The New Normal Review: "The Goldie Rush" (Episode 1.12)
In the last few episodes before its almost month-long winter hiatus, The New Normal had started to address the show’s problems in a very strong way. Goldie had a purpose, Bryan didn’t seem quite as self-centered and Jane had scaled back the constant racism quite a bit. But despite making many of these changes, The New Normal still can have episodes that can grate on the nerves.
When these characters on The New Normal get large, they don’t become funnier, they become irritating to an almost unbearable level. This week it was the trio of Jane, Rocky and Shania in “The Goldie Rush.” In their story this week, Shania is getting picked on at school, so Jane and Rocky’s solution is that she should take on some tips the two of them learned from a pair of drag queens. If you outdo the other kid’s insults and win, you’ll become the queen bee of the school. Great lesson to teach a kid.
It just seems like the writers of The New Normal decided the best thing to do was team up its two weakest characters with the hopes that this will increase their likeability. There’s no real reason for Rocky and Jane to be BFFs, but here we are, watching them going on their own misadventures and befriending drag queens. It’s such a weird combination of characters, but just throwing them together doesn’t make them any more interesting.
Bryan and David also get ahead of themselves this week, as they discuss having two more kids in the near future, automatically assuming that Goldie will bear the kids for them. Goldie states in the episode that she isn’t a baby-making machine, but when you look at how her character has been written so far and how she is treated, she really doesn’t add up to much more than that. In fact, a majority of the character development Goldie has received has involved her becoming less intelligent and having to give up on her dreams.
Bryan and David decide to become matchmakers to Gary, the man who connected them with Goldie. Gary is sad, alone and also gay, so they decide to hook him up with Bryan’s ex, Monty, played by Matt Bomer. The two don’t hit it off at first, and Monty and Goldie have a stronger connection, but after Gary starts stalking Monty, the two decide they are perfect for each other. It’s all kind of ridiculous, but Bomer works well on this show, and it would be great to get more cameos from him in the future.
But “The Goldie Rush” does at times feel like the show going back on its ideas. Bryan and David’s attitude towards Goldie and her womb indicates that they aren’t really growing and that they are just as conceited as ever. In the end they learn not to take her for granted, but still, the fact that they didn’t even consider her is a sign of no progress. While the show has been trying to make Jane and Rocky more tolerable, teaching Shania to be as horrible as possible to kids so that they respect her isn’t helping them much in that department.
If The New Normal could stick to its guns about the development of these characters, the show would have so much more potential, but instead the show decides to make their characters larger than life and disinterested in other’s feelings. Instead of growing as a show, The New Normal is just growing in levels of frustration.