I really want to like The New Normal. It's the new comedy from
the creator of Glee, and it's
coming to E4. But I'm finding it a little difficult. Help me
The premise behind the series sounds solid enough: a gay couple
are seeking to have a child through a surrogate. It gets rainbow
points too - it's written by Ryan Murphy and Ali Adler, who are
both openly gay. Also, anything that One Million Moms doesn't
like, I feel like I should adore by default. They boycott Skittles
and Oreos after all, and those things are delicious.
But despite all this I can't help feeling that the show is a
little… uninspired. Come on guys, don't you think the jokes are a
little bit lazy? A gay couple wanting a baby as the latest fashion
accessory? A surrogate mother being compared to an Easybake Oven?
And let's not forget the quintessential "lesbians are ugly men"
joke. The joke is cut out of the short clip NBC is using to promote
the show, but the rest of the conversation is hardly better. Scroll
to the bottom of the page for the video. Go ahead, I'll wait.
Seriously, is this really the best clip NBC could have found to
advertise the series? Nana's hair joke is even stolen from Lucille
Bluth - who is a much more hilarious bigot, by the way. But maybe
I'm getting ahead of myself. After all, Adler
defends her co-writer in Vogue by saying, "He's literally
color-blind, gender-blind, homosexual-blind."
Literally colour-blind? That would explain the
Just kidding, I know what Adler is trying to say. But I find it a
little hard to believe. I don't know how a man can be ignorant of
race, and yet cast the show's only woman of colour into the role
of Sassy Black Female. I don't know how he can be gender-blind
when in Murphy-world, women are always irrational and their vaginas
look like "tarantula faces". And I don't know how he can be
homosexual-blind and then paint gay men as victims of homophobia
while having them simultaneously joke about how old lesbian couples
have permanent frowns and "gingerbread man bodies".
I hate to be the one to say it (wait, no I don't) but maybe Ryan
Murphy has kind of made a career out of exploiting stereotypes?
Like, a whole career. Being gay doesn't automagically make you
exempt from your moral obligation to other human beings and I'm not
really sure that just pointing out stereotypes does anything to
actually diminish them from being seen as legitimate. In many ways
it might just reinforce them in some people's eyes, especially if
it's coming from a member of the 'community'.
I'll give Murphy and Adler the benefit of the doubt, because I am
actually really excited to hear that Constance Zimmer and Leisha
Hailey have been cast as a lesbian couple later in the series. I'm
sure that means that lesbians will at least get a line to
themselves. But you know, just because a show has an actress from
The L Word doesn't mean it's lesbian friendly. (Have you
seen Sarah Shahi in Fairly Legal ?)
And you can't always trust Alice anyway. I think she killed