New Show Recap: The New Normal: “Pilot” and “Sofa’s Choice”

Hello again! Some of you may remember me from last spring’s Mad Men recaps. This show is a bit lighter, so it should be fun! I hope lots of you ladies will watch along with me. And now, onto the show.

A prologue lets us know that this show is about a baby who is desperately wanted and loved even before it’s born. But how is the baby going to be born? For that we have to go to Ohio where we meet”¦

Goldie (Georgia King), her Nana (Ellen Barkin), and Goldie’s daughter Shania (Bebe Wood). One day, Goldie walks in on her husband having an affair, which is just the push she needs to really change her life. On a whim, she and her daughter drive to California while her bigoted yet stylish Nana tries to settle things with Goldie’s husband.

Meanwhile, in California, undefined well-paid professional Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and “gaynecologist” David (Justin Bartha) decide that they’d like to give parenthood a chance. As they consult with some fertility specialists (including a couple fun cameos from Gwyneth Paltrow and Leslie Grossman), their paths eventually cross with Goldie’s, who has decided that she wants to be a surrogate for a gay couple because “love is love” and being pregnant with her daughter is the most successful thing she’s done in her life. She wants the money to pursue her dreams of becoming a fancy lawyer like Julianna Marguiles on The Good Wife and Bryan and David are happy to help make that dream come true.

Just as Goldie has received embryo’s fertilized with David’s sperm, Nana shows up to voice her objections to all of everything that’s happened because her husband had an affair with another man years ago. Or something like that. Goldie stands firm in her conviction to help Bryan and David have their child, and her grandmother does not take this news particularly well.

The episode ends with Goldie at Bryan and David’s house taking a home pregnancy test. As they wait for the results, the men show her a fancy lawyer-like suit they purchased for her, and tell her that they want to help her make her dreams come true since she’s already made the possibility of parenthood real for them. And then comes the moment of truth, when it’s time to read the stick and”¦ credits! We have to wait to find out if she’s pregnant!

But not for long, since this is a double recap.

In this episode, we learn that the initial home pregnancy test was false, so David gives Goldie a more accurate blood test at the beginning of the episode. We’ll learn the results at the end. In the meantime, someone has drawn on Bryan’s expensive antique couch and the prime suspect is Shania, who has seen Grey Gardens and spends most of the episode doing an elaborate impression of Little Edie which Bryan finds distractingly adorable when he tries to confront her about said couch coloring. Goldie is more perplexed by Shania’s actions, though mostly it seems like she wants to make sure Shania isn’t pretending to be someone else because she doesn’t think it’s okay to be herself. Shania later gets bullied at school for her dress and mannerisms (or rather, Little Edie’s dress and mannerisms) and gives them up. She and Bryan bond over people not understanding them, though, and Shania reveals that Nana colored on the couch. Probably to spook Bryan about having kids.

Nana’s plan did work to a point, as Bryan gets concerned about the effect a child will have on his and David’s life, and David’s friends don’t help when they react in dismay to David’s news that he and Bryan are trying to have a child. David mulls over what they said, and decide that he and Bryan need to go out to a bar and cut loose they way they haven’t since they met in a gay bar an undefined number of years earlier. There is an adorable flashback, though, which is appropriately dancing on the line of awkward as David tries to pick up Bryan and Bryan goes from vaguely intrigued to downright giggly over David. Anyway, they head out to a bar and realize that neither of them are particularly into that scene, and David says it’s fine if his life changes because as long as he has Bryan, that’s the life he wants.

Meanwhile, Nana has been scheming ways of getting Goldie to abandon her plans to be a surrogate and enlists the help of Goldie’s husband, Clay. After Bryan and David offer Goldie and Shania their guest house to live in, Clay (Jayson Blair), comes to try and win Goldie back with a lovely speech that was dictated to him by Nana. When Goldie realizes he’s not sincere, she says she wants a divorce and takes Shania back to the apartment they had found earlier. It’s not as nice as the guest house, but Goldie says it’s important for her to be independent to be a good example for Shania.

At the very end of the episode, David gets a phone call and everyone learns that Goldie is, indeed, pregnant. Yay!

First impressions: I like the writing, but I’m hoping the characters develop a bit as we go forward. Bryan and David’s relationship is almost storybook perfect, and so far Shania seems to be pulling the “wise beyond her years” schtick a little heavy for my tastes. So far, all the conflict in the show is because of Nana, and that’s not particularly interesting, so I hope that changes. Bryan and David have some pretty stereotypical qualities, though with David, it’s more AGGRESSIVELY ANTI-STEREOTYPICAL (He likes sports! He doesn’t know Grey Gardens! He’s so unafraid of vaginas he’s a gynecologist!) but as the show goes on I hope we’ll see a bit more going on with them. I am cautiously hopeful.

2 thoughts on “New Show Recap: The New Normal: “Pilot” and “Sofa’s Choice””

Leave a Reply