Monday, 14 July 2014

DVD Review - The New Normal: The Complete First Season

The New Normal: The Complete First Season
Starring: Justin Bartha, Andrew Rannells, Georgia King, Bebe Wood, NeNe Leakes, Javson Blair, Ellen Barkin
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Retail: $29.95
Running Time: 484 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Buy Link: Amazon


Available through Amazon's manufacturing on demand (MOD) service is the 2012-2013 sitcom The New Normal, co-created by Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tick, Glee, American Horror Story). The series aired on NBC for one season and received mixed reviews from critics, a few even calling the series "raciest."

The New Normal centers on a gay California couple, Bryan (played by Andrew Rannells) and David (played by David Bartha), whom decide that they want to become parent. They seek out the perfect surrogate - Goldie (played by Georgia King), and they instantly befriend Goldie and her wiser-than-her-age daughter, Shania.

Life seemed to be going great until Gold's overprotected raciest grandmother, Jane Forrest (played by Ellen Barkin) decides to movie to California to disturb them in anyway possible. To make matters worse, Goldie's slacker ex-boyfriend shows up wanting custody of Shania.

The 22 episodes on the 3-disc set are:

Sofa's Choice
Baby Clothes
Obama Mama
The Godparent Trap
Pardon Me
The XY Factor
Baby Proofing
The Goldie Rush
Stay-at-Home Dad
Dairy Queen
Dog Children
Rocky Bye Baby
Para-New Normal Activity
Blood, Sweat and Fears
About a Boy Scout
Finding  Name-O
The Big Day

I have to admit that besides from Law & Order: SVU and Grimm, I have no idea what other programs air on NBC, which is probably why I missed out watching The New Normal when it originally aired in 2012. Ryan Murphy is known for bending the censorship on FX with his past series Nip/Tuck and his current series American Horror Story, but his take on comedies have been a mixed bag, especially with how misguided Fox's Glee has become over the years.

The New Normal comes across as a heartfelt comedy in the style of Modern Family (which I'm not a fan of) and focuses on a gay couple starting a family through a surrogate. Though the series has a great cast, the scripts are a little too preachy and unrealistic. All the characters are from a liberal viewpoint except for the grandmother that is played by Ellen Barkin, but the character's betrayal of a Republican is outrageous and horribly written, as not all Republicans are bigots. The only interesting character is the little girl, Shania (played by Bebe Wood), who is smarter than any other character on the series.

Considering the DVD is being released over a year after the series was cancelled, you would think the DVD would titled "The Complete Series" instead of "The Complete First Season." Also, the Amazon MOD decided to go by the original air dates instead of the production order, so the Halloween episode, Para-New Normal Activity, is on the third disc. There are no extras on the set.

Overall, The New Normal: The Complete First Season is bland comedy that had an interesting premise, but was ruined by terrible writing. I'm not saying it was completely bad, but it is forgettable.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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