It’s been a very bad week in television for gays and theater fans who watch NBC shows.
NBC has made two of its final cuts canceling cancelling Broadway musical drama Smash and Ryan Murphy’s comedy The New Normal.
The fat lady sang Smash last years NBC’s new darling, in Season 2, going sub-1.0 in the ratings and when NBC banished it to Saturdays, where it practically died and ratings sank below a 0.5 and was trashed by critics. Smash didn’t just get canceled, it got yanked off the stage by a cane.
The New Normal while starting off strong the sat teetering on the edge of the ratings cancellation threshold , but its connection to creator Ryan Murphy was enough to give it more hope. The comedy about two gay dads played byDavid Bartha and the adorable Andrew Rannells who have a child via a surrogate and building a new type of family drew some criticism, some of it reasonable and some it not, but in the end the show just never took off as NBC had hoped. But in the end even the writers saw it coming and they gave to the show a real ending before the ax fell.
The New Normal and Smash join Hannibal, Up All Night, Whitney, Guys With Kids, Go On, 1600 Penn, and Deception as recent additions to NBC’s 2012-2013 graveyard
The State of Michigan currently has a law in effect which prohibits the use and act of Surrogates and Gestational Carriers.
Michigan has very strict laws prohibiting surrogacy contracts. State law not only holds these agreements unenforceable, but also imposes fines (up to $50,000.00) and jail time (up to five years) on anyone who enters into such a contract.
Michigan courts have upheld the validity of this law. In one 1981 case, individuals involved in compensated surrogacy agreements challenged the constitutionality of statutes barring the exchange of money or other consideration in connection with adoption and related proceedings. In a very short opinion, a Michigan Court of Appeals concluded that state regulation of adoption in this manner does not infringe on individuals’ federal constitutional due process right to procreation.
There is currently a petition on Change.org to have this law repealed. The petition is urging the State of Michigan Supreme Court as well as Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to repeal this law on the basis that it is a discriminatory law.
The petition states –
“It discriminates against Michigan’s LGBT citizens from starting a family and having biological children. Since Michigan has a same-sex marriage ban in the state’s constitution since 2004, it makes it almost impossible for Michigan’s LGBT citizens to adopt children. Since LGBT relationships are not recognized legally, any adoption would be a single parent adoption, therefore nearly impossible to approve. This is why it is imperative that the current Michigan Surrogacy law prohibiting all forms and agreements between parties should be repealed. Not only is the law incredibly discriminatory against Michigan’s LGBT citizens, it is also unneeded Surrogacy does not exploit woman nor does it make children a commodity. It allows woman to give the gift of life to a loving, nurturing and stable couple. Please consider this petition and all the voices who agree with me which are represented by each signature on this petition.”
You know by now that I will try to find a way to talk about Matt Bomer as often as possible and it you’ve been missing seeing this immaculate human on your tv screen then we’re all in luck. Bomer will be introduced into tonight’s newest episode of NBC’s The New Normal. You can also tell creator Ryan Murphy wanted to have Bomer sh0w as much skin as possible and who can blame him.
I can stare at this picture all day. But he’s probably going to be doing more than this during the episode right? Who cares, I’m still watching. Here’s more about Bomer’s new role from HuffPost:
In “The Goldie Rush,” Bomer plays Monty, one of Bryan’s (Andrew Rannells’) former exes. “He used to be a party guy, very much didn’t want to settle down, didn’t want to have kids, and now he’s starting a new chapter in his life where he does want to settle down,” Bomer previewed. “He runs back into Bryan and David [Justin Bartha] and they have the life that he wants, so he sort of latches on to them and tries to enlist their help to try and find someone to be with and investigate the whole surrogacy process. Then he meets Goldie (Georgia King) and is really besotted with her and tries to infiltrate that ground and tries to enlist her to be his surrogate, and the guys aren’t really having that.”
I mean what else do you need to know? Tune in tonight at 9:30/8:30 central. Also, look at how damn smooth he looks in this pic..
I know I know more politics talk but you may be as intrigued as I am by this new study. According to The Hollywood Reporter pollster Jon Penn, shows like The New Normal, Glee, and Modern Family may have a more progressive effect than previously believed.
I know that shows like these get a lot of flack from the LGBT community because of the perceived lack of full, real life depth to the LGBT characters portrayed. But think of the influence and doorways to education and understanding that can come from it to those that maybe aren’t in heavily populated LGBT populations? How can something like this be possible you say? Well look at the numbers as Penn suggests:
“This data would suggest that seeing this stuff makes it more socially acceptable. Views on gay marriage have exponentially gone in its favor since 2002.”
The data also shows that demographics like age do affect these perceptions on LGBT issues like marriage equality end possibly influence viewers:
“Views on gay marriage are totally defined by age. Almost twice as many voters under 35 say these shows made them more in favor of gay marriage compared with voters over 35 — 38 percent versus just 20 percent. Impressionable young people are more open to changing their views and behavior, based on what they’re watching. Of all voters, 42 percent say gay marriage on TV has made them more aware and active on the issue,” says Penn, “but this skews heavily towards viewers under 35 (55 percent) versus those over 35 (36 percent).”
So the younger adult audiences are more likely to have an open mind to at the very least question the when where and why of their core beliefs. It doesn’t seem like much, but ask yourself; would you rather people continue with having no visual emphasis to base an opinion or these shows that sometimes lack depth that leads to viewers asking questions about who we really are? Visibility is always important, and though at time shaky, could lead to understanding.
The witty new comedy, The New Normal, has been the center of attention lately, determined to tell an authentic story of two men who love each other on their often comedic journey to start a family. The NBC sitcom is such a hit, as of today a full season has been ordered for the series. One of the show’s stars, Andrew Rannells, in a recent interview discusses gay stereotypes, the comparisons to Modern Family, and how/if sexuality is involved in acting roles.
When asked about if he felt is character, Bryan, was a well developed character that defies gay stereotypes in comparison to past gay characters, Rannells feels that there’s more to a gay person than being “fabulous”:
America is warming up to the idea of gay characters — and not just as a sassy gay person, but being a person. A real character. And that’s just what’s so fun about this show. Certainly we are a gay couple, but we get to do a lot more than just that.
I obviously get to be quote-unquote “fabulous” in terms of my outfits, but Bryan has a lot of heart and a lot of strength. It’s nice to get to play that; it’s nice to get to play someone with sass but also a lot of smarts and sincerity. To have the opportunity to show all of that is really fantastic. To completely strip all the sass away would be equally untrue; there’s a certain amount of sass and glamour that goes along with being gay. There’s a certain amount of fabulousness that is needed or wanted. But running around being fabulous day-to-day isn’t every moment of your life.
Rannells also observes that they are telling a different than the multifaceted ABC hit sitcom Modern Family:
We’re telling a different story. This show has a different tone, and I’m happy to say that we’re showing a very romantic side to this couple, which is great. It’s really thrilling to get to do. Justin and I have filmed some really great scenes together that are real, honest, flirtatious and sexy — Yes, we’re going to be more affectionate, but it takes nothing away from what they’re doing.
As the subject about a gay actor in a straight role vs a straight actor in a gay role, Rannells feels that it’s about doing the job, not so much sexuality:
Which is very strange to me. I mean, it’s like any acting job. I’ve played a lot of straight characters, too, and if I had been denied those because I was gay, I would’ve been pissed. It comes down to who’s best for the part, so I get that. But it is refreshing for me, as a homosexual, to play these gay characters. It’s nice to get to play somebody who’s a little bit closer to who you are.
Check out the full insightful interview here. And don’t forget to check out The New Normal tonight at 9:30/8:30 central.
You know this question is it too gay or is it hurting the LGBT community has come up and will repeatedly do so for however long the show stays on the air. But in all honesty, does it matter? Of course it does. We want our characters to be portrayed in a realistic light. Show the good bad or whatever else makes that character real.
And star of the show, Andrew Rannells feels that this is a valid question as well. However, he feels the premise of the show is more than a gayy person with gay characteristics:
“I certainly understand. As a homosexual, having watched gays on TV be portrayed, sometimes it’s really great and sometimes it’s just a punch line. I think Ryan and [co-creator] Ali Adler are very cautious about that. And I can tell you, going forward, they’ve given me in particular some real range with this character.”
Both Adler and Murphy have stated as much in previous interviews. Adler specifically states that the point of the show is not politics, but rather showing real people going through real obstacles.
We’re not intending to be political –We intend to be an emotional and character-driven show, and these are very personal stories that are very relatable regardless of gender or sexual orientation. It’s about your humor, I think, and your ability to be self-aware.”
And Andrew also discusses his co-star Justin Barthas’s ability to also bring a realistic and honest portrayal of his character to life, despite the fact that Justin is straight:
“He’s not looking for any pats on the back. So often, when straight actors play homosexuals, they get, ‘He’s so brave. That was such a brave decision for him to play this part. What a brave role.’ And to me that seems like bullshit, because if a part is good, it’s a good part.”
So yes we want to see real characters. Do you, fellow readers, feel like The New Normal has been doing an honest portrayal of a gay couple?
The anti-gay conservative group One Million Moms which who in reality is nothing more than umbrella group of the Southern Law Poverty Center sanctioned hate group the American Family Association, latest boycotts has gone down in flames.
The New Normal, the NBC sitcom about a gay couple Bryan Collins & David Murray (Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha) and single mother Goldie (Georgia King) who dreams of being a lawyer and who after running away to L.A with her daughter and followed by her uber-conservative “Nana” (played by the marvelous Ellen Barkin) agrees to become Bryan and David’s baby surrogate has been lambasted by the One Million Moms and other conservative and anti-gay hate groups who very vocally called for nationwide boycott against the show.
But I’m glad to say that despite all their bitching, moaning, and gnashing of teeth The New Normal debuted with a very solid 2.5 share which equals over 7 million viewers, beating its competition on ABC by almost a full share point despite the fact that the pilot was already shown once during the Olympics and has been available to view online for several weeks.
Congratulations NBC and The New Normal looks like you might have delivered a hit!
As for the One Million Moms. “EAT THE COOKIE MOTHERS!” – (10 Gay Points if you name the Book or Movie that line is from)
“I hope people are offended by it. Hopefully it will be a conversation piece. There will be families that love it for a what it is—a story about families. And the people who offend by it will talk about why their offended with other people, and maybe they’ll realize they’re bigots and that they’re ignorant. Our show can maybe help usher in a little acceptance.
I don’t expect it to change anyone’s lives—I don’t think it’s that earth-shattering. But one of the wonderful things about TV, and hopefully our show will bring that back, is that it can be a conversation starter.” – Justin Bartha star of the new NBC serio-comic “The New Normal” which follows the lives of a gay couple and their baby surrogate and her right-wing nut mother.
Several weeks ago when Bret Easton Ellis went on a public tirade on twitter claiming the immaculate Matt Bomer was too gay (there is no such thing as being “too gay) to portray a straight character, along with the subsequent backlash, a lot of questions in the tv/film business arised.
First, What goes into the writing of an LGBT character in Hollywood, especially when the majority of the writers, producers, and directors are straight? Also, how are the characters developed if they don’t have personal experiences with gay men and women? Do they seek outside help, like friends and families or do they hire other LGBT crews of writers to specifically cater to that character?
Let’s take this beautiful man Matt Bomer as an example to this train of thought. Say he has been asked to audition for an action film involving gay hero and the writer /director is say Steven Spielberg, who is straight. Would he be able to accurately write for the character? How would he be able to direct a gay character? He can’t just tell Matt “act gay” because in spite of Matt being gay, he can truly only be himself, not a sexuality. See my point?
Writer and actor David Blixt , who is also straight, discussed the natural process of writing gay characters in his playwrites and novels. Blixt feels that there is no difference, other then what gender the character is attracted to, in how attraction begins with any two people in love:
First and foremost, love is love. Writing about the excitement of a kiss, of a caress, is the same across the board. Thinking about a first meeting of lips, or even a touch of a hand, is an electric, heart-hammering human experience. The best part is acknowledging what fools we are for love, how desperately grateful and fearful we are when it’s dangled before us.
Blixt also discussed the fluidity and malleability of characters in works throughout history like Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and how cross dressing was not seen so much as a sexual reference, and more about our human experience. That the concept of love is universal, and therefore transcends our gender.
My point is that Hollywood should be focusing on writing a character, and sexuality is merely a descriptor, not this all encompassing personality trait. And some writers and producers are acknowledging this point as well.
Ali Alder, producer of NBC’s new upcoming new comedy, The New Normal, made note that although the premise of the story is about a gay couple and their surrogate, that it’s NOT the one and only focus of the characters. They’re complete personalities and not some exaggerated and inaccurate stereotype.
The character most of all should be as realistic and multidimensional as possible. If it’s a love scene, write it as two people in love, not some inaccurate caricature that’s been played out in the media. And I presume that it’s what Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto, and other openly gay actors and actresses look for in characters that are gay. The should be authentic; real. It’s definitively something to think about…plus I just wanted a reason to write about the Adonis that is Matt Bomer. I mean LOOK at him.
You can now watch the first episode of The New Normal, the new NBC Ryan Murphy comedy about two gay dads, their surrogate, and their kid which has been banned by Mormon-owned Salt Lake City affiliate KSL-TV and has been giving the Million Moms kniption fits for the past week here at Back2Stonewall.com!
Unfortunately a proxy server is required for UK and European viewing but Canadian viewers can watch via CTV’s site by CLICKING HERE