NBC’s ‘The New Normal’ is empowering

By REBECCA ZHOU
Central York High School

This image released by NBC shows Andrew Rannells as Bryan, left, and Justin Bartha as David in a scene from ‘The New Normal.’ Photo by ASSOCIATED PRESS

I’m going to do it. This is happening. I’m finally saying it: I am irrevocably in love with NBC’s new television show “The New Normal.” The show — created by Ali Adler and Ryan Murphy — aired in the lineup of new comedies for the 2012–13 television season.

“The New Normal” is about Bryan and David, a homosexual couple, who live in Los Angeles. They have it all: the perfect jobs, the perfect home, the perfect partnership. Everything is just… perfect. Well, almost. They want to have a child. That’s where Goldie comes in. A single mother from Ohio with a dead-end job, Goldie and her 9-year-old daughter, Shania, come to L.A. to start a new life and escape Goldie’s wicked — and Republican conservative radical — grandmother Jane. Goldie decides to become Bryan and David’s surrogate, and naturally, her family gets involved. Comedy and life lessons ensue.

There are no words to describe how amazing this show is. Starting with the basics, the cast is excellent. Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha portray Bryan and David, respectively. Their chemistry is amazing and you can really sense the romance without having any sexual innuendos. Ellen Barkin plays Jane, and anyone who knows Barkin won’t need an explanation for why this is great. Child actor Bebe Wood is an excellent actress for her age and you know she was cast perfectly when you hear her deliver one of her complex monologues with such sincerity. Newcomer Georgia King brings the characters together with her main role as Goldie. Although she might lack experience compared to her co-stars, it’s not apparent.

With that established, it’s already set up for comedy/heartwarming gold. Of course, it doesn’t end there! The writing is fantastic, as it should be when it comes from the hands of Ryan Murphy. Many issues arise that could be seen as risky because they’re not typically addressed by TV comedies. And much like “Modern Family,” it has a candid focus on 21st-century issues. Topics range from religion to politics to homophobia as well as the normal “we’re having a baby!” issues.

“The New Normal” is a great way of showing children the different aspects of America’s many issues. Shania is a wonderful role model to young kids because she has the more profound statements on the show than the adults, and if today’s preteens could reiterate the same thoughts, then by golly gee I would be so optimistic about America’s progress. To those adults who are shaking their heads at this, don’t you remember watching and loving “The Wonder Years?” As a teenager, I can say it is a bit odd that I’ve seen every single episode of that amazing television show of 1990, but it was as liberal then as it is now — however, the topics have changed.

“The New Normal” represents everyone, although maybe not the traditional “everyone.” In the episode “Obama Mama,” the 2012 election was the issue at hand and, spoiler alert, David votes Romney. This goes against the aforementioned stereotype that all Republicans are homophobes or devout Christians. Although sometimes I believe this to be true, I know this is not the case and the show is a gentle reminder that we’re not all the same, yet we aren’t so different. If we took the time to know thy neighbor, then we could progress as one.

“The New Normal” airs 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays on Fox.

About Samantha Dellinger

I'm a multiplatform journalist for the York Daily Record/Sunday News. I'm also the designer for Smart magazine. Outside of work, I keep busy as a freelance illustrator. When I'm not designing or creating I enjoy hanging out with my family. I also have a somewhat crazy obsession about my English bulldog, Diesel. I do not like feet, clowns, ferris wheels and hangnails. I'm a fan of 80's new wave music. Love the Pet Shop Boys!
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