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Official THE NEW NORMAL Thread (Season 1)

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  • Trent
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    May 14th, 2011
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    #257918

    This pilot, like many others, is now available online.

    http://www.nbc.com/the-new-normal/video/pilot/1415027/

    I don’t expect much from Ryan Murphy, so I’m eager to see how this turns out.

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    Trent
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    #257920

    Just finished the pilot. It’s much better than I expected it to be and it’s great for Ryan Murphy standards, but it doesn’t match up to the pilots of Go On or The Mindy Project.

    Ellen Barkin was an easy MVP and as far as I’m concerned, she’s got the Golden Globe locked up. I will keep watching for her.

    And I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks Georgia King looked strangely similar to Amy Poehler. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing yet.

    As for the central couple, I agree that Rannells is stronger performance-wise but I think Bartha has the more interesting character.

    Grade: B
    MVP: Barkin

     

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    CanadianFan
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    #257921

    Ok.

    The dialogue in the pilot is pretty horrendous. The scene at the beach with the daughter and the fight at the end came off as phony and stiff. I don’t see the love for Ellen Barkin because she’s such an unrealistic character, I can’t take her seriously. Like most pilots, it’s very contrived but it does have potential. (C)

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    Renaton
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    #257922

    I thought the writing was all over the place. There are tons of clunky expositional scenes disguised as result of plot (mainly that out of nowhere revelation Ellen Barkin’s character makes that she was marries to a gay man), and besides two or three lines, I didn’t laugh.
    It lacked a cohesive structure, and the cut aways don’t fit so well.
    Ellen Barkin might become very annoying in this. Murphy made sure he made her extra bitchy, and that would work if she was funny, but she isn’t here. Anther problem is the hipster daughter, who is just there to be quirky and loveable, and god, that is gonna get old fast. Also, the black secretary seemed very random, in not a good way.

    The direction also is quite problematic. It’s trying to do hand-held, but the execution is gonna need to improve greatly. it also lacked any sense of pace and timing. Hope they fix this soon.

    What is quite good here is the three leads. Well, Justin Bartha is adequate, but with the right material, he might be better. But Rannells and King are very charismatic, have great timing, had the best jokes (also some of the worst lines, but that’s typical in pilots). If the jokes get better, the storylines find focus and aren’t as scattered and all over the place as the pilot, with this trio this could really work. 

    I felt “The Mindy Project” is a slightly better pilot, with a very solid episode start, even though it becomes cheesy and cliche by the end. “The New Normal” is likely gonna be all gooey, but if done right, instead of sacharrine, it could be heartwarming, so I think it has more potential. I have yet to watch “Ben & Kate” though, as I can’t seem to find a decent download for it so far.

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #257923

    ^I really don’t think you need to worry about this show getting “saccharine.” Has Jane Lynch ever gone soft on GLEE? I wouldn’t expect Ellen Barkin to, either. And a bravo and props to Murphy for showing the two male leads kissing in the pilot episode. Did you all miss that part?

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    eastwest
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    #257924

    This was a weird mess. There were some solid performances (Rannells & Barkin), but some of the directing was awful. Will give another shot.

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    adamunc
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    #257925

    *1/2 out of ****

    I’ll give Murphy credit for creating (and NBC for airing) an affectionate gay couple whose conversations aren’t built around sex jokes. Glad to see society as a whole has come this far.

    But that’s about all the credit I’ll give, other than to Rannells for a nice job in the opening scene (much better than Bartha in his “sincere” scene) and Georgia King for playing what amounts to a flightly twit with a nice sense of sympathy. I thought Barkin was barely passable, but then her character (a horrendous bigot with no sense of self-awareness at all) doesn’t give her much to work with–especially when encumbered with lines like “The only thing I could think of was to shoot you, but I couldn’t make it in prison without my Lean Cuisines.” And then there’s NeNe Leakes, saddled with a tired stereotype of the sassy black lady, making less than zero out of a zero character. Seriously, one of the worst performances in recent memory. 

    The set-up was clunky (Rannells sees some cute baby clothes and tells boyfriend Bartha he wants a baby; Bartha turns off the football game [he’s the macho one, you see, while Rannells wears the ugly screaming-gay clothes] and says OK. Um, right.) Plus, the direction was very loose and choppy, with no notion of pacing. And of course, this being a Ryan Murphy show, the character motivations were all over the place. 

    I just don’t see this one making it.

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    MissyGal
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    #257926

    Wow. I guess I’m in the minority cause I thought it was the best comedy pilot, and one of the best pilots PERIOD that I’ve ever seen. The writing was fantastic, and the acting was excellent. If this show makes it (which I pray it will), I can easily see Ellen Barkin becoming a threat in the supporting actress category. She was phenomenal here. I also thought Bartha and Rannells had great chemistry. I can’t wait to see more from this show.

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    Icky
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    #257927

    I would like to boycott this series, but for different reasons than One Million Morons. Ryan Murphy needs to take his hack and go the hell away.

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    james alexander clim
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    #257928

    I wish I still had faith in Ryan Murphy. Show like this belongs to HBO, where it can truly shine! 
     

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    Renaton
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    #257929

    is there gonna be a thread for Ben & Kate too? It was by far the best written of the three pilots. The best cast is also surprisingly fluid in their interactions already, all of them are doing good work (even the little girl), it’s quite funny, and besides the quick intro, it inserts you straight into their lives without much expostion, and trust the way it presents the context of those situations to introduce viewers to these characters and their world, which after too clunky and choppy pilots, I was glad to see.

    It’s a very simple premise, but the brother/sister relationship is interesting, and if it doesn’t get too sacharrine (and it probably won’t, since they have a few very adult jokes and situations to counter balance all the sweetness), it might be the best comedy of the year, and quite easily, actually. In fact, now that I’ve seen it, I dislike “The New Normal” even more. While Murphy’s pilot feels like every single scene and line is trying too hard and fall flat, “Ben & Kate” has an effortless feel, more room for improvisation, and it’s heartwarming aspects feel more earned (even if a bit too on-the-nose) instead of calculated moves to please the audience.  

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    Steve Kind Of
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    #257930

    ^I really don’t think you need to worry about this show getting “saccharine.” Has Jane Lynch ever gone soft on GLEE?

    Yeah, a lot actually. Sue Sylvester has the worst characterization on a show filled with character problems.

    I’ll watch this pilot tonight before I make any judgments, but I really do not have any hopes for this one. Hopefully it works though.

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    Steve Kind Of
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    #257931

    Welp, I watched it.

    I’ll give it this: I didn’t hate the couple at the center of the show. I assumed I would hate everyone here but they were perfectly fine, particularly Justin Bartha. But that’s Ryan Murphy. He writes the gay white male character fine and considers doing that “progressive” while writing borderline-offensive remarks for any other type of person. Really, I didn’t see anything else that worked here. The woman who played Goldie felt like Lea Michele-lite, and I absolutely do not understand the love Ellen Barkin is getting for her performance. Jane Lynch absolutely shined throughout the first season of Glee; this felt far more one-note. And that child character was insufferable. She wears quirky hats and talks about social media all the time! How adorable! Nope, just annoying.

    I have my problems with Ryan Murphy’s writing styles, and everything I hate about it was in full force in this pilot. Absurdly on-the-nose speeches that preach to the choir, poorly phrased jokes, and of course treating anyone that isn’t a white male with borderline contempt. The scene with the potential surrogate mother who tries to blackmail the couple isn’t funny at all. The scene where the people talk to the camera for no apparent reason misses the point entirely. You don’t give a little person a speech about how it doesn’t matter if she’s a little person with a child, and then have the visual gag of her driving a tiny toy car. It takes away the entire point you’re trying to make.

    I really wish anyone else had made this pilot. It’s pretty clear that I don’t care for Ryan Murphy, but this is a legitimately interesting idea for a show. It would be nice for a show that actually did this with some subtly and humor. This, though, didn’t work for me at all, especially in comparison to the other comedy pilots I’ve seen this year, which I’ve liked.

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    CanadianFan
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    #257932

    is there gonna be a thread for Ben & Kate too? It was by far the best written of the three pilots. The best cast is also surprisingly fluid in their interactions already, all of them are doing good work (even the little girl), it’s quite funny, and besides the quick intro, it inserts you straight into their lives without much expostion, and trust the way it presents the context of those situations to introduce viewers to these characters and their world, which after too clunky and choppy pilots, I was glad to see.

    It’s a very simple premise, but the brother/sister relationship is interesting, and if it doesn’t get too sacharrine (and it probably won’t, since they have a few very adult jokes and situations to counter balance all the sweetness), it might be the best comedy of the year, and quite easily, actually. In fact, now that I’ve seen it, I dislike “The New Normal” even more. While Murphy’s pilot feels like every single scene and line is trying too hard and fall flat, “Ben & Kate” has an effortless feel, more room for improvisation, and it’s heartwarming aspects feel more earned (even if a bit too on-the-nose) instead of calculated moves to please the audience.  

    Yes, yes, yes!
    Ben and Kate is the sleeper show that will surprise a lot of people. The pilot is great, the writing is very good and the leads have great chemistry.
     

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    Anonymous
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    #257933

    I thought TNN pilot was very sweet. And I didn’t expect anything else from the show than being sweet and harmless. I’m definitely going to watch the show regularly. MVP of the episode was Ellen Barkin. Btw, it was nice to see two leading men kissing on network TV.

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