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NBC’s ‘The New Normal’ tries too hard with ‘Glee’s’ old tricks

Courtesy of NBC

NBC’s new comedy series “The New Normal” is a ghost from shows past as it is a near duplicate of FOX’s once popular show “Glee.” It is easy to draw parallels between “Glee” and “The New Normal,” which were both created by Ryan Murphy. And that is probably what annoys me most of all.

The show is about a gay couple who want a baby. They find a surrogate, and along with the surrogate comes her socially awkward daughter, and her crazy grandmother.

Watching the show, I somewhat enjoyed it, but as I got through the first episode, it became apparent the writers and creators are taking the skeleton of “Glee” and inputting just a couple of new characters, changing the scenery and giving it a new name.

Ellen Barkin who plays Jane Forrest, the bigot grandmother who makes more than slightly racist jokes, is the reincarnation of “Glee’s” Sue Sylvester (played by Jane Lynch), who also makes inappropriate comments toward the protagonists on that show.

The protagonists of “The New Normal” are the gay couple, named David Murray (played by Justin Bartha) and Bryan Collins (played by Andrew Rannells), the surrogate mother, Goldie Clemmons (played by Georgia King) and her daughter, Shania Clemmons (played by Bebe Wood).

“The New Normal’s” cast seemingly replaced the high school kids of “Glee.” The protagonists are the butt of every joke and are on the receiving end of harassment from the grandmother.

Goldie Clemmons is flaky and makes drastic life changes multiple times per episode. She and her daughter run away to California for a new start and that is how they end up in business with the gay couple.

NeNe Leakes, better known for her role on “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” also makes an appearance, but her acting and her role are so minimal that her character only provides the writers with an opportunity to interlace racist jokes throughout the episode.

The show is boring. It is set up exactly like “Glee” with  the music, character dynamics and even the commercial breaks. I wonder if the creator was hoping to just make a ton of money off of the same show with a slightly different plot and a new name or if it was actually a brand new idea.

“The New Normal is scheduled to air 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays on NBC.

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