Amazed. I think that is the only way I can describe how I feel right now after watching “The New Normal” NBC’s new series. At its core, The New Normal is simply about love, respect and acceptance of everyone…with some witty humor entwined in there which I personally appreciate. At first glance, I thought it would be about gay right issues (which alone caught my attention and admiration) yet it is so much more which is incredibly wise as gay rights are human rights and the same hatred that can be directed toward the LGBTQ community can be directed toward many other individuals. The message: you are not alone and we will all stand up with you.
In the first few episodes we see a gay couple start the process of finding a surrogate and becoming pregnant while at the same time being wrapped around issues of hatred, not being able to be different, using hateful language and asking in a very obvious fashion: how does our society still condone this behavior? Oh yea, and what are we gonna do about it?
After tonight’s show (in which I cried 3 times) I realized how amazing watching this show can be. It gave me such hope and strength to see the media taking steps toward change; using that power that sometimes I hate for something so wonderful; using that power to educate, foster acceptance and engage the audience in direct action when they see something wrong. But was it all sunshine and rainbows? It never is when you try to change the world. The New Normal met protests, the major one coming from an affiliate of NBC, KSL-TV (Salt Lake City, Utah affiliate) saying they would not air the show because it might have “rude or crude” language, their scenes might be too explicit and characterizations might be too offensive. Talk about missing the point of the show! KSL-TV definitely needs to go over the episodes one more time-the beauty of this show is their complete bluntness in demonstrating society’s intolerant ways, I guess it needs to be spelled out for the network even more. Despite the barriers, I am glad it did air in some places; this show will make a difference, there is now way it can’t. It will strike a chord within everyone.
It truly struck a chord within me (it made me write a blog at 1:40am) it made me feel less alone. A specific scene will be ingrained in my mind forever. We see the couple shopping for baby clothes and after having a tender moment, they kiss as a straight couple walks by with their child. The man tells them to stop especially in front of his child, “There are places where you can get your ass kicked for that crap, I’m trying to be cool here” he preaches. One partner steps forward and states:
“Oh well you really are being cool sir, thank you for your intolerance, and your bigotry and for fostering this ignorance in another generation…and for bringing back the fanny pack!”
Take a minute. I know I needed one, to truly process what I just heard on network television, to process the strides we are making simply by having this show in existence. I fell in love. After this scene, the couple talks about their child who will be born into a society filled with hate and injustice and what will happen then:
“Just Ignore them”
“Ignore them? I’ve been ignoring people like that my entire life. That’s not good enough anymore, we’re having a baby. We are bringing a baby into the world where idiot people feel free to say and do the things they say and do because we have been trained to ignore them. That guy is not the problem, we are the problem!”
I believe the message of the show has not been said clearer than in this scene. It is the “we” who can make the difference. It is the “we” who have the power to change what we see as wrong. It is the “we” who can stand up and demolish the hatred, obliterate the injustice and encourage the acceptance and respect every human deserves. It is the “we” who can define what the new normal truly is.