'The New Normal': Boy Scouts episode is 'a loving tribute' to scouting that also explores the gay controversy
The latest topic the show's creators have crafted an episode around is the Boy Scouts, which is voting on whether or not to lift its ban on openly gay scouts or troop leaders. Co-creator Ali Adler tells Zap2it that it's a very personal episode for her, as the gay mom of a young boy.
"I'm a mom with an 8-year-old ... I have another mother that is co-parenting my children and I don't think the Scouts are excited about that," says Adler. "It was a very personal episode."
But don't think that the show is lambasting the Boy Scouts. As with every topic "The New Normal" covers, it's a complex issue.
"I think there's no better place [than the Boy Scouts] for a young man who is interested in learning about that stuff," says Adler. "It's a loving tribute to all the beautiful things the Scouts do, but this commonality of being persecuted in areas that no one should be. It isn't purposely political, but it is an obvious commentary in this show that is about this kind of family."
Star Andrew Rannells adds that the issue is explored between the two main characters, David and Brian, who have differing opinions about the Scouts.
"Justin [Bartha's] character, as a child, had been a Boy Scout," says Rannells. "He feels very strongly about it. Bryan was not a Boy Scout and he doesn't feel that he'd want his son involved in an organization like that. It's a really powerful episode. It's not super funny. It's very smart, very well-written episode about that topic."
"It is sort of a silly, arbitrary idea that somehow [gay people] are going to be a bad influence or somehow take away from the positivity of that organization," Rannells continues.
Star Justin Bartha adds, "It takes the controversy and the subject head-on. It's really a beautiful episode that I hope a lot of people see."
"The New Normal" airs Tuesday nights at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
Additional reporting by Terri Schwartz.