‘The New Normal’ Recap: A ‘Grey Gardens’ Episode, Already!

Season 1, Episode 2, “Sofa’s Choice”

After a solid pilot, The New Normal continues to show potential as Bryan and David struggle with the idea of adding a child to their lives, and Shania becomes obsessed with Grey Gardens’ Little Edie.

We find out right away that Goldie’s pee test was negative, which is kind of a relief for Bryan. The antique-lover is horrified to find his sofa desecrated with a face drawn in marker (it’s now “Judi Dench with a tramp stamp”). Naturally he assumes Shania is to blame. “Is this what having children means, that I have to give up all the beautiful things in my life?” Bryan wonders. No, you just have to accept that beautiful things get covered in spit-up, too.

Meanwhile, Shania is having a hard time adjusting: this girl is amazing, and like all amazing young people, no one really gets her. So she adopts a flawless Little Edie from Grey Gardens persona, because she’s basically the third gay man on this show. Nana is predictably horrified by the influence the homos are having over her great-granddaughter: “Your daughter has no business spending time with those candypackers in that Sodom and Gomorrah fudge factory.” Look, as awful as she is, Nana has a way with words.

Turns out David is having doubts about fatherhood, too — his basketball buddies are pissed they won’t be able to live vicariously through their child-free friend. (“Homosexuality is the ultimate form of birth control.”) Bryan and David decide to go out on the town, even though they’ve never really been out to a club since the night they met. (Queue adorable flashback, complete with Justin Bartha in glasses.) Once out, though, they realize they’re ready to settle down and have a family, and we pretend not to notice that they’re still young and hot.

Bryan and David decide to give Goldie the guest house, which seems like an awesome compromise — it’s kind of an amazing space — until Shania’s dad shows up. Goldie realizes she wants to be independent, and that means … well, leeching off her crazy grandmother some more, apparently. Speaking of: turns out Nana’s art skills aren’t as strong as her diction. She’s the one who doodled the face on the sofa to force Bryan to question having a kid. Shania reveals the betrayal after a heart-to-heart with Bryan. “I just want to be normal,” she admits. “What a stupid, shortsighted wish,” he replies.

The episode ends with a big non-surprise: Goldie is pregnant after all, confirmed via a more accurate blood test. Sappy or not, those of us who are already attached to this family unit “aww”-ed at the group hug. Is The New Normal a little too cute? Maybe. But it’s also a groundbreaking and often very funny series. Now let’s see if they can find that perfect balance between sweet and sass.

Louis Peitzman is a freelance writer in Los Angeles, spending most of his time as the weekend editor at Gawker and a contributor to WitStream and TV.com. He’s a little bit Dorothy, a little bit Blanche. You can follow him on Twitter.

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