September 11, 2012

Quick Thoughts: THE NEW NORMAL, "Sofa's Choice"

Much like Go On, I wasn't completely wowed by The New Normal's pilot but still saw pockets of brilliance while watching it, and out of all the new show's I've seen so far, this was the one that made me want to watch a follow-up episode. Also like its Tuesday night cohort, I'm still not sold but hoping for it to be successful for NBC.

In a lot of ways, "Sofa's Choice" made me feel the exact same way the pilot did. I found myself being charmed by the three leads, and I did feel like Bryan was toned down a smidge while not losing his inherent characteristics. His story with Shania was the highlight of the episode, even if she also unnecessarily doubled down on the quirk. As to be expected, he also had some solid moments with David, and it was fun seeing how they met so early on in the show's run. Plus, we got a meta Glee joke which I'm not going to scoff at. Like I've said before, I get why some people are put off by Bryan, but right now he's just a kooky character that makes me laugh. No harm, no foul... yet.

It's just too bad that the episode was dragged down by the same thing that fell flat during the pilot, i.e. Jane. While I'm sure Ryan Murphy and Allison Adler get a kick out of coming up with outrageous things for her to say, she's still not all that funny and just comes off as a one-note villain. Add to her the fact that there were some stylistic choices (I'm not liking the random talking head bits) and contrivances (they were seriously going to give her a house?) that didn't quite work, and an episode that should have worked ended up feeling a bit off.

I still think that Murphy and Adler can pull it off and make The New Normal into a solid show, but they seriously needs to lay off the gas when it comes to Jane. You'd think that Ryan would've learned from the Sue Sylvester backlash, but much like Bryan, he probably gets a kick out of upsetting his viewers. I just hope he understands that most people are not in on the joke.


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