‘The New Normal’: ‘Rocky Bye Baby’ recap


Justin Bartha as David, NeNe Leakes as Rocky and Andrew Rannells as Brian in The New Normal.

Although Brian and David were eagerly “shopping” for a sibling for their unborn baby, a plan that was ultimately abandoned, it was Rocky who went from a sassy best friend and producer to Brian to a foster mother for a baby girl.

As opposed to previous episodes where Rocky is placed in scenes for comedic relief, the audience saw a different side of her. From the way she met Brian (on a massage table) to her superb baby shower planning skills to her secret desire to be a mother.

Or, as secret as it could be since not even twenty minutes later Rocky took home an adorable baby girl named Nikki.

However, the static development of the other characters was slightly boring.

After last week’s episode where Clay and Goldie reunite, Clay appears to be a changed man. This new Clay promises to be dedicated to Goldie no matter what. That was an extremely abrupt transition but the audience adjusted quickly. But this episode didn’t build anything more off of that, it just plateaued, and so did viewer interest.

One thing that does improve with each episode is the balance of comedic and sentimental writing. The writers have been nailing it lately, incorporating more scenes with emotional depth opposed those without any. As a viewer, this provides the best of both worlds and makes the episode more interesting to watch. The scale can’t tip too much to either side without damaging what has already been built plot and style wise and what is to be built throughout the season.

As the season finishes up, more Shania moments are definitely necessary. It’s been well established by now that she’s extremely intelligent but she is also very quirky. With the exception of the episode where everyone gets a makeover, not much has been discussed about the effect of Shania’s personality on her social life. Sure, she might enjoy herself, but she might not fit in and that can build up eventually. Her relationship with her dad, Clay, could be examined more thoroughly. Goldie’s feelings towards him are clearly expressed, even though they are constantly changing, but Shania’s are kept more secretive.

Was this episode perfect? No. Was it better than the one before it? And the one before that one? Yes. The New Normal is steadily improving. Although it’s frustrating watching it work out its kinks, it’s also great to watch it reach its full potential. How long before TNN reaches that point? Hopefully soon or viewers might lose interest.

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