The New Normal premieres tonight on NBC, and I’m dialing in.
As far as entertainment goes, I’m definitely in the camp of more gay, more better. In fact, just try to find Hollywood entertainment that isn’t infused on camera or behind-the-scenes with queer creativity. You’ll end up with a very sad DVR, I assure you.
Comparisons to Modern Family notwithstanding, putting LGBT characters front and center won’t be a guaranteed route to the Emmys, but it is progress towards creating television that reflects true diversity while offering compelling stories of how we all live. The New Normal has a lot going for it. The built-in drama of hoping or successful surrogacy is engaging. The cast looks like fun: Ellen Barkin is a badass, Justin Bartha is adorable, and the universe owes him a great part for giving him the suckiest role in The Hangover bro-flicks.
The co-creators/producers/writers of show, Ryan Murphy and Allison Adler, have incredible resumes. On a personal note, each is openly gay. Adler is a mom of a 7-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter, sharing joint custody with her former partner Sara Gilbert.
I like it that they are living The New Normal while writing about it. But I imagine that the real humor and connection in the show will be rooted in the human experiences that are similar for us all, just like in the Modern Family relationships and storylines, or in the other characters highlighted by GLAAD in their great infographic.
The New Normal will show us gay surrogacy as a way to have a baby, but we’ll also see that family is created by all of the characters in all of their choices, just as we all manage to create familial ties one way or another, whether or not we bear or raise kids ourselves. I’m just hoping they make us laugh while they do so, that Ellen Barkin doesn’t make me cringe too much, and that the whole thing doesn’t push me further into the hormonal morass of late-in-biological-clock babycraving than Instagram already has. Because that’s a new normal I’m certainly not courting.
I’m watching the premiere tonight and the first episode in the show’s regular Tuesday timeslot tomorrow. Watch too, and let’s see what those One Million (give or take hundreds of thousands) Moms are missing.
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