NBC Cancels ‘The New Normal’ After One Season


NBC has canceled the gay parenting/surrogacy comedy The New Normal after one season, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

Boosted by The Voice, the Justin Bartha-Andrew Rannells starrer about a gay couple starting a family earned a full-season order in October despite early protests from conservative watchdog groups. The series, like the rest of its Tuesday block, suffered without The Voice, notching a string of lows before the singing competition returned to revitalize the lineup. While its April season finale was penned to serve as a potential series finale, producers said that a second se  ason would have featured the newly married couple raising their newborn son.

The 20th Television entry marks Murphy's first show to not move beyond its freshman run.

Murphy's other shows have been re-upped. Glee for two more seasons, and American Horror Story for a third season.


  1. Brian G says

    I’m really not looking forward to One Million Moms claiming any sort of victory over this.

  2. ripper says

    I didn’t love this show; it was too preachy. But I did appreciate the physical relationship between the two leads. You actually believed they were together unlike other gay couples on TV (hey there, Modern Family).

    But the real downer today is that ABC has cancelled Happy Endings. That is the best comedy on TV.

  3. Mike Ryan says

    This is a great show despite so many gays disliking it – it was a very much needed show for the gay community. I don’t understand the gay community. This was a positive look at a gay couple’s life and the gay community refused to get behind it. You reap what you sew. You can be assured those behind the NOMs, OMMs, etc are dancing with joy at the news. Had this show been on Fox, Fox would not have inlet it go.

  4. Robert says

    I liked that it was so politically in your face and relevant to numerous current issues — the boy scouts episode, for instance. In its way, I think it made the issues real to a lot of fence-sitters. IMHO the best character was 9-year old Bebe Wood. And anything that offends the One Million Moms deserves some kind of award.

  5. Paul B. says

    Although not a perfect show by any means, it did show two gay men in a loving, stable relationship with a great support structure. Modern Familybuses their gay couple as a plot device and the subject of many degrading hijinks. I would have liked to have seen where this show could have gone in their second season.

  6. kodiak says

    How about a show about a male couple, both long term survivors with HIV, who met at an ACT UP! meeting in the 1980’s, their trials and tribulations, and what it’s like getting older? Or something along those lines.

  7. nn says

    It could have been a good show, but I think it was too superficial. Suddenly they would have a kid, without carefully thinking through the consequences etc. I think it superficial did continued. The implementation was too far away from reality for people who choose to get a child through surrogacy. I stopped watching in the middle of the season.

  8. Isaac says

    The New Normal was not funny. I tried to watch it but it was terrible. I actually grew to hate the couple the more I watched. The premise was horrible, the characters were awful stereotypes and it all started cuz the shopaholic materialistic caricature of a gay man wanted a baby after seeing one in the store….FAIL.

  9. DickG says

    Not every episode was a winner but it was well written with each episode having it’s own theme. My biggest laugh was when the little girls went through the guys night stand and found the “clear lotion. It smells like strawberries”

  10. Gregor says

    I agree with Ripper. The real loss is Happy Endings. (and is “starrer” even a word?)

  11. william says

    The show was a piece of crap mouth piece for the twisted reich-wing Log Cabin Republican Shills Ryan Murphy loves to court.

    In Ryan’s world, the only smart character (who received all the laugh lines and who was made to look the ‘most sane’) was the gawd-awful Surrogate Grandmother whom Ryan used to inject His LCR talking points.

    The show was rejected for the same reason Log Cabin Republicans are rejected by gays and straights: Their talking points are lies, or crap…

    …or both.

    Hey Murph; Don’t let the door hit you and your fellow republican turncoats where the ‘good lawd’ split you.

  12. says

    I loved the bit where Bebe Wood did Edie from “Grey Gardens” but that was about it.
    It’s a “nice little show” and this is an ugly world.

    I’m far more moved by the cancellation of my favorite 15-car-collision on the I-Five

  13. Dastius Krazitauc says

    Many existing shows decline after the introduction of a baby, and the promise of a baby was this show’s main plotline from the beginning. So, I wouldn’t read too much into *gayness* as being the problem. I never saw the show, so I don’t know how funny it was. I am one of those people who can’t relate to wanting or having a baby, so I wasn’t interested.

  14. Lymis says

    We liked the show and made it a point to watch every week. I get the “it was superficial and unrealistic” parts, but seriously, has anyone actually SEEN a sitcom? How realistic are most of them.

    At the same time, the question I’ve had since the first episode was what they expected to do once the baby actually arrived? They’d either have to completely retool the whole show or wrench the existing characters in really weird ways – either way, a potential disaster. Hire the surrogate to be the nanny for the child she bore?

    It was a great attempt, and we’ll miss it (not as much as we miss GCB!), but hopefully something else will come along.

  15. OddBet says

    This show was sweet. And positive. And sentimental. And tons of other complimentary things.

    It just wasn’t that funny. For a comedy, that’s an unforgivable sin. I watched every episode without regretting doing so, but I knew that it wasn’t going to get renewed.

  16. Brian in Texas says

    Sad to see this show get canceled. Watched every week with my bf. It wasnt the best show on TV, but I felt it was a positive representation of gays and had plenty of funny scenes and decent stories.. Maybe it could be picked up by TBS or NBCs sister network USA?

    If NBC ever wants to find success again they need to start letting shows breathe and not get the axe after just a few episodes or one season.

    Shania reads:

  17. Caliban says

    I liked the lead actors and thought they had some good “couple’s moments” that carried some emotional heft and touched on real issues. The problem for me is that everything surrounding that just wasn’t funny enough to keep me coming back.

    Plus I don’t watch a lot of TV to begin with, usually just The Daily Show & Colbert Report. I haven’t even been watching them lately, just the clips posted here and other places.

  18. LincolnLounger says

    A shame. I really enjoyed it. How anyone can watch Glee anymore is beyond me. Horrible. Only on languishing NBC could it survive.

  19. jamal49 says

    Maybe there’s something to be said for working 3rd shift for 20+ years. Just this past February, I finally started watching “Will&Grace” reruns to catch up and see what the fuss was all about. What else have I missed?

  20. Sam says

    It was a good show. I just never got into it. I only watched the first few episodes before I got bored with it. Maybe this is a sign on how far our community has progressed in society.

  21. KuMiCu says

    Glee, renewed for two more seasons? WTF?! This show is a wreck, too many characters and storylines and horrible writing. Who watches that show anymore, it’s become irrelevant. I hope they cancel American Idol and then Glee will die a slow death.

  22. Continuum says

    I really wanted to love this show, but just found the characters really annoying, especially that damn precocious little girl, well probably mostly the little girl. Additionally, the two gay guys were just too lovey-dovey sweet. And, the half-flamer gay husband was so stereotypical that any right-wing basher could have a field day. My BF and I stopped watching it because basically it just wasn’t that clever, or even close to funny.

  23. robert says

    It’s kinda sad because it did present a good view. But it wasn’t funny. Bebe Wood, Ellen Barkin and Nene Leakes were good—but they weren’t the main characters. The gay couple was just….ugh. Justin Bartha is handsome for sure, but his character was cardboard. And Andrew Rannels was basically a pure clone of Jack from Will&Grace, but not funny.

  24. says

    It had potential and the cast tried hard, but the tone was all over the place–as it always seems to be in Murphy projects–veering wildly from camp to earnestly political (death for comedy!) to unearned sentimentality. All at the expense of sharp jokes. The characters, except for the Edie-channeling daughter, were too predictably cartoony for me, Ellen Barkin’s mother especially. Andrew Rannells needs a better-written TV role–he’s very funny on “Girls”.

  25. Unruly says

    First off, Ryan Murphy hasn’t had anywhere near 20 shows on TV (in any form and including stuff that’s in pre-production or just been a pilot.) That’s some shoddy reporting.

    Second, I really tried to watch this but it was way too preachy, not comedic, and overall had a schizophrenic pacing. And yet I watched every episode in hopes that the writers/actors would eventually find a rhythm. They did not and the cancellation was deserved.

  26. bandanajack says

    i guess i’m just not as clever and recherche as the bulk of commenters, i saw it as the gay answer to “all in the family” which was just as preachy and stereotypical and just as all over the place. i am pretty sure that’s what ryan was shooting for and that’s what he got. i have not been able to tolerate the gay joke of a couple on modern family, but a gay i love lucy sit come couple as the center of the action left me feeling good after each show. i doubt many of the classic sitcoms could withstand the cleverness of our viewers.

  27. joe says

    “…and it all started cuz the shopaholic materialistic caricature of a gay man wanted a baby after seeing one in the store….FAIL.”

    BINGO! I hated the show from the first second I saw it. Glad to see it go.

  28. Lars says

    A good idea, generally. But awful execution. Ryan Murphy seems to have a knack for taking a great concept and messing it up with stunt castings and story-lines that completely lack subtly.

    I gave it a chance, but got bored quickly. And when a Real Housewife showed up, I left for good.

  29. ripper says

    “First off, Ryan Murphy hasn’t had anywhere near 20 shows on TV”

    Oh, honey, bless your heart. “20th Television” is the name of the production company that produced this show… you know, like its owner, 20th Century Fox.

  30. Francis #1 says

    It was an average-ish show. I didn’t love it or hate it. With that being said, more LGBTQ representation on mainstream nighttime weekday cable TV is needed because there isn’t a lot and now there will be less. Modern Family’s couple is a joke. It’s been proven time and again that LGBTQ representation on TV normalizes us to the masses which leads to a reduction of anti-gay attitudes so hopefully some more gay-oriented shows or shows with gay lead characters are in the offing.

  31. ripper says

    In addition to The New Normal and Happy Endings, the amazing cop show Southland also got the axe this week. Officer Coop was one of the best gay characters to ever appear on television.

    It’s been a rough week for gay characters on TV.

  32. Brian in Texas says

    Why is the gay couple on Modern Family ‘a joke’ as some on here have said?

    Because Cam is overweight? Because Cam and Mitch aren’t the most masculine guys? Not enough meaty story lines? (It’s an ensemble cast)

    Every gay couple on TV can’t be a representation of all gays.

  33. says

    I knew it would be cancelled. It really was sort of an awful show. I was mad Andrew Rannells left Girls in order to do the show. I sure hope Lena Dunham writes his character back in to Girls. The New Normal was way too preachy in a cartoony, stereotypical way that would’ve been fine if it was clever, but it just always came across as way too over the top. I love NeNe Leaks’ charisma and personality, but I’m sorry, an actress she is not (at all). It was just waaaaaaaay too heavy-handed of a show to have any hope for a long shelf life.

  34. gregorybrown says

    It’s healthy and encouraging to see the divisions of opinion here, and the various reasons give for liking or disliking the show. Like SS marriages, every gay show won’t work, and people will be divided over the reasons. I don’t watch much TV. One ep of this was enough to make me realize I wasn’t going to spend time with it, which was what it took to judge GLEE as wanting.
    I would prefer to see somebody attempt to present working class or rural gay characters realistically. All these white middle class queers are just too preposterous for my jaded taste. Of course, that’s something that wouldn’t go for more than the pilot ep.

  35. nonapologies says

    I wanted to like it too. I even forced myself to watch out of moral support, but there were several problems with the show’s writing: (1) It felt like after school special as far as gay issues and I now yearn for more than that in terms of stories (2) The setting was wrong (it was too – Hollywood). I found myself not caring about the leads as fully as I could because parts of their lives felt inaccessible to me (3) on the whole it felt like a lot of empty calories.

    The actors were great. I hope Rannells especially doesn’t fade away because I loved him in everything he’s done so far.

  36. Rick says

    People are just not going to watch a show about two gay men in a relationship that they cannot relate to…..and most straight people cannot relate to effeminate gay men except as clowns (a la Modern Family or Will and Grace).

    For this reason, the new series that will feature Sean Hayes is dead-on-arrival, assuming he behaves in the same effeminate manner that he did on Will and Grace.

    For a series focusing on a gay couple to succeed, it will have to present them as mainstream–the same way that the Cosby show presented blacks as mainstream, prior to which the only shows featuring blacks succeedd only when the characters were presented as stereotypes (Sanford and Son, Good Times, etc.)

    I knew “The New Normal” was doomed to cancellation when watching the first episode and hearing one of the characters talk about wanting to dress like Judy Garland.

    I think America is ready to accept a gay male couple that they can relate to, but they will never be able to relate to effeminate men except as fools and clowns.

  37. Rick says

    @Brian in Texas

    Surprised to see that comment from you.

    Cam, in particular, is the gay version of Step-‘n-fetch-it.

    Straight people are not laughing with him; they are laughing AT him as a representation of the kind of sissy who has no place in respectable society……Many homphobes no doubt LOVE the way gay men are portrayed in the form of Cam because it reinforces the stereotypes that they try to promote and allows gay men to safely be put in an “other” box, away from mainstream society and devoid of respectability.

    No other minority group would allow itself to be portrayed in such a way without protesting vigorously against it–and it is pathetic that GLAAD not only has not objected to the stereotyping, but has encouraged it…..

  38. Craig S says

    It wasn’t a great show, to be sure, but I liked it a lot more than most of the unwatchable garbage that passes for network TV these days. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of shows on the big four networks this season that made me stick around for more than one viewing, and this was one of them.

    Was it laugh-a-minute funny? No, but then again it wasn’t trying to be. It wasn’t even really a sitcom at all, but rather what we used to call a dramedy before sitcoms went single-cam too and we forgot how to tell the difference — and even at that, it was still funnier than 95 per cent of the shows out there that actually are sitcoms.

    Yes, I smiled or chuckled a lot more than I laughed out loud — but that’s a lot more than I can say for most sitcoms.

  39. Rick says

    I’ll give you an example of how this culture of effeminacy is ruining everything. I am the most masculine man to ever walk the earth. Every time I open my mouth a John Deere tractor falls out, and yet because of you limp-wristed effeminates my father assumed that since I was gay it meant that I wanted to dress up in drag and be a diva while I rimmed him. This of course is completely untrue as I prefer to dress like a football player while performing analingus on my male family members, my Grandfather included.

    So as you can see, you effeminates are the reason I’m always forced to dress in drag when I cruise late-night gloryholes and gas station bathrooms.

  40. says

    America does relate to Cam and Mitch, who are no more clownish or “stereotypical” than the rest of the ensemble cast in, news flash, a comedy. And they actually have good writing to work with. If you have good writing, you have a good show, with characters people buy because they see themselves in them, whether they’re gay or straight or anything else. The gayness of the characters, if they’re going to work in a comedy, needs to be both essential and beside the point, or else they come across as hollow symbols, and unfunny ones at that.

  41. Craig S says

    Rick, there have been plenty of shows which have depicted gay men in the conventionally “masculine” manner you obviously prefer, and mainstream America rejected those too.

    And besides, if you’d watched this show more than once you’d know that Justin Bartha’s character was in no discernible way “effeminate”. Andrew Rannells’ character acted more stereotypically sometimes, yes, but he was also the tougher and braver and emotionally stronger of the two in many ways — so neither character could really be dismissed as a gay stereotype, except maybe to idiots like you who read screaming effeminacy into any gay man who reads like a real human being instead of a supporting character on “Duck Dynasty”.

  42. Rick says

    No, the only characters on TV are effeminate. They’re nothing like me. I’m so masculine that I come online to anonymously complain about effeminate gay men because that’s what strong masculine men do.

    Here’s an idea – rather than engaging me in useless discussion, ask me to prove that I’m the prime example of Gay Male Masculinity that I claim to be. After all, wouldn’t it make sense that I give this example I cry out for every day? Yes. It would make sense.

    Alas, I’m not out of the closet yet and I’m actually not very masculine. I like to pretend that I am, online. It’s the one thing keeping me alive.

  43. Rick says

    Does anyone have any suggestions for an adult-diaper that won’t leave visible panty lines? I keep pooping myself and the bigger ones that I need for the loafs I drop keep are just too obvious to observers on the street. Any advice would be appreciated. I can’t even leave the house.

  44. UFFDA says

    Listen to KIWI rant (what he does best) about Rick without signing his own name, sniveling on about tractors, masculinity and rimming, the latter of which he knows best as the Complete Bottom Feeder.

  45. Craig S says

    Fake Rick, I grant that your parody comments are pretty hilarious — but if you’re going to use that to also sideswipe those of us who are bothering to engage him in the first place, then you need to realize that impersonating someone else in a discussion thread isn’t a terribly productive strategy either.

  46. Rick says

    “Rick, there have been plenty of shows which have depicted gay men in the conventionally “masculine” manner you obviously prefer, and mainstream America rejected those too.”

    Name one. And I mean one in which the MAIN characters were gay, not just one of the marginal characters or a one-off character in a single episode.

    @Ernie So basically, you are saying that the only way gay male characters can be funny is to be portrayed as screaming queens. Right? Well, you know what, that is EXACTLY how Hollywood viewed blacks for decades, which is why “Amos ‘n Andy” and other such stereotypical depictions were the norm.

    That only came to an end when blacks demanded that they stop being portrayed in such a disrespectful manner–and guess what?–the result was that Hollywood found a way to make black characters funny without them saying “Yassuh”and “Nossuh” and “I’s got to go” and without having dilated pupils.

    And one of the results of THAT was that blacks as a group began to be more respected in society.

    If you seriously think that any of the straight people in the audience are “relating” to the gay couple in Modern Family as anything other than clowns and laughing stocks, then you are so far buried in the gay ghetto that you simply do not know what is going on.

  47. RickUFFDA says

    Of course, we’re the same person. As long as you effeminates are walking the streets and going on dates and being FAAAABulous and listening to divas and being stereotypes, I/We will continue to come online and anonymously tell you how much I/We hate you.

    Because nothing says Masculine Empowered Gay Man than a grown-adult closet case who denigrates other gay men from a place of anonymity.

    So keep it up, you pathetic liberal effeminates. Your girly stereotypical behaviors keep men like myself/us completely closeted.


  48. says

    As a gay man who is actually Out of the Closet and has been since he was a teen, I’m happy to report that whatever “type” of gay man it is that I represent or embody has, somehow, been able to get a great many straight people on board as Advocates for Equality.

    How did that happen? Well, it’s sorta what happens when you have a spine.

    Click my name for evidence. 😀

    With Love, A happy proud openly-gay liberal :-)

    have a different opinion? back it up. do what i do. put a face to your comments and claims and show some proof.

    my straight family members and my straight male friends not only love and support the LGBT Communities, they show it.


  49. Craig S says

    Name one. And I mean one in which the MAIN characters were gay, not just one of the marginal characters or a one-off character in a single episode.

    “Normal, Ohio”.

    You’re welcome.

  50. says

    I’ve never, in my nearly 15 years of being Out, met a gay man I couldn’t “tell” was gay. If you think you’re one, show us, and let’s see.

    as for TV shows – Six Feet Under. Brothers & Sisters. Law & Order SVU. Queer as Folk. to name a few. i could name more but there’s no point – anonymous cowardly trolls just move goalposts.

    the good news? they’re too wimpy to ever be out and about in the real world.

    stunned by the pathetic self-hatred evident on online messageboards? rest assured – it only exists on them. simply put, the haters aren’t man enough to live and interact in the real world with other gay people.

  51. Craig S says

    UFFDA, only you could possibly think that calling a gay man a “bottom” is a stinging insult.

    It simply doesn’t make any sense — who else are the tops *supposed* to have sex with if it’s a *bad* thing to be the person who wants to give a top what he wants? Is there *any* possible explanation for that besides internalized homophobia?

  52. will says

    Some of these trying-to-be inflammatory posts are enough to give anyone a migrane. Our days of “oppression” are over. This is the 21st century. Can we please stop thinking in gay-ghetto persecuted terms about antiquated notions of masculinity and grow up? Some gays are masculine, some aren’t, some are both, like heterosexuals; let it go. Accept people for the content of their character.

  53. Ricardo says

    Good riddance. A “Glee” spinoff that’s 10 times worse than its antecedent.

  54. Ricardo says

    Good riddance. A “Glee” spinoff that’s 10 times worse than its antecedent.

  55. Craig S says

    Rick, you’ve got your cause and effect bass-ackwards. It was because blacks were gaining increasing respect in society that they even *had* the clout to start demanding more respectful and realistic portrayals in media, not vice versa. And even then, there are still to this day some media portrayals of blacks that *still* engender debate about whether they’re reinforcing stereotypes or not.

    And at any rate, I don’t think even you could possibly be deluded enough to deny that Kurt Hummel on “Glee” — practically the very embodiment of everything you complain about on here — was and is the single most influential and transformational gay character in television history. The mainstream ADORES him.

  56. says

    Not to mention that it’s the “Kurt”s of the world that refuse to hide 😉

    You can’t be mad that “Kurt” came out before you did. You can only blame yourself for not being as strong as him.

    “Kurt” doesn’t care what bigoted bullies think. Why do these self-styled “manly” guys care?

    truth be told – i’ve never, in my entire gay life, met a “masculine” gay man who disses, hates on, or denigrates “effeminate gays”

    not one. why? masculine empowered men tend to not be so insecure as to hate on others.

    who are the haters? insecure wimps. you’ll know them by their inability to stand up to be counted.

    and yeah Craig – who but an insecure self-hating ‘mo would think that “bottom” is an insult?

    it’s like when some bigot calls you a c*cks*cker. how is THAT an insult? it’s a recipe for a great night!

  57. Ken says

    This show had the best representation of a gay couple and how they interact. They were sweet, nasty, nice and loving and there was plenty of PDA that you don’t see among gays in any other show.

    I wish the gay community would’ve jumped on board with it. Instead it’s mocked and derided as “not funny” and “too preachy.”

    How long now do you think it’ll take to get a loving, fleahed-out gay couple again?

  58. m says

    Hey I didn’t think the show was that bad. There was a lot going on. The show tried to be funny at times and tried to cover current day issues. It wasn’t always funny and parts were cringe inducing. Moments were sweet and touching. Not every show is going to be a hit. Give them a little credit for trying to hold up a mirror to life in the fast moving 21st century. Until now how many mainstream big network shows have focused on the day to day life of a loving and committed gay couple?

  59. Craig S says

    I’ve been out for 20 years, and in that entire time I’ve met very few gay men who were actually as “feminine” as Rick seems to think we all are, and very few straight men who were actually as purely “masculine” as he seems to think *they* all are. Almost all guys, in fact, exist somewhere *between* the poles of pure “masculinity” and pure “femininity”, no matter what their sexuality is.

    I won’t disagree that our community has slightly different *standards* of masculinity than some pockets of mainstream heterosexual culture do — but (a) there’s nothing wrong with that, and (b) in reality the majority of *straight* guys don’t live up to that hypermacho ideal either, and are actually far less different from gay men than the Ricks of the world seem to think.

    In reality, Rick, if you and I met I would probably pass your masculinity test quite easily. Yet at the same time, if Kiwi and I met, he would probably correctly peg me as gay right off the bat, because he has a clue about the sheer diversity of ways that gay men *really* act. And if I had a choice in the matter, I’d put a much higher priority on living up to *his* standards of masculinity than I would on yours.

    I’ve said it before, Rick, and I’ll say it again: all people are entitled to the same respect, the same equality, the same human dignity *regardless* of how masculine or feminine they are or aren’t. If you can’t accept that basic truth, then you’re the one with the problem, not anybody else.

  60. says

    Um, no, @Rick, that wasn’t what I was saying. Gay characters–like any character–are funny and people can relate to them when they’re well-written and seem true. If a character is only a screaming queen or only anything else, the character fails or becomes a prop for ridicule. (I don’t see Cam or Mitch that way at all, but to each his own.) It’s not the effeminacy that’s the problem, it’s the lack of everything else that makes up a human being. You can’t breathe life into a 2-dimensional character.

    All the characters on “Modern Family” are stereotypes of one kind or another, but people relate to them–like they related to Archie and Edith and Mary and Rhoda–because they see elements of themselves or of their families in the characters. The same is true of “Glee,” though the often tone-deaf writing (Ryan Murphy trademark) often sinks that show for me. (That, and I hate musicals, much to my husband’s dismay, especially badly lip-synced ones.)

    The problem is, you’re so completely and unnaturally obsessed with masculinity issues that it’s all you can see. It’s like the anorexic girl who looks in the mirror and can only see the fat person she’s tried her whole life to escape.

  61. Unruly says

    @ripper, 20th Television doesn’t produce the show. 20th Century Fox Television produces the show (different divisions.) 20th Television doesn’t even distribute the show.

  62. princely54 says

    Seriously, this show just sucked, gay or no gays. It needed to be put down.

  63. Charles in DC says

    I tried watching The New Normal, and I just couldn’t. It was a horribly written and in some instances acted show that was actually kind of boring.

    I hope that the next show that features LGBT characters does a much better job.

  64. says

    I too liked the show. It wasn’t trying to change the world, it was just light hearted and camp. All my fav shows have been getting canceled lately

  65. ripper says


    In that case, then Hollywood Reporter was using “20th Television” as short for 20th Century Fox Television.

    Regardless, you still made a colossally stupid mistake by thinking they meant it was Ryan Murphy’s 20th television show.

  66. TX Idol says

    So many shows got canceled this season. Maybe a record. I didnt mind the New Normal. Some people are way too critical of LGBT shows almost like they resent the idea of it. Are you this critical of shows dominated by heteros? I happen to find most LGBT shows entertaining. But then again, I love our community and support all brackets of it

  67. nonapologies says

    This was a pretty good thread until Rick showed up with his agenda.

    See how something good can be made bad by an agenda other than open exchange?

    Anyway,f or the record, as someone else pointed out several shows with gay characters were cancelled, including Southland, which was cancelled by the major networks to be put on TNT.

    There are a range of gay characters on cable networks. Some butch. Some femme. Some in between.

    The idea that this is about that issue is more about Rick and company’s hang up.

    The problem with the show is that it wasn’t well written.

    The rest of this stuff being said here about masculinity is the issue of the people writing about it.

    Its said that we live in a time where no one seems able to tell the difference between fact (what’s appearing on TV and what audiences have already accepted) and opinion (what they believe audiences are accepting)

  68. Philip says

    “The New Normal” was fun to watch, but some of the ‘moral of the story” segments of each episode were more forced and sugary-sweet than an episode of “Full House”. I think that played a big part in the show’s doom.

  69. GB says

    After reading Rex Reed’s scathing review of “Gatsby” this cheered me up. So much for Murphy’s in your face folly. “New Normal?” How presumptuous.

  70. says

    The new normal was a disaster, bad writing, bad acting, badly put together, and a bad representation of the gay community, and totally unfunny and sometimes stupid and cliche. Good call NBC.

    Next its time to put GLEE out of its misery. Got that FOX?

  71. Francis #1 says

    Hyper-masculinity is not a trait that should be held in high esteem. Gay men for the most part tend not to be hyper-masculine like straight guys often can be. And that’s a healthy thing because the Chuck Norris-wannabe tough-guy ACT is just that……an act. And what these guys think they should behave as and what being a man entails. All the same, there are tons of straight men who aren’t hyper-masculine, either….and yet are still masculine. Some men may present their masculinity differently than others but that doesn’t make him less of man. A man who is comfortable in his masculinity doesn’t feel the need to put on all the time, doesn’t have any issue showing emotion, letting his guard down, and naturally adopting traits and interests that may not be stereotypical masculine traits/interests. People like Rick/other aliases have a warped view on what being a man entails. I know I much, much prefer and appreciate the diverse natures of gay/bi guys now because it’s a broad spectrum. And prefer guys who aren’t as “aggressive”.

  72. says

    it was an admirable attempt to be sure, but was far too preachy to be of much entertainment to anyone. it had some funny moments, but on the whole, i was surprised it survived a full season.

  73. Randy says

    I enjoyed the show. It wasn’t great, by any stretch, but it was reasonable entertainment.

    I think the name was too political.

  74. Rick says

    @Craig S

    From the Wikipedia article on “Normal, Ohio” (pay close attention to the second half of the paragraph/sentence, beginning with “and yet”….)

    “Gamble was an average blue collar bear-type gay man, with many traits typical of American masculinity, including a love of football and beer, and very few of the traits stereotypically associated with gay men, and yet his sexuality itself was signified in part by isolated moments of more stereotypically gay behavior, such as singing snippets of Broadway show tunes and helping his sister to color her hair, that were seemingly at odds with the way his character was presented most of the time. As a result, many media outlets dismissed Goodman’s role as unrealistic.”

    As for “Kurt” on Glee, are you serious? How many straight men do you think watch Glee? Maybe a dozen? Its audience consists overwhelmingly of women and gay men….and women have always “adored” sweet little artistic gay boys–in a condescending way–as pets and playthings–as long as they know their places and stay in them–but certainly not as men, to be taken seriously as such.

    And as for the whole chicken-or-egg issue regarding blacks and media stereotypes, it doesn’t really matter whether the chicken or the egg came first……even accepting your argument, though, if we can get DADT repealed and get a dozen state legislatures to OK gay marriage, then I am sure we have enough clout at this point to demand an end to the stereotyping on network TV.

    @Ernie Regarding Cam on Modern Family, pay close attention to how Cam is treated by everybody, including his own partner. There is an underlying contempt on the part of everybody towards him, including family members. It puts him in conflict with ALL of them on a regular basis. You have to be paying close attention to see it, but it is there.

    He is NOT respected by anybody and the reason for it is his effeminate behavior/cowardice, which even his not-so-masculine partner ridicules on a regular basis (the same way bitchy queens do with each other in real life).

    I think you are just seeing what you want to see rather than what is really there.

  75. ripper says

    “I think you are just seeing what you want to see rather than what is really there.”

    LOL! Most ironic statement ever posted in the history of Towleroad, possibly the internet itself.

  76. Craig S says

    Rick, for the record, I WROTE the paragraph in Normal, Ohio’s Wikipedia article that you just quoted back at me. And also for the record, the fact that you *fail* to see how it *doesn’t* contradict the point I was making says far more about you than it does about the show.

  77. Craig S says

    And while you may be right that women and gay men are the ones who’ve stayed loyal to Glee even after its quality and ratings decline in seasons 3 and 4, in its prime the show’s audience included a *lot* of straight men — especially younger ones, who thankfully *don’t* conceptualize masculinity in the cartoonishly overstated way that you do.

  78. Rick says

    “*don’t* conceptualize masculinity in the cartoonishly overstated way that you do.”

    Cartoonish? Overstated?


    I don’t conceptualize masculinity any differently than the average (straight) male does.

    Frankly, most of the cartoonish conceptualizations of masculinity that I have seen in my life have been among some gay men–wearing leather and smoking cigars, while still dousing themselves in cologne and talking like Lauren Bacall–and their cartoonish-ness I attribute to the fact that they don’t know how to behave in a natural masculine manner.

    As for the younger generation, their conception of masculinity is no different from that of previous generations–and how could it be since masculinity is based in nature, not culture….so if you are hoping that they are going to buy into the whole gender-non-conformity nonsense on any level, you are going to be severely disappointed.

  79. Craig S says

    Er, yes, your view of masculinity *is* cartoonish and exaggerated, and most certainly *not* in line with the view that younger straight men actually hold, if you think that most gay men are actually outside of it.

    As I’ve pointed out numerous times already, most men — regardless of whether they’re straight or gay — actually occupy space somewhere *between* the two extremes of pure “masculinity” and pure “femininity”. Most gay men *cannot* actually be distinguished from most straight men just by looking at them (and this is doubly and triply true of younger ones — guys under 30 just completely jam the heck right out of my gaydar, trust me.)

    And again, I’m a guy who most certainly *would* pass your masculinity test with flying colours. Yet somehow I can still set aside your hangups about masculinity as the bullpuckey that they are, and have very little difficulty accepting other people for what they are instead of judging them for being different from me.

  80. greenfuzz says

    The person impersonating Rick has become as tiresome as he is. What is this,high school? That said I guess NeNe Leakes will have to buy a few less shoes now.

  81. says

    I agree the real travesty is Happy Endings because that was a really funny show. I stopped watching The New Normal several weeks ago. I liked the show but couldn’t really get into it.

    Also Glee needs to just not be a thing anymore. 2 more seasons is 2 too much. They need to just call it what it is and that’s the Rachel Berry and unnecessary teenage angst show.

  82. Craig S says

    “As for the younger generation, their conception of masculinity is no different from that of previous generations”

    Well, no, for starters the younger generation does not conceptualize homophobia as an acceptable part of being a man. The younger generation does not have an issue with being friends with gay men the way older generations often did. The younger generation does not conceptualize homosexuality as a *threat* to masculinity the way older generations often did.

    “and how could it be since masculinity is based in nature, not culture”

    *eyeroll* The fact of maleness is certainly based in nature, but many, many aspects of how masculinity is *expressed* most certainly are culturally based and subject to change and evolution over time. In many, many historical periods, in fact, the trappings of masculinity looked an awful lot like what you’d now deride as effeminacy: just look at how men dressed in the era of Louis XIV, for instance.

  83. Nino says

    Why do “positive representations” always have to include wealthy, well-education, well-connected, conventional, suburbanite and spoiled white guys?

  84. m says

    craig s

    “Most gay men *cannot* actually be distinguished from most straight men just by looking at them (and this is doubly and triply true of younger ones — guys under 30 just completely jam the heck right out of my gaydar, trust me.)”

    because most men are taking better care of themselves and care about how they look?

  85. Craig S says

    M: That is true of a lot of guys these days, yes. But it wasn’t a universal distinguishing feature of all or even necessarily most gay men before — it certainly represents a distinguishing feature of a particular *stereotype* of gay men, granted, but it was still a stereotype and not all or even most gay men have ever really fit into it.

  86. Tim says

    I think some of us are reading too much into the political motivations one way or the other for it being cancelled. I was rooting for the show right out of the gate, but let’s face it, it just wasn’t funny!

  87. m says

    craig s

    In high school I was very thin, paid a lot of attention to my hair, clothes, and grooming. I loved piercings but never had the guts. I got teased which made me so self conscious I backed off wore mostly t shirts and jeans pretending not to know any better. I’m glad things have changed where the stereotype is meaningless. I’m also glad that gay guys and straight guys can hang out and be friends and no one cares.

  88. Francis #1 says

    Teasing against fem guys still goes on, very often, and against gay kids in general, gay and bisexual male youth and college students report high levels of harassment in school. Let’s not get it twisted, our society hasn’t progressed *that* much and teenage boys in general still see being gay as the worst possible thing a teenage boy can be, although things are getting better. A lot of masculine gay men play the “I’m straight-acting” or “bromo” game and basically do not identify as gay because they see that word as loaded. That’s what Rick is. I find that hilarious because, like Kiwi, I can tell within about 20 seconds whether a guy is straight or is not straight and it has nothing to do with gender stereotypical presentation, and the fact of the matter is, these guys don’t pass as straight to any gay man with any semblance of gaydar because you can’t act a sexual orientation. There are subtle but real differences between the majority of straight men and the majority of gay men…..it’s an aura, how we tick. Hence the term gaydar.

    There’s no problem in highlighting or discussing that. In fact, we should embrace it. Embrace who WE are, as men who are gay or bisexual. We are not straight. So why go out of your way to try to be something you’ll never be, to get approval from people who don’t like the real you.

  89. m says


    “I find that hilarious because, like Kiwi, I can tell within about 20 seconds whether a guy is straight or is not straight and it has nothing to do with gender stereotypical presentation, and the fact of the matter is, these guys don’t pass as straight to any gay man with any semblance of gaydar because you can’t act a sexual orientation.”

    So how do you tell without asking? Can you really tell that fast? Your not basing it on some kind of behavior such as eye contact?

  90. m says


    I’m not doubting anyone’s gaydar but wonder if there isn’t actually something more objective and verifiable about it.

  91. Mort says

    @Kiwi: Forgive me if someone’s already brought this up, but unless you’ve point-blank asked or slept with every man you’ve ever met, you can’t possibly be sure that you’ve correctly identified every man’s sexuality. A couple — or even dozens — of “straight” men turning out to be gay does not make you infallible. You’re just gifted with decent gaydar.

    Surely you’ve assumed that at least a couple of men were straight. But how did you know for sure?

  92. Francis #1 says

    I can tell because it’s an aura that gay/bi guys have that straight men, for the most part (there are plenty of exceptions) don’t give off. It’s instinct. A connection. Gay/bi guys have a little bit different presentation (not necessarily look or expression) compared to most straight men.

  93. Rick says

    @Craig S and Francis

    You both have a blind spot that you simply cannot see. You EQUATE homosexuality and effeminacy. This is why Craig cannot distinguish between greater acceptance of homosexuality and the continuing lack of acceptance of effeminacy.

    I agree with this statement: “Well, no, for starters the younger generation does not conceptualize homophobia as an acceptable part of being a man. The younger generation does not have an issue with being friends with gay men the way older generations often did. The younger generation does not conceptualize homosexuality as a *threat* to masculinity the way older generations often did”

    …..but we were not talking about homosexuality in this thread, per se–we were talking about effeminate behavior, which, for many of us, is not the same thing……whereas for you and others like you, they are, presumably because you have internalized the larger societal notion that homosexuality and masculinity are mutually exclusive. Ergo, your confused paragraph above in response to my comments about effeminacy.

    Likewise with Francis’s claim that there is some kind of fundamental difference between gay and straight men beyond mere sexual orientation……which he claims to be able to recognize in any individual (the exact opposite of the claim that Craig S makes, ironically)…..again, this is only true to the extent that CULTURE has made it true; such differences are NOT based in nature–if they were, we would see some kind of genetic indicator, but there are not any.

    The other flaw in this argument is that the world is not divided into “gay” and “straight”, but consists of individuals with sexuality of a gazillion shades of gray. So the very paradigm you are trying to use is not valid to begin with.

    If you both—and all the rest of you –stepped back and really tried to be objective about the culture of effeminacy, you could not help but see that it is nothing but artifice. There is absolutely no reason in nature why a man’s sexual orientation should be directly correlated with the degree of masculinity in his behavior……and indeed, J Michael Bailey, a professor at Northwestern who has studied this question, has stated precisely that, after much research into the matter.

    Your crusade to gain acceptance of effeminate, cowardly behavior in men will forever be futile and you are simply damaging the prospects of doing away with homophobia altogether by continuing to pursue it. I hope you all realize that before it is too late and society loses its patience with us, which it may well eventually do.

  94. Rick says

    Aw, crap. I just realized, once again, that I made my long essay of a comment from a place of complete anonymity.

    Which, of course, proves every statement I made to be utterly worthless and incorrect.

    Because if I believed a word of it I’d have put my strong manly masculine empowered face and name to my statements, thus living the example I wish other gay men would live.

    I guess that’s why I’m so angry – while I remain a coward in his grown-adult closet, the men my bigoted father conditioned me to hate are out in the world living enjoyable honest lives, leaving me alone at my computer, anonymously blaming them for my own wimpy inability to stand up to be counted.

    So while you effeminates are out there being effeminate, truly masculine men like me who hate effeminates and women are sitting on our behinds wishing you were as cowardly and insecure as us.

  95. Charlie says

    It just wasn’t that funny. I really wanted to like it, but, after several watchings, I just was bored. Yeah, it was great to have a representation on TV, but, at the end of the day, the main purpose of a comedy show is to entertain, and it just fell short. The best part of the show was NeNe Leakes. I hope she can land another show (same to all the other actors on the show as well for that matter). This show just needed better writers.

  96. MARTIN says

    I loved this show and now it’s gone. The same with “Smash.” Time to find a good book to read.

  97. Craig S says

    Rick, I’m not the one equating homosexuality with effeminacy here — I’ve been quite explicit, in fact, that those are two different things that sometimes coexist in the same person and sometimes do not. In fact, if you read my actual words instead of inferring whatever the hell you want to see, you might notice that I’ve indicated *numerous* times that I happen to be more masculine in my presentation, so I can hardly be accused of conflating homosexuality with effeminacy.

    Rather, you’re the one with the blind spot here, because *you’re* the one asserting that *all* or even most gay men are effeminate. You’re the one ignoring the existence of “effeminate” straight men and “masculine” gay men. You’re the one ignoring the reality that most men, regardless of whether they’re gay or straight, exist somewhere *between* pure “masculinity” and pure “femininity”.

    You’re the one falsely equating effeminacy with cowardice — never mind that there are lots of “feminine” people out there who are tough as nails and lots of “masculine” ones who are actually wimps underneath all their macho bluster.

    You’re the one making the offensive claim that society is within its right to discriminate against people on the basis of their gender expression — as opposed to the every person, no matter how masculine or feminine they present themselves as being, has a right to be accepted exactly as they are, and if society has a problem with that then it’s society that needs to change.

    tl;dr? I didn’t equate homosexuality with effeminacy here. You did.

  98. Craig S says

    And Rick, when I said that most gay men cannot be distinguished from most straight men just by looking at them, I wasn’t talking about the question of gaydar — I was talking about *your* concept of gender presentation, in which all gay men submit to this mythical “culture of effeminacy” and all straight men are purely masculine, and nobody exists anywhere in between. In reality, most straight men and most gay men are actually indistinguishable from each other on *that* basis.

    Gaydar is a different question, because it doesn’t depend on a guy’s “masculinity” or “femininity”. Rather, it depends on your ability or inability to read the subtle cues that gay guys will always give off no matter where they fall on the “gender presentation” scale.

    And again, those two things are not in contradiction with each other. A guy with good gaydar will be able to read even the most aggressively “straight-acting” gay man correctly; a guy with *your* understanding on gender presentation will actually read a whole lot of men *incorrectly*.

  99. Craig S says

    As I’ve said before, my natural presentation is much more “masculine” than “feminine” (admittedly “average everyday guy masculine” rather than “aggressively macho”, but still quite comfortably inside the range of “masculine”.)

    If *you*, working within with *your* theories of gender presentation, were to see me walking down the street, you almost certainly wouldn’t suspect that I’m gay unless I chose to reveal the fact — in my experience, people whose understanding of gay men is based on stereotypes rather than reality virtually always read me wrong. But people who have more personal experience of the gay community, and more understanding of the diverse ways in which gay men *really* act, are equally able to read me correctly right off the bat.

    And again, I’m really not all that concerned with living up to *your* standards of masculinity anyway. Mine are working out for me just fine, thanks.

  100. Bert says

    I liked it. I think it showed how wonderful and normal we are…I liked the moments where it challenged the status quo.

  101. m says

    Does it really matter how masculine or feminine we are as gay men in the 21st century? Or is this just leftover baggage from another time? Not everyone attracts or is attracted to the same person. So why is there supposed to be some universal trait or manner everyone has to possess?

  102. Adam says

    Enjoyed the show, sorry it got cancelled. Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells were great together. NBC should have kept it for another year. They got a lot of time slots to fill.

  103. Jackson says

    Not a big loss. I put it on season pass on the DVR because I was excited about the premier. I have watched a few, but hardly make it through the whole episode. I found parts to be witty, but kind of trite, and preachy.

  104. Drew says

    Can we just agree that in the Ryan Murphy pantheon, there’s no decent reason Glee got two more seasons and this got cancelled? I’ve been defending Glee for the past four years and I can’t do it anymore. The show has become horrific. Two seasons from now it’s going to be the worst thing on TV.

  105. Jerry6 says

    It really does not matter how good or bad it was. Their real mistake was running it during the second 30 minute portion of NCIS; one click away. Did they REALLY expect they were good enough for that?