Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Quick review: NBC's "The New Normal"

     The cast of the new NBC comedy "The New Normal"

The upfronts trailer and early ads for NBC's new Ryan Murphy-created comedy "The New Normal" did not exhibit promise. There might be a more obvious thematic trend in the actual content of these new fall shows that I'm overlooking, but right now it seems like this season is seeing a lot of very talented and/or funny actors working on some real duds of shows. While traveling in the U.S. over the holiday, I took advantage of Hulu to watch a couple of pilots before they air on TV, and "The New Normal" was one of them. Rather than write up a specific review, I've copied and pasted a message I sent to a friend on Facebook describing all the things I didn't like about the show, most of which were reasons that I both abandoned "Glee" after its second season and didn't watch a second episode of "American Horror Story".

My reaction to "The New Normal" immediately after viewing:

Wasn't a fan of The New Normal. It's somewhere between meh and bad. Typical Ryan Murphy problems - serious tonal issues and at times unearned sentimentality. The old lady character from the ads is the main character Goldie's grandmother (because everyone in their family gets knocked up really young - Goldie is in her late 20s and got knocked up at 15) and she's basically Sue Sylvester, over the top for cheap laughs and you can already tell she's only gonna get worse. It's half unfunny sitcom and half lecture on tolerance.
One of the problems I have with Modern Family is that it seems far too often that Mitch really can't stand Cam but it's played as "oh that crazy Mitch and Cam, they're such a couple" like we're supposed to find it cute or endearing. This couple is kind of the same thing. Bryan is the "Cam" of this couple but kind of more of an unapologetic dick. But again, I think we're supposed to find it endearing that he means well, which is really cliched. He's recording these videos for his unborn child and cries at just the thought that the kid might call him daddy, and then when he's meeting with the guy from the surrogacy services all he wants for the child is that it will be blonde and thin.
Also, not to totez spoil this show for you, but this pilot ends on a goddamn cliffhanger re: whether or not Goldie (that's her actual name) will be impregnated from the artificial insemination. Can't think of another comedy that's ever done that. Cheap ploy to get people back for week 2. NICE TRY RYAN MURPHY BUT KTHXBAI.
Sigh. Oh well. My hopes weren't high, so this feels about right. I just so want NBC to have success with a good show. Fingers crossed for "Whitney" to become a surprise sophomore hit!!! Except...then I guess only the first part is true. Anyway.

Didn't end up finishing Fox's "Ben and Kate", but hopefully I can do that tonight and write up something about it tomorrow.