by Jenna Mullins | Mon., Aug. 27, 2012 3:32 PM
We haven't been this desperate to join a family since Modern Family premiered in 2009.
The New Normal, the NBC comedy from Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy, is the perfect mix of topical comedy and heartfelt emotion, both stemming from a family dynamic that spans generations, gender and gestation. Oh, and the cast is perfect.
New Normal (NBC)
Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 9:30 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), The Mindy Project (Fox), Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 (ABC), Emily Owens, M.D. (CW)
Cast: Andrew Rannells, Justin Bartha, Ellen Barkin, Georgia King, Bebe Wood, NeNe Leakes
Status: We've seen the pilot episode.
The New Normal is not just a story about a two men wanting a child together. It's a story about a woman finding a new life for herself and her daughter after she catches her slacker husband cheating. It's a story about a mother watching her daughter get mixed up in a situation that she finds to be immoral and degrading. And finally, it's a story about a young couple learning to be parents.
These are all storylines you've undoubtedly heard before, but what makes The New Normal really special is how these people intertwine to make one family. Some members of this family might be there against their will, while others are starving for that kind of support. Namely: Goldie, played with wide-eyed enthusiasm by Georgia King, who almost reminds us of a blonde Lea Michele in some of her dramatic delivery (that's a compliment). Afraid that Goldie's sweetness and vulnerability might be too much for you? Enter Ellen Barkin's Jane to help suck out that sugar.
You can tell that Murphy will have way too much fun writing Jane (in a good way), as she is supposed to represent a One Million Moms-type character. And wouldn't you know it, One Million Moms has already spoken out against The New Normal! Shocking, we know. But before you hate Ellen Barkin's character for her narrow-mindedness, homophobia and racism, you should know that Jane loves her daughter very much, and even though she's not a fan of the lifestyle choices Goldie is making (we'll get to that in a moment), she begrudgingly accepts the new life she has in Los Angeles.
Ready to meet your new favorite TV couple? Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and David (Justin Bartha) are young, handsome, successful and totally in love. The only thing missing in their lives is a baby. They have the money to use a surrogate, and Goldie needs money to achieve her goal of going to law school. The two worlds collide, with hilarious and heartwarming results. Bartha and Rannells are so entertainingly perfect together that you realize you'd watch an entire series just about their lives. Rannells is probably on his way to an Emmy nomination already, right behind Barkin.
Rounding out the cast is Real Housewives star NeNe Leakes as Rocky, Bryan's sassy assistant (and Jane's nemesis), and Goldie's daughter-with-an-old-soul Shania (Bebe Wood). No one seems out of place in the cast, and we can't wait for the different interactions the dynamic cast will bring to the show. You start the show giggling and tearing up, and that's exactly how you end it. Trust us, The New Normal will be your must-watch family show of the week, and the fact that it's technically about a "nontraditional" family is what makes it perfect.
Our Review in GIF form:
Verdict: Watch. If you can't tell by our gushing, we love this show and we love it hard.
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