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We get it. New television sitcoms have been bringing to light a slew of social topics since the emergence of ABC’s Modern Family. Here’s an ethical question, though: we’ve seen the stereotypes emerge even more, but is NBC’s new fall lineup furthering social stereotypes?
Let’s start with The New Normal. The premise is about a successful gay couple that desperately wants a child but can’t physically produce one. Wonderful display of modern-day struggles! Great ethical and family values with the main characters! What an accurate depiction of gay couples in the States!
Wait. Not so much.
Maybe this show is trying to err on the side of aspirational with its characterization of David and Bryan’s relationship, or maybe it’s trying to get at a certain social/financial class of gay couples, but it’s sooo stereotypical: more masculine gay man meets more flamboyant gay man (and, like, pretty flamboyant), and the two create a life together with fabulous clothes, swanky furniture and one of the cuddliest-looking puppies while they work with a surrogate. In some cases, sure, but in most cases, totally not how this actually is.
Then there’s Guys with Kids, which is a somewhat poorly written show but tackles the humorous side of being a stay-at-home dad. It takes on the huge issue that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 report, 32 percent of married fathers took care of their child(ren) at least one day each week. More and more dads are taking care of the kids while their wives support the household as the primary breadwinner. We’ve heard this time and time again, but do single fathers and TV-fans really want to watch their story told on the small screen once a week?
I started watching The New Normal on Hulu when it premiered, and I’ll admit, I’m a fan. But here’s my point: Sometimes, it’s not all tank-tops and purple fedoras or taking your kids out to the bar with you when you have a pint with the bros in the evening. Sometimes it is. With NBC’s new lineup, what is the stereotype? What is the new normal? Readers, what do you think?
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