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The New Normal

NBC TV series The New NormalNetwork: NBC
Episodes: 22 (half-hour)
Seasons: One

TV show dates: September 11, 2012 – April 2, 2013
Series status: Cancelled

Performers include: Andrew Rannells, Justin Bartha, Georgia King, Ellen Barkin, NeNe Leakes, Bebe Wood, and Jayson Blair.

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TV show description:
This sitcom revolves around the idea that families come in all shapes and sizes these days — married couples, single dads, double moms, blended families, adoptions, sperm and egg donors, one-night-stand donors, and on and on. Different is the new normal and things often aren’t as simple as Ozzie and Harriet or Leave It to Beaver.

Bryan Collins (Andrew Rannells) and David Murray (Justin Bartha) are a gay Los Angeles couple and have had a committed and loving partnership for years. They have it all — almost. With successful careers and a committed, loving partnership, there’s just one thing that they’re missing — a baby.

They start searching for someone to help them complete their family and quickly learn that the really important things in life are rarely the easiest.

Enter Goldie Clemmons (Georgia King), an extraordinary young woman with a checkered past. A waitress in the Midwest, she feels trapped and unfulfilled — except for being the mother of her precocious eight-year-old daughter, Shania (Bebe Wood). After walking in on her husband Clay (Jayson Blair) having sex with another woman, Goldie realizes that she needs to escape her dead-end life and her small-minded grandmother, Jane Forrest (Ellen Barkin).

Goldie packs up and heads west in pursuit of her dreams and a better life for Shania. With coaxing from her daughter, Goldie decides to pursue her life-long dream of becoming an attorney. But that will take money and she needs to support her daughter as well. Desperate, broke and fertile, Goldie becomes the guys’ surrogate and quite possibly the girl of their dreams. Surrogate mother — surrogate family.

This plan doesn’t go over well with Nana Jane and she moves to Los Angeles to let it be known. Thankfully, Bryan’s no-nonsense assistant Rocky (NeNe Leakes) is ready to take her on.
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Series Finale

Episode #22 — The Big Day
David and Bryan’s big day has finally arrived – they’re getting married, and it’s shaping up to be everything they always dreamed it would be. Sure, Bryan didn’t get his first choice of minister to officiate the wedding, but other than that, the happy couple is determined to make sure their big day is done “their way.” But when Bryan’s mother says it’s bad luck for the married couple to see each other before their wedding, Bryan gets whisked away, and David agrees to let her have that one timeless tradition.

Goldie and Shania are getting ready for the wedding, but Shania has something else on her mind — she’s worried her mother will be the next to walk down the aisle, since Goldie hasn’t exactly shut down her ex-husband’s recent re-proposal. With her baby on the way, Goldie’s experiencing some revisionist history when it comes to Clay and ponders the benefits of their reconnected family; but Shania is finally happy with her new life and loves the happier mother she has now. Shania remembers the way it used to be and encourages her mom to get back out on the field and find a better guy than her dad.

Bryan and David’s steadfast plan to hold their wedding “their way” is already falling apart at the seams. David’s mother insists her son continue a family tradition of wearing his grandfather’s tuxedo, but the attire is old and looks terrible. Meanwhile, Bryan’s getting cold feet about his decision to speak from the heart for his vows instead of writing them down. Bryan’s mother shows up and begs him to let her walk Bryan down the aisle, but he promised David it would just be the two of them. Something’s got to give.

When they arrive at the wedding, Goldie and Shania are surprised to see Jane there. Her mouth is running amuck as usual, and she almost spills the beans about Goldie’s possible re-engagement. Goldie pulls Jane aside and asks her to keep it a secret until she fully makes up her mind. But when Brice pulls her aside, he lets Goldie know how much of a catch she is and how transformative her presence has been for everyone she’s encountered in her “new life.” Getting married to her ex would just seem like a step in the wrong direction. Goldie is left to ponder Brice’s advice.

Bryan laments that his wedding has been hijacked by the couples’ own mothers; almost none of their original plans remain, having been replaced by the traditional wishes of the mothers of the grooms. David is surprised to have his mother walk him to the altar, just as Bryan is surprised to see his future husband in a 40-year-old tuxedo. When David notices Bryan prepared a vow speech, he begins to feel as if he’s been left out to dry, as he plans to wing it. Before the wedding is official, however, Goldie’s water breaks, and everything must be put on hold while she’s rushed to the hospital.

She gives birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. As planned, they name him Sawyer Collins — a combination of both of their last names.

Two weeks later, Goldie is celebrating the loss of her baby bump when Jane walks in with big news: she recently got a six-figured commission on a recent real estate deal. Goldie assumes she’s about to ask her to come back to Ohio, but instead Jane thanks Goldie for changing her life. She showed her how to be an independent woman, and now she has “green in the bank and a black friend named Rocky!” She doesn’t want to go back to the way things were, and neither should Goldie. Jane tells Goldie to embrace her potential and not her past.

Bryan and David are adjusting to their new lives as fathers when Goldie drops by in search of an AWOL Shania. Rocky tracks her down using the GPS signal from Shania’s phone, and they find her on the Santa Monica beach where she and Goldie sat after arriving in California. Shania says she loves the life she has now and wants to keep her new family — her California one, with Bryan and David and Rocky. Goldie tells Shania she’s decided to say no to Clay’s proposal, but they’ll continue to raise her together.

Bryan realizes that this was all he ever wanted his wedding to be — just his closest family and friends, on the beach. David shoots him a look, and they both realize nothing is stopping them from getting married right then and there. The group hustles to put together a makeshift altar and David calls Bryan’s first minister choice, who agrees to unofficially oversee the wedding. It’s everything Bryan ever wanted.

Finally, David and Bryan marry each other and commit themselves to a lifetime of love. Their new and unique family — “the new normal” — look on and then celebrate.
First aired: April 2, 2013

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What do you think? Do you like The New Normal TV series? Do you think it should have been cancelled or renewed for a second season?

 

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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Ray Workman May 7, 2013 at 6:53 pm

I just love this show. Is fresh,funny and full of heart! This is best New Show on Television. I Love All the Characters!

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Jove May 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm

I love this SHOW

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Richard Martin April 14, 2013 at 9:44 pm

I have enjoyed the current season of the New Normal so much. I haven’t even seen the previous episodes , one of my trainees at work told me to look at the TV series, and I fell in Love with the family, the whole family. I am a part of a gay couple who , one of us wanted children in the 1980′s but the other didn’t think it was appropriate to bring a child into our relationship. Now 32 years later watching this TV series and the episode of the delivery of the baby and the marriage, my partner says he should have let us have children. We weren’t going to get married either but we realize we Must get married to be part of the progress of the Gay Community. I am excited I have Great nephews and nieces to share my life right now. We will get married officially to be counted in the numbers of the Gay Community. We are originally fro New Orleans relocated to Orlando after the big hurricane 2005, so where to have the wedding. We have so much family in New Orleans with friends in Orlando. We support this show , and I was turned on to this show by a 22 year old in a college program. So a 56 year man t learn of this show by a cool young lady. Thank you for your program. I’ll keep watching. !!!

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Marty April 14, 2013 at 11:53 am

Great show. Have been an activist for gay rights for a very long time and it is such an intense and serious pursuit. The New Normal brings out the humanity of this family and how it came together. I think it is fascinating how comedies have helped to mark our progress and how it often helps to lead us. I Love Lucy…first pregnant woman on TV and first time the word is spoken; All in the Family with old Archie railing on with his racist views but provoking conversation in all of us; Golden Girls debating gay rights; Will and Grace with its adult humor and blatantly silly characters….altho Will’s neurotic angst was always so painful; Modern Family and now The New Normal. Dozens of dramas but the comedies reach into more homes, I think.

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Gina V April 9, 2013 at 9:12 pm

Have watched this show since it’s premier last fall – a beautiful story about what makes a family – friendship, acceptance and love. What an amazing ensemble cast – they play so well off each other – there is an ease and comfort in their acting. The second half of the season finale brought me to tears. (have it recorded so I’ve had several good cries since last week!) Please, please don’t cancel it – the message is too important and we need shows like this to entertain as well as educate.

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Jolee April 9, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Love this series. it breaks new ground and makes us reconsider all of our “slight” prejudices. Everyne can change – even Goldie’s grandmother. Important show. Don’t lose it.

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bob April 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm

I think the show is awesome and does handle very nicely many of the issues gay couples and gays in general experience in society! Those who oppose same sex marriage will be against this show while true blooded Americans will love the show and support it as they would same sex marriage. The cast is awesome in this show and I do love the leads! I have admired Justin ever since seeing him in National Treasure and I equally love Andrew. Both of these guys will always be welcome in my house! If this show gets cancelled it would be a travesty of justice!

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David Michael April 4, 2013 at 1:00 am

Absolutely love this show! From the writing to the cast and its relevance, it is brilliant!!

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MimiLaRue April 3, 2013 at 1:19 am

The New Normal – what a dumb show! Are you kidding? Dump this loser ! Boring and not even funny!

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Anonymous April 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Then you don’t watch it – I think it’s a beautiful show.

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Anonymous April 7, 2013 at 12:20 am

I agree. It is a wonderful and groundbreaking show. I can’t wait to see more of it.

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Thad Fisher April 3, 2013 at 12:08 am

This show is so great! Well written, funny and pertinent to today with a fantastic talented cast (and the men are gorgeous)! It is difficult to find all that in one sit-com. I love this show and think it would border on criminal to cancel it. In fact, I can not think of even 1 good reason to do so. If cancellation is truly being considered it can only be because of the power and money of the homophobic right and/or people do not understand the shows very smart humor.

Long live the New Normal!

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Anonymous April 2, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Thanks for the best new series, and a special thanks for one of the very best season finale episodes ever.

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Ronnie G March 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm

This is a great show. I love NeNe in her role

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Amanda March 27, 2013 at 9:57 am

I love that this show makes a gay couple just like any other couple. For most of the storylines it could be a heterosexual couple adopting or expecting a baby. I think that’s the whole point of “the new normal”.
I also love how this show treats Bryan and David like any other couple.. they hold hands, they hug they kiss, etc. and it’s not a big deal.
Great job… hoping it comes back next season. I’d love to see how they are after their son arrives.

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Deb March 26, 2013 at 10:05 pm

I love this show!! It’s fresh and it’s thought provoking. I love Bryan and David as a couple and I’m so excited for them to become parents.

A few years from now this will be thought of as “ground breaking” in the same ways that the show Maude brought women’s liberation and abortion to the forefront.

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Jean March 12, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Love this show please do not cancel. It is different from all the other boring sitcoms with the same tired plots and lines.

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