The New Normal Season 1 Review “The XY Factor”: Bryan’s Boy Troubles

The New Normal Episode 11 "The XY Factor"

The New Normal is hitting its stride and I think it’s also completing its goal of normalizing the idea of a gay couple for tons of Americans. Let’s be honest; with as many Americans (myself included) who are all for LGBT rights–including the right to marry–there is still a big percentage of the country still not ready for the changes going on in our country. This show is going a long way to help get them prepared, because when 2013 comes, social issues are going to be even more no-holds-barred than they already are.

Enough with the soapbox–I need to tell you about what happened in this episode, “The XY Factor.” In this episode, we learn the gender of Bryan and David’s baby! Goldie went against Bryan and David’s wishes of not knowing the gender of the baby until birth and took an ill-advised trip to the gynecologist herself. The doctor told her she’s having a boy (“the superior gender,” in his words). The knowledge makes David’s day–he’s always wanted to have a boy to do stereotypical boy things with, like play football, obsess over David’s World Series baseball collection and play catch. But Bryan immediately gets freaked out. He didn’t have a very good relationship with his father and he feels that David will be seen by their son as the actual “dad.”

Bryan tries to act “manly” when he takes over coaching the pee wee football team, much to David’s chagrin, and ends up making a mess of things. He has a bit of a freak out moment when David starts taking over the design of the nursery and reveals to David his troubled childhood. All Bryan wants to be is a part of his son’s life, and he feels David–being the more macho of the two–will edge him out of his own son’s affections.

Bryan’s worries are put to bed when David invites the football team to his house after their game gets rained out. Bryan aims to entertain the kids with arcade games and a build-your-own-pizza station. The kids love it, and David says this proves that Bryan not only can connect to young boys, but is also a better father to their son than Bryan’s father was to him.

Meanwhile, Shania is putting together a project on an influential woman. Goldie and Bryan decide to dress Shania up as Cher ala “Half-Breed” (including the Native American headdress) and have her perform said song for her project. Even though Goldie’s sewing skills are impeccable and Bryan’s theatricality lends itself to Shania’s zaniness, the school sees the song as having derogatory language and gets her suspended.

Goldie, wishing to be a lawyer when she grows up, decides to act as a mock lawyer for her daughter to get her back in school. It fails, and Goldie is even more discouraged than before. She wants to find her purpose, but she seems to keep falling short. It’s only at the end of the episode, when she’s going through all of the costumes she’s made for her daughter, that she realizes that she’s a very talented seamstress. In the next episode, I bet we see a plan for a new boutique or costume shop.

Overall, it was a very streamlined, entertaining episode about the basic things that make up family. Like I said, this show is meeting its purpose.