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'New Normal': Why we should all worship Andrew Rannells

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Nana had her first orgasm. David’s mom (guest star Jackie Hoffman) came to visit. Shania ate wasabe…and then puked up wasabe. But the most important thing that happened tonight was that this sitcom ditched the bitchiness for actual laughs and emotion. Of course, Ellen Barkin’s Nana had some of the best (and okay, yes, bitchy) line of the episode (including one of my favorites lines of any show this year: “We get it Jennifer Garner. You take your kids to the park.”), but the success of this show (hello, full season pickup today!) can really be credited to the genius Andrew Rannells. Not only did he work a pair of turquoise pants to perfection (not easy), he killed every single line (even the not hilarious ones make you laugh with his delivery) and gave some much-needed heart to the show with that heartbreaker of a close-up while calling his estranged mother. I didn’t think he could possibly be as good on TV as he was on stage in The Book of Mormon and then  came along and he proved his brilliance. Ryan Murphy did himself many favors by casting Rannells, the one consistently great part of an uneven show.

Speaking of uneven, let’s talk about uneven screen time. As in, a lot less for Goldie, an even teenier amount for Shania, and none at all for Rocky? Personally, I didn’t miss any of them tonight, though I usually do love my Nene Leakes. The show seemed to have more focus without needing to hand out one-liners to everyone on the payroll. All in all, good show. Strong promise for the future. Now, who on earth is going to play Bryan’s mom? What did you all think of tonight’s episode? Are you as obsessed with Andrew Rannells as I am?