• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 10, 2012
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 32
  2. Negative: 3 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Sep 12, 2012
    88
    [A] witty-but-poignant look at what it means to be a modern family.
  2. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Sep 10, 2012
    88
    At its best, it plays like a Woody Allen film, something you may notice most when secondary characters stop and explain themselves to the camera.
  3. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Sep 10, 2012
    83
    Bartha and Rannells's characters display yin/yang neuroses that keep their characters interesting, but as Goldie, the would-be surrogate, Georgia King is unfortunately bland.
  4. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Sep 11, 2012
    80
    A little bit screechy, a little bit preachy, NBC's The New Normal is nonetheless the best comedy of the season--a season short on innovative comedies.
  5. Reviewed by: Drusilla Moorhouse
    Sep 10, 2012
    80
    This heartwarming show just might become the sitcom success NBC so desperately needs.
  6. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Sep 10, 2012
    80
    It's fast and funny. As long as Ryan continues to mix humor from the cute and the curdled sides of the aisle, this show will entertain.
  7. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Sep 11, 2012
    75
    The New Normal finds its game when it's funny without trying so hard and sweet when it should be.
  8. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Sep 5, 2012
    75
    A fairly promising new show with a lot of humor, solid performances, a snappily written script.
  9. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Aug 31, 2012
    75
    The color, pace and performance are vibrant, often crazily so. [10 Sep 2012, p.39]
  10. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Aug 31, 2012
    75
    I'd give The New Normal a slight edge because it's tighter and more assured, but the bigger, odder "Go On" ensemble bears watching too--for a few more episodes, at least.
  11. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Sep 10, 2012
    70
    It is an arch comedy with a soft heart behind its scrim of fast-paced patter.
  12. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Sep 10, 2012
    70
    [The} New Normal won't be for everybody, but there's enough here to suggest it can connect with a loyal core, enticing some to stick around and see what develops.
  13. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Sep 10, 2012
    70
    The New Normal is at its funniest when it's most outrageous; other times it feels as if it might have worked better as a one-shot movie than a weekly TV series.
  14. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Sep 10, 2012
    70
    As you'd expect from co-creator Ryan Murphy (Glee), the tone can wobble from sappy to flamboyantly snarky, but there's a real emotional undercurrent that makes Normal a good fit with Matthew Perry's new sitcom Go On.
  15. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Sep 10, 2012
    70
    The New Normal is sweet-natured, in the way the characters mingle their lives together; but the jokes, they are mighty spotty.
  16. Reviewed by: Maysa Hattab
    Sep 10, 2012
    70
    The lack of cynicism is at least a bit unusual in the current sitcom universe, conferring novelty and a genuine, rather than confected, sweetness.
  17. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Sep 10, 2012
    67
    Go beyond the in-your-face, outrageous title here, and you'll find a somewhat sweet show struggling to create some real laughs.
  18. Reviewed by: Gail Pennington
    Sep 10, 2012
    63
    The comedy is all over the place in tone, bouncing from broad and silly to poignant and real to silly again.
  19. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Sep 10, 2012
    63
    NBC's The New Normal has its share of stereotypes and crass jokes that straddle the line of bad taste. But it's also sweet and, dare I say, funny.
  20. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Sep 11, 2012
    60
    Much about the pilot felt flat or programmatic to me, but much was likable as well, especially the nonchalant tenderness between the male leads. And the cast is good.
  21. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Sep 10, 2012
    50
    This one tries so hard to set up its premise that at times it ends up feeling more like a PSA than a comedy, which can be annoying if you're already on board with same-sex marriage and gay parenting.
  22. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Sep 7, 2012
    50
    The New Normal needs to take a deep breath, get off the soapbox and get funny fast. The right elements--talented cast and showrunner--are already in place.
  23. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Sep 6, 2012
    50
    For now, it's a disappointing polemic that mainly offends by being lazily or awkwardly executed more often than not.
  24. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Sep 10, 2012
    42
    The execution in this case is too shrill and scattered to get any of his points--or jokes--across.
  25. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Sep 11, 2012
    40
    Murphy and Adler opt for the caustic in a series that probably had its best chance of success playing it more subtle and more sentimental, tossing in the barbs judiciously.
  26. 40
    The New Normal humanizes stereotypes without ever quite making them seem like people.
  27. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Sep 10, 2012
    40
    The New Normal needs to work in a more linear and emotionally direct fashion, and there's not much about this NBC pilot, which is fueled by a mixture of cattiness and slick manipulation, that reassures me on that front.
  28. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Sep 10, 2012
    40
    For now this show is much more normal--read: mediocre--than it seems to think it is.
  29. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Sep 10, 2012
    40
    The New Normal wants what "Modern Family" is having. But if we're going to catapult from "South Park" to a Hallmark movie, we need a smoother ride.
  30. Reviewed by: Phillip Maciak
    Sep 10, 2012
    38
    The New Normal is a nominally progressive comedy with more gay jokes and regular old racism than Gallagher's stand-up act.
  31. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Sep 14, 2012
    30
    The problem is--as is ever the case in sitcoms with no future, and this is one of them--vapid writing and characters drawn according to formula.
  32. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Sep 11, 2012
    30
    Where Modern Family is sweet and funny, The New Normal is cheap and hectoring.
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 115 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 37
  2. Negative: 18 out of 37
  1. Sep 28, 2012
    2
    If you want a show full of stereotypes and predictable humor that isn't funny, then watch this show. Unfortunately, the premise had the potential to be funny. I know some people wouldn't watch it because there are gay characters, and nay-sayers will blame them when the show inevitably fails, but Modern Family sure seems to be doing all right. The difference is the writing. The New Normal is not groundbreaking in anyway. Even when they think showing people having sex within the first 5 minutes is edgy, it isn't because we see that constantly. Make something original. please. This is a DO NOT watch. Full Review »
  2. Sep 11, 2012
    8
    Has definite potential, although a bit worried about the harshness of Ellen Barkin's character. But the three (four if you count the girl) leads are all solid. Writing held up in the second episode, too. Worth watching to see if it delivers on the quality of the first two episodes. Full Review »
  3. Oct 4, 2012
    7
    "The New Normal" is definetely a really interesting show. Whereas it's not something innoative on its story or in the way the story is narrated, I think that it is a decent attempt for a comedy. What bothers many people is the stereotypical presentation of genders, or groups. On how I see it that's not pretty false. This story is for stereotypes and if someone can't stand them, he should just don't bother give it a try. The last point I want to raise is that this show also gives some food for thought, and that there are many scenes that will really touch you! Full Review »