Analysis / The New Normal

In The New Normal, we see, in televised form, Ali Alder and Ryan Murphy's social commentary on the gay community at large, and, in Murphy's case, an outward reflection on his life. As such, the show can be perceived as a series of statements and abstractions concerning society at large.

The show's very existence

  • Moral Guardians: Conservative Christian groups have been up in arms since production was announced. Murphy hopes that such folks will find representation in Jane.

The setting

  • While set in California, it is set in Los Angeles. It has been well-established in media that San Fransisco is held to be a Gayborhood, but the Los setting shows us that gay people can live elsewhere, too. However, with Bryan's showbiz career, he and David could also live in West Hollywood. In this case, the setting would reflect the support that many gay people draw from each other.

The Characters

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    Bryan and David 
Camp Gay Brian and Straight Gay David are each a personification of the stereotypical gay male. As a couple, they are juxtaposed against one another as two sides of the same coin, both of which are to be taken as normal. Because they are the show's protagonists, they also serve as an embodiment of the show's message that, in addition to not being abnormal, a gay couple's use of surrogacy to become parents is becoming more mainstream.

Apart from being a single mom, Goldie represents the important role that straight allies can play in the lives of gay individuals and gay couples. She also gives the writers a chance to explore surrogacy, both in general and as it applies to gay couples who seek to have children.

Shania represents the younger and generally more gay-tolerant generation. As David and Bryan note, she is the ideal guinea pig for their parenthood rehearsal. Shania doesn't fit in at school, and she is bullied for it. In Bryan,Shania finds common ground and a friend. She may serve as an Audience Surrogate for bullied youth everywhere.

  • Jane is a personification of those who are intolerant of the gay community. She has lived through decades of a less tolerant world for gay people. This culminated when Jane's husband cheated on her with a black man. Her frankness allows bigotry to be addressed directly. Her attitude is treated a point of humor that requires mediation, like Oscar the Grouch's grumpiness.