The New Normal Challenges Societal Issues

Topics: Family, Family values, LGBT Pages: 6 (2369 words) Published: April 17, 2013
Ryan Murphy is known for his ability to keep things interesting, and in his new sitcom The New Normal he has not fallen short on that expectations. In this series Bryan and David, a happy gay couple living in L.A. with respectable jobs, seem to have everything except for the one thing they want most, a child. The couple hires Goldie, a young mother who had just left her adulterous husband in Ohio and ran away to L.A. with daughter, Shania, to start over and forget her old life, to be a surrogate mother for them. Jane, Goldie's conservative and overly bigoted grandmother, follows them against her granddaughter's wishes, causing an uproar in Goldie’s new life in the city because she is so disproving of Goldie’s decision to be a surrogate and Bryan and David’s lifestyle. Immediately after airing in September of 2012, the show was criticized tremendously. The people of the broadcasting network in Salt Lake City, Utah were so offended by the show that they went on to ban the show from their show time schedule. NBC Utah affiliate KSL-TV, the network which banned the show from airing in Utah, says that the show was “inappropriate on several dimensions.” They went on to say that the dialogue was excessively rude and crude and the scenes were too explicit and the characterizations seem offensive. KSL-TV also insist that it challenges traditional family values and portrays bad role models. The trouble the show experienced from attempting to air in Utah was not the only trouble the show had endured. In July, before the show aired, One Million Moms publicly announced that they would be boycotting the show for being harmful to our society, accusing the dialogue of being too offensive. Many members of the gay community also claimed to be boycotting the show for portraying offensive stereotypes of homosexuals.

I must admit that I can see how the dialogue seems excessively crude and offensive. For example, in the pilot alone Jane uses the offensive phrases; “gay peacocks”, “ass campers”, “Jewed done the cost”, and “salami smokers”. It’s easy to see how people could take her bigoted words offensively. It’s obvious from her first scene in the show that her prejudices are very overzealous and over the top but that is precisely the point. Nana seems as a nasty, hateful woman who has a potty mouth that anyone with a moral conscience would not want to replicate. Jane is used to show a societal problem in America today. A discussion of her behavior through the show should be of interest to more than just the fans and critics. Beyond these limited audiences, Nana is relevant to everyone in America because her bigotry was used by Ryan Murphy to display a nasty problem in our nation today. Her prejudice towards everyone that surrounds her is a mockery of many bigoted minds of Americans. Indeed, it does seem excessive, but Murphy wanted to make sure the point of how offensive and wrong this behavior is was clear. While I see how this crass behavior and crude dialogue is inappropriate for children, the show is a somewhat late night sitcom with a target audience of adults. As adults who have experienced shows with far worse dialogues such as Jersey Shore, we should be able to stomach the harmless dialogue of The New Normal especially when there is such an important point behind it. Shows like Jersey Shore aren’t refused to air because of their horrible dialogues because of Americans’ love for their trash TV. I believe that point shows that the problem with this show is truly just bigotry towards gay couples having children not the dialogue, which is Murphy’s entire point of making this show. It’s not just about entertaining television, it’s about making a stance on the problematic issue in America of bigotry and prejudice. The complaints given to show that it challenges family values seems to stem from the fact that it isn’t a traditional nuclear family that is headed by a man and woman. Many happen to have a major issue with gay couples creating...
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