Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells are a great couple on THE NEW NORMAL, but the show needs to focus more on what their lives were like before they were trying to have a baby. Maybe some flashbacks to times past would help viewers identify with their relationship. I have watched 3 episodes and I still don’t feel that I know them very well. Don’t get me wrong. I am very happy to see a loving gay couple on network TV. To make this show succeed, though, it will be necessary to tell the audience more about them, like MAD ABOUT YOU did with Jamie and Paul Buckman.
The show makes me think about the lack of openly gay characters on television when I was growing up. My earliest memory of gay characters with whom I could identify was when NET (later PBS) ran THE CHILDRENS HOUR (with Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn) one Sunday night. There were no other such TV characters I remember seeing until 1977 when SOAP first aired with Billy Crystal as Jodie Dallas and (for 10 episodes) Randee Heller as Alice, the lesbian Jodie stopped from jumping off a bridge. There were no openly gay TV personalities. I loved Paul Lynde and Lily Tomlin, but had no idea they were gay.
I wish something like THE NEW NORMAL had been around back then.