The New Normal: My Take

When I saw this trailer I was all prepared to write a post all about how much I love Andrew Rannells and his delightfully cartoonish expressive face. (Not to mention Justin Bartha’s arms.) But then I watched the first three episodes of this new Ryan Murphy helmed show (including this week’s while I was running at the gym – take that king size Kit Kat that I ate for no reason) and…well, I’m lukewarm. Which if you’ve read the “About” section of this blog or met me you know that doesn’t happen very often.

I really want to like this show, I adore all the actors involved, even those who’ve I never heard of before, (Georgia King where have you been hiding your sweetly naïve face?) And I love that there’s a show on network television not only featuring a gay couple starting a family, but literally centering around it.

My problems with the show are probably not the ones you are expecting. (Though there is a good case for them.) I have been watching Ryan Murphy’s TV shows since Popular (though I skip American Horror Story because I like sleeping), I understand that the ridiculously offensive things Ellen Barkin says and the seemingly stereotypical characters are all intentional. He’s making a point here, and he doesn’t do subtlety.

The problem is that combining that over the top aesthetic with a message – admittedly a great one, that we all should get over ourselves and accept each other – can come across like an After School special on tolerance. And basically when I’m running on the elliptical I want to be laughing so hard I don’t notice the incline change, not smiling slightly and nodding at the message. Glee has this issue too sometimes (full disclosure I stopped watching halfway through last season), but at least then there will be a mashup to keep me going. But I’m not good at not eating Kit Kats if they are on sale at CVS so I may keep this in my gym rotation, until Happy Endings returns in October at least.

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