Wednesday, September 12, 2012

TV 2012: The New Normal

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If ever I have been torn over a show, it's this one. Since I knew it was getting so much hype, I should at least review it, but I was not looking forward to it. I'd almost talked myself out of it when I stumbled into watching it one bored night.

After my first watching, I was even more torn. I like elements of this show so much, but other parts of it make me want to throw up all over myself just so I have the excuse to leave the room. Let's break this divide down.

  • The writing was terrible. Aside from some Sue Sylvester-esque quips every once and a while, the dialog was just plain bad. And I think that's what concerns me most about this show is that it's a Ryan Murphy show, creator of "Glee". I used to love Glee. The first couple of episodes were perfection, but everything after that makes "Degrassi" look like Shakespeare. I appreciate consistancy in my characters. I don't need to be able to predict everything they do, but their actions should at least make sense. I can't become invested in another show to have it go all haywire again.
  • Some details confused me. Was her boyfriend the father of the little girl? [Side note: this review would be so much easier if I knew any of their names! Why aren't they wearing name tags or something?!] Wait, she's wearing a ring on her ring finger, are they married? Were they living with him or with the grandmother? Why wasn't the little girl more upset with everything she knew changing around her? No eight year old is that stoic and logical.
  • List of the characters I don't like:
    • Bryan - the over-the-top gay man. I liked him for the first minute, but then he went batty. Wanting a baby just so you can dress him? Requesting a skinny blond child? Yeah, I'm out.
    • Nene Leakes. She didn't add anything. Period. Her sass didn't make things any more enjoyable and didn't even make me laugh. It's not her, it's the writing, but I still don't care.
    • Nana. I get it, you're hateful, but oddly enough, that's not why I don't like her. Why try to make her redeemable in the pilot? Can't she just be a terrible person and we find out down the line that she's got history for her hate? And quips don't sound funny coming out of her mouth, just mean and poorly delivered.
    • Goldie - the star of the show. I don't want to watch another pretty, doe-eyed girl/woman protagonist. We have Zooey Deschanel for that and she's at least quirky and awkward on top of it. Maybe she'll develop a back bone or some other honorable quality, but for now, she's just a pretty, soft-spoken doormat.
  • I'm a big fan of gay characters that are characters, not caricatures. While Bryan is waaaaay over the top, the other guy isn't (I watched it twice and I still don't know his name). Not every gay guy is all about the show tunes, pop stars, and being effeminate. 
  • Some moments are so incredibly sweet. When the characters are being real and human, it's very difficult not to get caught up in all of the emotions, like when deciding who will be the biological dad. More heart, less quips.
  • Nana pulling a gun on the cheating boyfriend. I'm not pro-gun, but even was a nice little show of support for the granddaughter she really doesn't support.
  • The little girl and her mother actually look related. It really bugs me when there isn't some sort of resemblance when casting families. No, I don't ignore the fact that they don't look related because they act like such a family. Suck it up cast directors and hire people that look like!
  • I would watch this show just for the reaction shots of the little girl. Maybe not, but still, they are pretty classic.
Based on the pilot alone, I give this show a C+. There's no doubt in my mind that it'll get a full season pick up, but whether or not I watch more than the next episode has yet to be determined. I'll probably add it to my hulu queue, but it's just so easy to delete episodes that don't hook me for a whole season, so that doesn't mean much.

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