Second post of the day! In yesterday’s episode of The New Normal, “Pardon Me” (season 1, episode 9) Bryan and David decided to revamp their Thanksgiving tradition of getting away from home – instead, they invited their close friends and family members to partake in a delicious, vegetarian feast. Things got a little rough when old tensions surfaced and new ones formed.
I haven’t written a review for a television episode in years, so I’ll keep it simple by separating my thoughts into three categories: plot, characterization, and themes. I have no experience in screenwriting or creating television shows, so please take this as a literal “review” – just me going over what I thought went on in the episode, focusing on things I loved, liked, or didn’t exactly appreciate. Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments, and I included a small quote section at the bottom!
Plot: “Pardon Me” was a linear episode detailing the family’s Thanksgiving – their plans for Thanksgiving, their buying of the turkey, their preparation of the dinner, and the actual dinner itself. As always there were multiple humorous moments and smirk-inducing one-liners. Of course things could have been more developed, but given the short amount of screen time it worked well. I loved how the episode ended on the feast itself, symbolizing the communion taking place between everyone sitting at the table.
Characterization: Moshe Kasher, the writer of this episode, used Thanksgiving to incorporate almost all of the characters. The introduction of David’s dad was nice to see, as well as the developing romance between Goldie and Cliff. I liked how by the end everyone stood up to their family members – especially when Bryan told Jane to shut up and sit down. People have suggested that Jane gets away with saying too much, but Bryan cut her off effectively. I’m actually liking Jane’s character more and more as she’s reeled back, yet maintaining her humorously offensive element. If you really want to see a touching moment with her, you must watch the unaired Halloween episode.
Themes: At first I felt cheated thematically when I watched this episode. Shania proposed the idea of pardoning people (hence, the title) but by the end that was thrown out the window, though they had good reason to. While I adore Shania’s line about the difference between family and relatives, I do hope they go back to the idea of forgiveness, because I’m intrigued to see how the writers would weave that in. Perhaps Bryan’s mom will be featured?
Also, I liked the line from David’s dad about how his parents’ faults have made David who he is.
Overall: A good episode. Not my favorite, but it made me laugh and there were a few deeper moments. Looking forward to next week when they discover the gender of their baby!
Some memorable/humorous quotes:
“Bryan: Are you telling me that all of these display turkeys are going to be killed?
Farmer: Son, what is it you think we do here?
Bryan: I don’t know, I thought you had a freezer in the back with the ready-to-go kind! And all this bloody gory stuff happened at night, in some secret off-sight poultry Guantanamo while the townspeople slept in peaceful ignorance.”
“David: What are we going to do with them?
Bryan: Fresh turkey eggs every morning! Turkeys lay eggs, right?”
“Ms. Sawyer: Hello there, you adorable little cutie – it’s your future grand mommy. I’m making a cranberry jelly with dark sweet cherries, marsala wine and rosemary. It’s orgasmic! That means delicious in French.”
“Jane: Hello! I’m Mrs. Jane Forrest, the life of every party and the last real American, along with Newt Gingrich.”
“Mr. Sawyer: Like it or not kiddo, it’s our flaws who have made you who you are. From what I can see, you’ve done pretty damn good.”
“Shania: Family is who you choose. It’s the relatives who are chosen for us.”