By Annie Barrett
Updated September 19, 2012 at 06:27 AM EDT
New Normal
Credit: Trae Patton/NBC
  • TV Show
  • NBC

They look happy to your right because this trio’s baby has a heartbeat — huzzah! — but the bulk of “Baby Clothes” involved aggression and tears. You see, everyone in this crazy mixed-up world is different, and so they hate each other.

In tonight’s third episode of The New Normal — brought to you by Pinkberry, Marc Jacobs, Dolce and Gabbana, and Equinox — Bryan and David run into a bigot in an outlet mall. This bigot is a great big terror in a polo shirt who asks them to stop kissing (in the interest of “trying to protect my family”) and calls the idea of Bryan and David having a baby “disgusting.” Bryan and David head home to have a heart-to-heart about bringing a baby into “a world where idiot people are trained to hate what we do.” There are tears, and it is dire. No one wants their family members to suffer, but how can kids be protected when hate is all around? And it IS. Hate is everywhere! We’re all too unique and precious to accept anyone who’s not just like us. Even the funny gay guys can be big meanies sometimes. Behold all of the other targets in the episode:

Redheads, chiefly Reba McEntire. “They say Judas was a red head… Any time I see Reba McEntire I wanna shout; you killed my lord and savior!” cried the doctor.

People who take the bus — they’re all “high school dropouts, single moms, and bottle blondes,” Bryan said, describing (LITERALLY) poor Goldie in the process

“Inked-up rude perverts” who work at Planned Parenthood, according to Ellen Barkin’s Nana.

“tarted-up CNN news anchors” (Nana again!)

–Pretty little unwanted Chinese babies (Nana)

Those less significant hate pellets were scattered, though. In the second Big Swirling Black Hole of Hate of the night, an angry gym-goer berated the developmentally challenged man at the front of the smoothie line for inquiring at too great a length about EQUINOX’s various power-boosts. But there’s a twist: It turns out this “retard” is an angry hater, too! Angry hatred is not just for natural predators. It’s 2012, man. Broaden your mind. A bemused David shuffled home to deliver Bryan the bad news: “The retarded guy called me a fag.” And get this: the angry guy at the gym turned out to be gay. He’s gay and a jerk when he gets impatient. No one’s got it going on completely!

By the end of the episode, all the negativity and dread in the air is put to good use: Bryan the catty sweetheart and Nana the bigot-in-chief enjoy their first bonding session over a joke that stereotypes Chinese food menus (“with six you get eggroll”). No one is safe; we’re all the enemies. Maybe we can all become friends? Might as well keep plugging away. “We’ll never be out of the woods; there’ll always be something,” said wise David. At least there are *bushels full* of wine to spill and share.

Yikes. I don’t really like the world I just described, the world of this TV show. I get what the creators are going for — an over-the-top yet somewhat realistic portrayal of how bigoted the world truly is. I’m just not sure I’m in the mood for a reminder.

Are you still on board with this baby? Do you find all the stereotyping and forced conflicts in The New Normal to be too heavy-handed, or perceptive and hilarious?

And why would David buy a child-size Equinox tracksuit for their baby (presumably Sue Sylvester’s evil spawn?) when he had just been kicked out of that gym?!! That is the thing I found most perplexing about the episode. I have to admit it was fun to think about! Also, I’m beginning to love Andrew Rannells at, like, nearly a Michael Urie level of love. Is that a stereotype? I’m exhausted.

Update: a commenter has called me a bitch and I agree — what’s my damage right now?!

Read more:

The New Normal

  • TV Show
  • In Season
  • NBC