Posts Tagged ‘Salt Lake City’

How Normal Is “The New Normal”?

“The New Normal” is coming to NBC this fall.  I’m excited to check it out and I think it’ll be great for those in the U.S. to tune in and see how life is for the other 10% of their fellow Americans.

Before I talk more about the show or who may not get to see it thanks to the Mormons (and I’m not being offensive), you’ll see why as you read on, I want to talk about “normal”.

I never strive to be “normal”.  What the hell is normal anyway and why should anyone choose what is “normal”?

Should the religious right look in the mirror and say “what I see is normal”?  It might be to them, but it isn’t “normal”.  However, I can’t look in the mirror and say “what I see is “normal” either, because it isn’t

I’m just me.  It’s people that place descriptors on themselves and others — normal, abnormal, gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, tall, short, pudgy, skinny, black, white, Asian, Latino, physically or mentally challenged, and the list goes on.

So, what is “The New Normal”?  It’s a new comedy on NBC from Ryan Murphy, who also created “Glee”, “Nip/Tuck”, and “American Horror Story”.

It stars Justin Bartha (“The Hangover”) and Andrew Rannells (from Broadway’s “The Book of Mormon”) as a Los Angeles gay couple hiring a surrogate in order to become parents.

Simple premise, right?  Yes.  Safe?  Not so much.  The NBC television network affiliate in Salt Lake City, KSL , which is owned by the Mormon Church says it will not air the show because it’s “inappropriate”.  Jeff Simpson, CEO of KSL’s parent company, Bonneville International, says “For our brand, this program feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time.”

Simpson adds that “crude dialogue, explicit content and offensive characterizations” are the main reasons for not airing the new comedy.  That station also refused to air NBC’s short-lived drama, “The Playboy Club” last fall and other shows in the past.

Luckily, for Utahns that want to see the show will have a chance because the CW affiliate in Salt Lake City, KUCW, is looking for a time slot for the show on the weekend.

Here’s my problem with the Mormon-owned station.  It’s an affiliate of a network.  A local station should not have the power to pick and choose which of the network’s prime-time shows it wants to air for whatever reasons.  That’s censorship!  They should be forced to air the evening shows the network offers and people of Utah should make the decision of whether they want to watch it or not.

Actress Ellen Barkin, who’s never been shy speaking her mind, plays the mother of the woman who agrees to be the surrogate for the couple.  She’s livid with KSL’s decision not to air “The New Normal” and tweeted this, referencing “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”:  “So L&O SVU  (rape & child murder) is ok?  But loving gay couple having a baby is inappropriate?” and “L&O SUV … anal tearing not ‘explicit’ content, child slavery not ‘explicit’ content? But @NBCTheNewNormal, laughing & loving is? #KSLBigots”.

So, here’s the trailer for “The New Normal” that will have One Million Moms and a group of Mormons (a small number in the realm of the nation’s population, but so powerful) up in arms!

To people everywhere, just be yourself and be happy.  Why strive to be  “normal”?

And, to this fictionalized gay couple and to all real-life gay couples everywhere, maybe one day what we have will not be called “normal”, it’ll just be accepted and life goes on.