy


The New Normal”  (created by Ryan Murphy [creator of “Glee”] and Ali Adler) started last night (Sept 11) on NBC at 9:30 PM, and it does remind me of the old situation comedies in the 1950s.

Back then, I watched “My Little Margie” and “Amos ‘n’ Andy”.  The second of these would not be acceptable today, but then I found them both funny.  Of course, the most famous of all of them was “I Love Lucy”.  Remember Lucy’s California trip?

It struck me that the slick comedy about a gay couple planning to have a baby through surrogate parenting would not have seemed that funny then.  The pliot was called “Soda’s Choice”, about the couple’s choice of a Midwestern single mom and waitress as the mother.

The couple is a sports medicine doctor David  (Justin Bartha) and more stereotyped Brian (Andrew Rannells, from “The Book of Mormon”), and the waitress, Goldie (Georgia King) already scores points as an excellent mom for her bookish daughter (Bebe Wood), who bonds emotionally with Brian.  Goldier’s grandmother (Ellen Barkin) is politically incorrect enough to get unfriended on Facebook.

The men do recognized that their lives will change once they are dads.  "Life as we know it" ends.  Do they realize that their testosterone levels go down with fatherhood?  

Neither of the gay men comes across with a lot of "male external trappings," swagger or charisma (neither has the presence of either Will or Sonny in “Days of our Lives”, the last two of which more resembled some people I actually know). You wonder if David would have fun as a team physician for the Nationals (if he weren’t in LA), making decisions about pitcher Stephen Strasburg’s shutdown! That could make for some situation comedy.


NBC’s official site is here

The comedy doesn’t seem interested in the political or legal issues around surrogacy, which are summarized on Wikipedia here

It strikes me that the word “Normal” has become a pejorative.

See also the CNN report "Gary and Tony Have a Baby" June 24, 2010 here. 



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