The title refers to the changing definition of family; assuming “normal” is mother, father and child, the “new normal” here is father, father, child, surrogate, surrogate’s child and surrogate’s grandmother.
Overall, it’s an enjoyable enough series. Gay couples, and gay couples wanting children, has been covered in other shows, but this is the first time I’ve seen it at the centre.
Like any show, there are good episodes and bad episodes, and when it’s good it’s great. But when it’s bad, it was sometimes almost painful, and that’s a little too bad.
I haven’t seen an announcement yet on whether it’ll get a second season, and while I would stick with it if it does, I wouldn’t be devastated if it didn’t: the season ended on a happy note with no loose ends and I didn’t love it that much.
So what’s it about?
Bryan and David are a gay couple who want a child and decide to pursue surrogacy.
Goldie catches her husband cheating on her and walks out on him, her grandmother and young daughter Shania in tow. She isn’t sure what she’s running to, but it’s time to make a change. She decides that that change is going to include being a surrogate for Bryan and David.
The set up is all covered in the first episode, and the rest of the season is about family, babies and homophobia with episodes that vary from heartwarming (as you may be aware, the Boy Scouts don’t take kindly to gays) to the idiotic (everyone getting involved in trying to find out if someone’s gay with a series of increasingly silly tests.)
Who will you meet?
Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and David (Justin Bartha), the gay couple. Bryan, a producer and sensitive baby-clothes buyer, David the obstetrician who doesn’t always remember to switch to dad mode when he should. They decide to turn to surrogacy for the baby that will complete their family.
Goldie, the surrogate is played by Georgia King. After she finds her husband cheating on her, she takes her daughter and runs away from her dead-end life. She decides to be come a surrogate to try and get the money for law school, and meets Bryan and David.
Nana, the grandmother, is played by Ellen Barkin. The racist and homophobic grandmother who follows her granddaughter to bring her home and is predictably horrified at what she decides to do. While she does start to warm towards the idea – of course she does – the character still swings between being funny and just being over the top nasty.
Shania, the daughter, is played by Bebe Wood. Her initial oddness turns out to be a character arc, which means she thankfully improves, but the desire to make her precocious and strange can be offputting. I’m all for kids being smart, but when they start lecturing and become know it alls…
Rocky works with Bryan. She’s another character who sometimes takes things too far, and while she gets a couple of her own storylines that make her a little more sympathetic, she spends an awful lot of time being… loud. She’s played by NeNe Leakes, and apparently this is her default acting style?
The first season is over, and has a good ending that won’t leave you with a horrible cliffhanger if it isn’t picked up for a second season. The issues I have with the characters may be issues that only I feel; I suggest you check it out if it sounds good to you and see for yourself.