‘The New Normal’ review: Nana and Bryan’s bonding session

The New Normal“The New Normal” celebrated the holidays on Tuesday night’s new episode, and they did so in part with what may have been their funniest episode of the entire series so far. While it has taken Ryan Murphy and Ali Adler some time to develop their characters fully, everyone (even Nana) is starting to become fully realized.

What made this episode so interesting was seeing most of the story revolve largely around two characters who have not spent a whole lot of time together in the past: Nana and Bryan. As a matter of fact, the former has spent much of this season so far ridiculing Bryan for his relationship with David, along with being nasty about anything and everything in between. This week, we saw a more sympathetic side to her as she decided attended a Hollywood party with him, admitted that she has a dream of being a realtor but is too afraid to try, and eventually ended up nearly getting arrested for acting crazy and pulling out a gun in front of police.

Ironically, David did help Nana land an interview with a realtor friend (Marlo Thomas) despite all of this, and she seems to have her foot in the door. This story was so good it almost completely overshadowed everything else this week, including a occasionally-funny story about David trying to baby-proof the house and how he has started binge-eating as a habit on the same level that Bryan has with drinking. The most important thing here is that all of this felt like the perfect combination of over-the-top while still real, which is precisely what you want from a comedy series these days. “The New Normal” actually reminds us quite a bit of “Community” or “Scrubs” in that it feels like an evolved sitcom: there’s no laugh track, but there are laughs mixed in with plenty of heart.

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Photo: NBC

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