Episodes: 22 (half-hour)
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.
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.
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
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?