The New Normal Season 1 Review “Dairy Queen” – Milk, Milk, Everywhere

There was a longer title for this review of The New Normal episode “Dairy Queen”–“Milk, Milk, Everywhere, But Not Enough for Shania to Drink.” Shania’s odd (but endearing?) fixation on getting her mother’s breastmilk is really what 1/3 of the episode is about. The second third of the show is equally as creepy–Bryan wants to be able to bond with his child so much, he buys a very fetish-looking milk harness for men. Gross. The other third I felt could have been fleshed out a little bit more. But first, let me write a little bit more about the creepy parts.

As you can probably see from my byline below this post, I am a woman. However, what you can’t see is that I’m an unmarried woman without child. I’m also a woman who was not reared on breastmilk. I got good old-fashioned, vitamin-enriched formula. I say all of this because I don’t want to come off as insensitive–some women might feel very strongly about breastmilk and breast-feeding, and it’s your right to do whatever you want for your children’s health. Just know that when I say “creepy,” when referring to this episode, the creepiness is coming from the fixation on breastmilk, not the actual usage of it. There–my probably necessary disclaimer is over.

Perhaps its because I’ve never been raised on breastmilk that I don’t really identify with this episode. I’m not sure “identify” is the right word, but as a kid, I didn’t really get in a fit about not getting breast-fed. So when Shania went crazy over not getting breast-fed by her mother, I was kind-of like, “What? Calm down, Shania.” Sure, studies have shown that children who are breast-fed are smarter on average, but that doesn’t mean us non-breast-fed kids are just doomed to be stupid. I’m writing on a well-known entertainment website and at one point in my life, considered doing something in the medical profession, for goodness’ sake–I’ve got some smarts, don’t you think? I mean, I have let the odd thought fly concerning what my brain would have been like with breastmilk and Sesame Street instead of just Sesame Street alone, but overall, what’s the point of getting bent out of shape? What’s done is done. And heck, nowadays, they’re creating formula that mimics breastmilk, so Shania could have just mixed some of that up if she really wanted to get in on what Bryan and David’s baby was going to get.

Anyway, Shania’s problem wasn’t really about getting breast-fed. It was really about her worrying about how much time Goldie would have for her. Thankfully, Goldie got rid of her child’s worries and finally put an end to what was beginning to be a really icky storyline, what with Shania buying some woman’s breastmilk online. Yuck.

Bryan is not really being any better than Shania about breastmilk. Not only does he help a group of women organize a breast-feeding flash mob, but he buys said fetishy “Milk Man” thing and joins in! Naturally, the women are upset by this, believing that his input is making the mob look like a joke instead of an action to promote change and breast-feeding equality. But, David’s friend’s wife, the one who inspired Bryan in the first place, changed her mind and forced her husband to buy one of those terrible things. Turns out he likes it; Bryan, on the other hand, came to his senses and saw how redonk that thing is.

I know the show is exaggerating a parent’s need to be close to their child for the sake of comedy, but it’s almost a stretch even for someone as extreme as Bryan to want to get that close to their child that they’ll buy a man breast-feeding device. Crazy times, for sure.

What wasn’t crazy was Jane falling harder for Brice. What I like about Brice is that he’s getting Jane out of her racist, comfortable shell. That’s really all her racism is–she’s been sheltered in a racially-homogeneous part of America and just has no idea what a proper joke is, let alone how to dress in the 21st century. Brice’s efforts to get her out of her comfort zone and into The Future is great, and of course it helps that the bitter medicine of seeing how out of touch you might be goes down better when it’s being administered from John “Uncle Jesse” Stamos, himself (who, although good-looking before, has gotten even more dashing with age).

I wish they had focused more on Jane’s thoughts on being told her racist jokes aren’t funny, but we had to have time to see Brice’s daughter, who’s almost as old as Brice himself. I am anticipating some bad blood between Jane and the daughter, with most of the vitriol stemming from the daughter’s side.

For a strange episode about lactating women (and men who want to lactate), it was…fun? It certainly wasn’t boring, that’s for sure.