NBC slipped in another sneak preview of the pilot for Ryan Murphy's new series, "The New Normal." The show was stealth-previewed during the 2012 Olympics, but it was late at night and lacking much of a promotional push. The show was heavily hyped this time around, and debuted after the third season premiere of "The Voice."
While the series is about a gay couple, Bryan and David, who work with a young woman, Goldie, as a surrogate mother so they can have a child, it's the supporting characters that really broke out during this pilot. Particularly Ellen Barkin, who plays Goldie's grandmother, Jane, and NeNe Leakes as David's assistant, Rocky.
Jane is one of the most homophobic and racist characters to hit television in a long time, and while both her granddaughter and great-granddaughter try to rein her in, Rocky proved willing to go toe-to-toe with her.
"Why don’t you take your Callista Gingrich hairdo and your racist mind back to the past or the south where they belong," she said shortly after meeting Jane.
"I feel like I just ate a black and gay stew right before I fell asleep," Jane retorted. "This is a nightmare."
HuffPost TV's Maureen Ryan applauded Leakes, writing that she "is surprisingly good," though at the same time, "comes dangerously close to being a sassy stereotype." She saw stereotypes in several of the characters, as well as an overall "mean-spirited tone" to the show.
Viewers will quickly get another chance to make their own judgments as "The New Normal" shifts to its regular timeslot Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
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