I don’t know what world Stephen Marche lives in, but to here him talk about being gay these days we don’t have a single problem in the world. He’s says we’ve become commonplace and boring. And one reason why he doesn’t like the new TV show The New Normal is because he thinks the mainstream public has accepted gays to the point of becoming bored with them.
I post about how things have changed for the LGBT community all the time. I try to include those changes in my books all the time. But I also post about how many things haven’t changed all that much, all the time. Marche makes a few interesting points in his review that I can’t argue with, however, I don’t think they are important to the TV show The New Normal because we’re still fighting for the same things we were fighting for years ago. And until same sex marriage is legal on a federal level I don’t give damn what statistics say. I don’t care if the percentages have dropped to 20% approval of gay marriage in the US. The fact remains that it’s still illegal, we’re still getting screwed over, and TV shows like The New Normal don’t hide from these issues.
Is The New Normal my favorite show on TV? No. Is it something to which I can relate to 100%? No. But so far I haven’t found it boring and I do think that bringing up political topics like gay marriage is important because if it were up to our politicians…and I’m talking about both sides…we would never hear about gay marriage again. They just don’t like to discuss it, which is why I have little faith in any politician these days.
Marche says this:
The New Normal is a more or less shameless attempt to capitalize on the success of these previous shows. But the problem is that they have been so successful as to render the matter moot. You can almost see the writers straining to find gay stereotypes that still work in order to be able to explode them.
Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/culture/the-new-normal-review-12858404#ixzz28uLb4mIR
The previous shows he’s talking about were the first attempts at creating LGBT themed TV shows. And it’s not like there were that many when you compare them to all the TV shows ever produced. Ellen and Will and Grace were great shows. And there are a few others like Modern Family. But I don’t think there have been enough to call TV shows with gay characters boring, and The New Normal is still something I would consider relevant and important to the LGBT community.
Are there stereotypes in The New Normal? Or course there are, and that’s because there are stereotypes everywhere we look, not only within the LGBT community, but in the mainstream as well. Wasn’t Archie Bunker a stereotype? Wasn’t his liberal son-in-law, Mike, a stereotype, too? I think it’s time to embrace a few of these stereotypes and accept them for what they are. There are effeminate gay men just as there are butch lesbians. And I don’t see anything wrong with creating characters that are based on reality.
This blew me away:
One of the (admittedly minor) consequences of this incipient political triumph is that gay people have become boring. Is it wrong for me to mourn the passing of the worldly gay friend as a type? A night out with gay friends used to be a guaranteed great night out. You’d see some stuff. You would have no choice but to dance. You might even try a drug you’d never tried before.
For your info, Mr. Marche, there have always been boring gay people. That’s right, it’s not something new. You just didn’t know we were there, is all. We weren’t all your “worldly gay friend.” We didn’t all take people out for a “great night” at the gay bar and show people some “stuff.” No, Mr Marche, that’s not how it worked then and it’s not how it works now. And most of all, Mr. Marche, we didn’t all hand out drugs to people who’d never tried them before. We’ve always been just as painfully boring as you are Mr. Marche, and TV shows like The New Normal tend to be larger than life for a reason. A segment of our community loves to party just like a segment of the mainstream straight community loves to party and do drugs and dance with their arms flying above their heads. But most of us are, and have always been, boring. And we’re proud of that.
The key word in The New Normal is not “normal” as Mr. Marche suggests. The key word here is “new,” because anything LGBT related is, in fact, still new to most of the mainstream viewing audience in America. It’s still new to the LGBT viewing audience. And I know this first hand, Mr. Marche, because I am a gay man and I’m still dealing with the same political and social issues I had to deal with twenty years ago. Issues that have always been played down in the mainstream. And even though The New Normal isn’t perfect, I’ll take what I can get for now and enjoy it as much as I can.