CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I'm offended by "The New Normal," the new NBC sitcom from Ryan Murphy ("Glee," "American Horror Story").
I know, I know. I should get in line.
Except it has nothing to do with the plot about a gay couple (Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells) and the single mom (Georgia King) who becomes their surrogate. Nor is it because of Ellen Barkin's over-the-top bigoted grandma.
No, I'm offended by what it apparently thinks of viewers' intelligence with its level of "comedy."
Although the show officially debuts at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, NBC released the pilot episode early online and On Demand. And it's not funny.
Thankfully, it doesn't have a laugh track, so there are no canned chuckles to underscore jokes like "I happen to love the gays; I could never get my hair to look this good without 'em," "He's a doctor. For lady bits. A gaynacologist" and "[The surrogate is] like an Easy Bake oven, except with no legal rights to the cupcake."
Who was the test audience for this? Hyenas? I can't imagine anyone else laughing over that stuff.
Despite its lack of humor, the pilot wasn't a complete bust. It had some moments of sweetness to it, like Goldie's speech about wanting to be a surrogate so she can use the money to provide a better life for her own daughter and not caring that it's for a gay couple because love is love. There's also a park scene with "nontraditional" parents, including a deaf couple with hearing children and a dwarf mom and her regular-sized daughter, talking about having children.
Plus, I have a soft spot for Justin Bartha after the "National Treasure" movies.
I'm not getting my hopes up for future episodes since Murphy's shows tend to fall apart as they progress anyway, but if "The New Normal" can manage at least a few laughs, it could be an acceptable pairing with its lead-in, Matthew Perry's (much funnier) "Go On," which also has poignancy amidst the humor.
On Saturday, I came across this query in Reader's Voice: Is Oprah Winfrey's network offered locally by any of our cable service? Also, is the "Oprah" show itself shown or offered by any of our cable or TV channels?
The answer to the first question is yes. OWN is channel 312 on Suddenlink, 279 on DirecTV and 189 on Dish.
OWN is the answer to the second question. As far as I can tell, it's the only place that shows "Oprah" reruns, and they're on in a block from 1 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays.