‘The New Normal’ review: NeNe Leakes shines in ‘tragic’ episode

When “Go On” and “The New Normal” first started, we were first convinced that the former was the far better show. Now, we’re starting to feel a little bit more like the latter actually handled the subject of death better Tuesday night than Matthew Perry and company ever did.

Really, the person we have to give the most credit to here is NeNe Leakes, who Ryan Murphy and Ali Adler have really gifted with a character that gets richer and more interesting by the episode. We already knew that Rocky was strong-minded, but we also saw a sweet and nurturing side to her as she helped Shania get over the fact that her beloved hamster Marshmallow passed away. It was really the perfect way that this show would handle a subject like death: it was honest, but yet sweet, careful, and a reminder that there is still hope in tomorrow and a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Leakes also played this perfectly, as she kept it funny, but also grounded enough to feel sincere.

This story actually was woven pretty well into the other plot of the half-hour, as we saw Bryan embark on a spiritual journey to figure out who were going to be the best godparents for their child. Within this story we met arguably the coolest priest ever, and through this discussion Bryan learned not only that some priests can be pretty cool, but that it was okay for him to be gay and still attend mass. Through this confessional, he and David also realized that the best people to care for their child’s future were two people who were right in front of them all along: Rocky and Shania.

What a nice, warm-hearted episode this was. We were not fully sold on “The New Normal” at first, but it has become our warm and fuzzy part of the Tuesday night lineup. There was plenty of great comedy, but also the feeling to back it up.

Are you loving the journey that this show is on at the moment?

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