September 04, 2012

TV: The New Normal (NBC, Tue 9:30)

Several of this year's new series currently have their first episode available for preview at their network's websites; this show premieres on September 11. (EDIT/Sep 7: Last minute schedule change from NBC: The pilot will actually air on Monday, September 10, with a new episode in the show's regular Tuesday timeslot on the 11th.)

The New Normal is the latest from Ryan Murphy, which usually means a show that's going to shoot its creative wad in the first season before falling completely to hell in season 2. Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells star as David and Bryan, a gay couple who decide that they want a baby. Their surrogate mother, Goldie (Georgia King), has a daughter of her own (Bebe Wood) and a foul-mouthed bigoted grandmother (Ellen Barkin) who is meant to be the equivalent of Glee's Sue Sylvester, getting laughs with un-PC "did she really say that?" comments.

Bartha and Rannells are a very appealing couple, and King and Wood have a nice mother-daughter relationship. If the show keeps the focus on those characters, it could be pleasantly entertaining. The danger, though, lies in the likelihood that they'll overdo it with Barkin (or with Nene Leakes, who has a small role as Bryan's sharp-tongued sassy assistant); I suspect we'll be sick of those characters, and accordingly of the show, by Thanksgiving.

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