• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 10, 2012
  • Season #: 1
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 115 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 115
  2. Negative: 32 out of 115

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  1. 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.
  2. May 15, 2013
    0
    Ok, I get it. These guys are gay. Here's the thing, do we need to be reminded in every episode? Perhaps if the gay steriotypes and gay jokes stopped everyone would just accept this couple as normal.
  3. Nov 6, 2012
    2
    I think the show tries too hard. It looks like it is a let-me-educate-you-about-gay-issues disguised as a comedy. I think that Modern Family and Glee do that in a much better way. The acting and dialogues are terrible!
  4. Oct 20, 2012
    4
    It can be funny at times but mostly it is just political preaching about homophobia and stuff. There was even an episode about the election. This kind of stuff just should not be in a sitcom.
  5. Sep 20, 2012
    10
    I'm a gay dad. My story isn't the one shown in this show, but so far 'The New Normal' touches on some of the issues I've wrestled with. Ok, I rated it based on emotion rather than objective production values. But to FINALLY see something on tv that reflects MY life is jaw-dropping. The simple scene of the two dads-to-be smooching in a big clothes shop only to be asked by another dad not to act like that in front of his daughter...and then to be at a loss as to what should have been the right response for something that would not have occurred if they'd been a straight couple....oh god, I know it so well. Folks, if this were a 3-dimensional representation, the American censors would not let it air. This is as much gay reality as your (the American -- I'm Australian) system will allow. Small steps, but steps nonetheless. Expand
  6. Apr 3, 2013
    10
    Show is progressing sweetly. Very touching moments. Hope it stays. Spotlights the plight of gay family life and the direction which our country needs to move in order to truly be "The Land of the Free." Worth the 30 minutes.
  7. Sep 11, 2012
    10
    I think that this could be a nice and a "hit" show for NBC, maybe it has an stereotypical gay couple who just want a baby, but this is a realistic topic that is usually ignoring in the biggest shows on TV, also the cast is just amazing starting with the fabolous Ellen Barkin as a "bigot grandmother", Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha have a surprising and wonderful chemistry on screen, Bebe Wood and Georgia King are very good too, finally Nene Leakes could be one of the funniest actresses who could appear in this new season. I think that The New Normal could be very succesful in the near future. I'm still watching... Expand
  8. Sep 26, 2012
    8
    This is far and away the best of the new sitcoms. The writing is superb, and the direction is acceptable. Ellen Barkin's barking is the only real distraction. If they tone her down.....they should have a hit
  9. 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. Expand
  10. Sep 14, 2012
    6
    If I had to judge this show by its first episode, I would have told you: Stay away!
    It felt like they took the gay couple from "Modern Family" and made them not funny and shallow. Then they took Charlie's and Allen's mother from "Two and a half men" and made her even more terrible and racist, too.
    The setup of the show is this: We have the gay couple who decide they want to have a
    baby.
    They meet a very likable young woman with a sweet, bright daughter and her bigot, racist grandmother, played by Ellen Barkin.
    Since the young mother left her husband and doesn't want to be financially dependent on her terrible grandmother, she agrees to be become the surrogate mother for the gay couple's child.

    The "humor" of first episode relied almost exclusively on racist remarks by the surrogate's grandmother.
    Her character is one note and the show will soon grow tedious and annoying with her at the comedic center. The rest of the cast provided almost no comedy.
    But watching the second episode, I was pleasantly surprised. They gave the grandmother less screen time and only half of it consisted of racist remarks.
    The surrogate mother's daughter was wonderful and funny and we got more comedic moments by friends of the gay couple, the latter being more likable and funny this time.
    I laughed several times during the second episode, something I couldn't say about the first one.
    So either the first episode was a misstep or they work to make the show better.
    Giving the show the benefit of doubt and hoping it will improve more I'll tentatively give it a thumbs up.
    Expand
  11. Sep 11, 2012
    1
    Yuck. Didn't laugh, or chuckle, barely smiled. I thought the premise was interesting and modern but I found the show annoying and not funny at all.
  12. Sep 11, 2012
    9
    This is a fun show that is appealing to many audiences. The characters are bigger than life, particularly Ellen Barkin who plays a hilariously articulate bigot. My only fear is that the characters will continue to be stereotypical, and not grow with more interesting nuances. That said, there are many one liners that are quite amusing and will likely be quotable moments in the future.
  13. Sep 11, 2012
    3
    I hated this show and found it unwatchable. It's need to draw the characters in strokes of black and white makes it seem silly compared to the deep and interesting characters in Modern Family. If Hollywood wants us to watch this type of comedy we need better characters that don't wink at the camera for laughs.
  14. Sep 13, 2012
    0
    This is nothing more than a lobotomized version of Modern Family. I watched the first episode and was appalled at how bad it was. I could not find anything remotely redeeming about the show, not even Ellen Barkin who I normally adore. this show is a waste of air space.
  15. Sep 13, 2012
    1
    Really bad show. Scriptwriters seem to be relying on shock value for laughs, instead of actual wit. Barkin was awful and the rest of the characters are just plain annoying.
  16. Sep 19, 2012
    0
    Anyone progressive enough to be fine with gays will be weary of this 30 minute PSA. The pilot showed potential, but the following episodes showed me a new show to watch for the purpose of laughing at how bad it is. Ryan Murphy usually has terrible 2nd season luck - this time he's saved us by starting early. The show tries all too hard to push the envelope, but their envelope is already sealed. At first I thought there would be competition for Modern Family, but I can't relate to or sympathize with a single "Normal" character whereas I love the entire cast of "Modern." This will be the "NEW" failure in NBC's recycle bin. Expand
  17. Oct 2, 2012
    0
    This is the worst new show on TV. In addition to being a terrible knock off, they did it poorly, and it's not funny. Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad.
  18. Oct 2, 2012
    0
    This is a bad attempt at piggy backing off the success of Modern Family (which is a great show by the way) Don't bother with The New Normal. You might as well go to bed early. You'll be more entertained.
  19. Oct 1, 2012
    2
    I can't say I was excited to watch this show,but I thought I would see something more original. The ''jokes'' doesn't work and all the characters are too stereotyped even for a comedy.Ryan Murphy needs to find the inspiration he had when he created Nip/Tuck, that show was truly remarkable.
  20. Oct 3, 2012
    0
    I was quite ready to like this show, but I lost all interest when the truly worthwhile series, "Treme," was negatively referenced by an already disagreeable and stereotyped character, I changed the channel. Writers' "Pen" envy? Definitely without class...
  21. 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! Expand
  22. Oct 10, 2012
    8
    Although I find this show a refreshing change, I do not care for Ellen Barkin's character. Ellen's constant spewing of hatred about pretty much everything is more annoying than funny or entertaining. The show is worth giving a chance and hopefully they will find their niche.
  23. Jan 3, 2013
    8
    I think this show is good because of what it represents by itself. Ryan Murphy shows us again something real, unique and pure. Actors don't feel strange and the story is well written. It has some mistakes, but they are trying to fix them up.
  24. Nov 21, 2012
    0
    This was just annoying. Every character was overplayed. I support gay rights, but this came across as preachy to the point of obnoxious. The writing was boring and loaded with jokes that didn't really come off.
  25. Dec 30, 2012
    1
    Are you serious? It's really badly writen. It seems they are trying again to reinvent something that has been done. Not only is it mean spirited, it's jokes are old and played out. We need something fresh. I feel like I have seen this before.
  26. Jan 17, 2013
    10
    I loved this show; it's well meaning , and hits close to home. I think some of the jokes may not be well received by people who are easily offended, but it didn't bother me. You need this kind of show to cheer you up, and I would happily recommend it to anyone.
  27. Jan 21, 2013
    10
    Please tell me what the people that gave this show 0 enjoys please. If Modern Family is your measuring stick then you have these shows mistaken. Modern Family is just as filled with stereotypes as New Normal. Modern Family does not deal with real characters either, Gloria? Manny? Hayley? Some of those characters have the depth of a kiddie pool. New Normal has character depth and yes is stereotypical because American audiences do not want to see real Gay people on screen. If this show was a Queer As Folk style show it would not be watched by middle class conservatives. But with the Ellen Barkins grandma character those normally anti-gay viewers can now have a voice. @antena why does her harshness worry you? That harshness is how out gay people are treated daily. Me and my partner love this show, and yes we see the stereotypes, but the stereotypes take the edge of real issues, making it consumable to the masses. Will & Grace was probably the worst Gay comedy thing ever, no real character progression, no real issues covered but with New Normal Ryan Murphy is doing what no one else is doing and that is mass-marketing gay life. I love this show, and if Cam and Mitch are the only Expand
  28. Jan 22, 2013
    10
    This show is great. I believe in its message of acceptance, and the hope that it offers for equality. Bebe Woods is a great talent, and the show provides for some important deconstruction of the world's prejudices. May we all learn from it.
  29. Jan 23, 2013
    10
    Wonderful show for anyone who isnt homophobic! This show is modern and applies to how families are becoming with the new "relationship standard". Nene Leeks adds a great addition with her quick wit along with Ellen Barkin who is wonderful and FUNNY! I look forward to this show as it is better then most other "family comedies" on Primetime.
  30. Jan 23, 2013
    9
    I'm amazed to see so many negative reviews by users. Yes, there are stereotypes in this show, what show doesn't have them. Stereotypical gays, straight dads, producers, womanizers, we find them in all comedies, that's what makes comedies work. Have you heard of Archie Bunker? This show is funny, sometimes poignant, but the important thing is it makes us look at our beliefs and our core values. The young daughter is a scream and her take on "Grey Gardens" almost made me pee my pants. Yes one dad is a raging gay (at times) one is still dealing with his "gayness". but the important thing is it is about family, and all those different, eccentric, damaged family members that we all have. To me it is funny, refreshing and a joy to watch. Expand
Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 32
  2. Negative: 3 out of 32
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Lori Rackl
    Sep 12, 2012
    88
    [A] witty-but-poignant look at what it means to be a modern family.
  3. 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.