TV review: The New Normal

By Columbus Alive
From the September 9, 2012 edition

NBC’s new Ryan Murphy (creator of hit series “Glee” and “American Horror Story”) comedy about a gay couple finding a surrogate wastes any positives with a terrible sense of taste and humor.

Goldie (Georgia King) is a wonderful mother to her precocious daughter, Shania (Bebe Wood) but has a horrible husband and a “Nana from Hell” (Ellen Barkin). See, Nana is a horrible racist who also hates gays and lesbians — basically a modern-day Archie Bunker, minus the humor.

After a woeful series of events, Goldie goes to California with her daughter to start a better life. She finds a nice gay couple, Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and David (Justin Bartha), who want her to be their surrogate.

This setup has nice potential for a sitcom, but the Murphy-written-and-directed-pilot is horribly offensive. And it’s hard to offend me. But when you make little people drive Barbie Power Wheels and have jokes like, “HPV, you can throw a cat and hit a girl with that,” it’s hard not to be insulted.

It’s a shame, because King does a nice job playing Georgia as the dreamer with a good head on her shoulders, and Wood’s Shania is impeccably cute and funny. I also like the chemistry between Bartha and Rannells. Even Barkin is at least having fun with her role.

“The New Normal” has a premise that could show how people of all different backgrounds can bond and form a non-traditional family. Unfortunately, Murphy sets this aside for insults and vitriol in the guise of humor — humor that’s not at all funny. Oh, and why not throw in Real Housewives of Atlanta NeNe Leaks as a cherry on top of this turd sundae?