I have watched homosexuality on TV go from being a no-no to being implied to being out, daring and revolutionary to being a charming part of mainstream entertainment to being, in the case of The New Normal, tediously formulaic. The show wants to be daring and politically correct, with its sweet gay couple (one stereotypically fabulous, the other a jock) and it's surrogate mother with her Archie Bunkerish mom.
But it all just feels like a sitcom trying to hard to please. It is a sitcom that says, "look at far we've come, we can have gay couples on TV, we can have them kiss, we make fun of the bigot, you've got to love us!"
But none of it *quite* works. Some of the jokes are funny, but the characters are so generic. The more stereotypical of the two gay guys feels more like a clone of Jack from Will and Grace than a new creation. His boyfriend and the surrogate mom are both pleasant and forgettable. The only characters with any bite are Ellen Barkin, who's pretty good as the over-the-top bigot, and and NeNe Leakes as a sassy black chick. But then the fact that the show *has* a sassy black chick is yet another example of the shows propensity for stereotypes and cliches.
It's not that it's a bad show, it's just a thoroughly mediocre one. Which just means gay characters have now achieved sitcom parity with straight ones. Viva la revolucion!