NBC's The New Normal is a delightful show about a not very ordinary gay couple trying to have a surrogate daughter with a strange woman who has an oddball child and an unbelievably bigoted (and funny) grandmother. NeNe Leakes is also somehow involved. As much as it would like us to believe that this is the way the world works today, like most Ryan Murphy shows it is a celebration of the oddities within all of us. Therefore this weekly feature is both a celebration (and indictment) of all the abnormality contained within it.Normal: Shannen Doherty being a bitch, getting in fights, or making weird commercials for online colleges.
Abnormal: Shannen Doherty making lemonade.
Normal: Bryan being a bitch, getting in fights, or making a weird show that looks a lot like Glee
Abnormal: Bryan making lemonade.
Normal: Collecting famous baseballs.
Abnormal: No gay man unironically collects balls.
Normal: Fantasizing about giving your daughter an exotic name.
Abnormal: A white, middle-class gay man fantasizing about giving his daughter the exotic name of an African-American singer.
Normal: Not wanting to make your daughter another "Influential Women" day at her school.
Abnormal: Your child is obsessed with Grey Gardens and has a Little Edie Beale costume in her closet and you don't even think for a second that maybe that is what she should dress as.
Normal: Not wanting to know the sex of your unborn child.
Abnormal: Finding out that your surrogate mother is having a boy because she used the wrong pronoun in front of you because her misogynistic OB/GYN blurted out to her she's having a member of the superior gender.
Normal: A father getting excited about having light saber fights with his son.
Abnormal: A father getting excited about having light saber fights with his son and then showing that excitement by doing a Judy Garland leap and putting his hands in front of his mouth. And he's the butch one?
Normal: Little boys having light saber fights.
Abnormal: Even prissy sissy future gay boys sometimes have light saber fights. Just ask my brothers.
Normal: A 30-something gay man knowing all the words to Cher's "Half Breed."
Abnormal: A 20-something straight girl knowing all the words to Cher's "Half Breed."
Normal: Gay couples composed of two men.
Abnormal: Gay couples composed of two men, one of whom fulfills all the traditional gender roles of a '50s sitcom mother.
Normal: Taking your purse wherever you go.
Abnormal: Leaving your purse at a football game in the middle of Los Angeles while you go to get a coffee and asking a gay guy to watch it. How are you even going to pay for your coffee if you have no purse?
Normal: Little boys feeling bad that they used to memorize the TV Guide.
Abnormal: Memorizing the TV Guide is a very useful (if not outdated) skill and it seems to have brought Bryan much success. Why get all upset?
Normal: Being in Arsenic and Old Lace in high school.
Abnormal: Oh wait, every high school in America does Arsenic and Old Lace
Normal: A bunch of tweenaged football players going to their coach's house for pizza.
Abnormal: A bunch of tweenaged football players going to a gay couple's home for pizza when those gay men are not their coaches and they are not supervised. Who remembers Penn State?
Normal: Having a mural in your nursery.
Abnormal: Having a mural of creepy circus animals that look like they will devour a baby in your nursery.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: Fox]
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Last weekend, news broke that the actor behind Greendale Community College's most crotchety old student might be more like his character than we initially thought. Yes, Chevy Chase was infamous for his Saturday Night Live altercations with, well, pretty much everyone, but his threats to leave the world's most lovable study group were a shocker to the show's many devoted fans. Hints of Chase's less-than-stellar on set behavior could be seen in co-star Alison's Brie's "Pierce or Chevy" tweets, (Example: "You're a spoiled Jewish brat!" then pointing to me and Gillian, "Wait, which one's Jewish?" #PierceORChevy) but so far the cast has kept mum about his feud with creator Dan Harmon.
If Chase wises up and makes nice with Harmon, this little debacle could fade away into the dark recesses of television history oblivion. If not, we could have another Nicollette Sheridan situation on our hands. In honor of Chevy and the man he called a "goddamn a**hole alcoholic fat sh*t," let's take a trip down TV feud memory lane.
Nicollette Sheridan versus Marc Cherry
In 2010, Sheridan filed a $20 million lawsuit against Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, alleging that she was assaulted by Cherry on set before her "wrongful termination" in 2009. Cherry said that the decision to kill her meddlesome character, Edie Britt, had been made in 2008, and cited her unprofessional behavior as his reasoning. The rest of the cast leapt to Cherry's defense, despite the fact that Sheridan claimed that some of them had been similarly assaulted.
Outcome: The battery charges were thrown out due to lack of evidence, and on March 19, 2012, a mistrial was declared when the jury was unable to reach a verdict. Cherry is no longer involved in the case, but Sheridan and ABC will duke it out again in a few weeks.
Shannen Doherty versus Jennie Garth (And everyone)
In 1994, tragedy struck when one of TV's greatest heroes, Brenda Walsh, left Beverly Hills to study the dramatic arts in London. Maddeningly, this injustice was caused by Shannen Doherty's on set behavior, most famously her arguments with that prissy Dylan-thief, Kelly Taylor (Err, Jennie Garth). Tori Spelling claimed that the two female leads once got in a fistfight, but sporadic lateness and general bad behavior were the publicly accepted impetuses behind her untimely exit.
Outcome: Doherty never returned to the original Beverly Hills, 90210 during the remainder of its six-year run, but she later showed up for a guest stint on its less-than remake, 90210. She starred in Charmed from 1998 until 2001, and similarly left that show amidst rumors of a clash with Alyssa Milano.
Isaiah Washington versus T.R. Knight and Patrick Dempsey
In 2006, the award-winning Isaiah Washington disappointed fans of romance in scrubs everywhere when he used a homophobic slur against his Grey's Anatomy co-star, T.R. Knight. His comments led to an on-set argument with Patrick Dempsey, as well as the public outing of Knight. Washington later apologized, but the damage had already been done: Dr. Burke was officially DOA.
Outcome: Washington finished out the remainder of the season, then faded into obscurity when his contract was not renewed the following year. And Cristina totally moved on.
Janet Hubert versus Will Smith
Prof. Vivian Banks was a staple on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: The matriarch of the Banks family loved and supported her children and nephew, through good times, bad times, and Playboy pictorials. Unfortunately, actress Janet Hubert's relationship with the show's star, Will Smith, was troubled. Both Smith and Alfonso Ribeiro (Remember him?) spoke out about the supposedly cuckoo bananas starlet on several occasions.
Outcome: Hubert was replaced by Daphne Maxwell Reid after three seasons, and has seemingly dropped off the face of the earth. As a "wink wink, nudge nudge" gag on the show, the Banks family would look at old family photos and question Viv's changed appearance.
Kim Cattrall versus Sarah Jessica Parker
These Sex and the City ladies were the best of friends on camera, but rumors of an on set rivalry plagued the actresses for years. Kim Cattrall fueled the fire when she took longer than her three co-stars to sign on for the movie and its sequel, sparking additional rumors of Parker-induced jealousy.
Outcome: This time, the outcome was pretty good (Not the movies). Cattrall eventually signed on to both films, and the women have been seen together publicly many times since. According to Cattrall, the haters didn't like to see two successful women getting along, so they made the stories up to fan the flames.
Of course, these are only a few of my favorite television scuffles. We'll always have Sheen versus Lorre, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck versus knowledge. Readers, let us know: What are your favorite TV feuds, and why?
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna