On a Tuesday morning conference call with reporters, executive producer of The New Normal Ryan Murphy teased an upcoming Halloween episode in which Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and Shania (Bebe Wood) convince everyone to dress up like the Here Comes Honey Boo Boo gang. Naturally, Vulture asked him to elaborate: “It’s a really fun episode where it turns out Andrew Rannells character has decided, because Shania loves that show, to go en masse as that family,” Murphy said. (That Shania. She loves both Grey Gardens and Honey Boo Boo. Can we hire her yet?) In another episode of Murphy’s semiautobiographical New Normal, Bryan executive produces a Glee-like musical comedy called Sing! and “so he has a full-time makeup guy coming up with costumes for him and the family” — so watch for fifteen or so different costume changes within that half-hour. (And yes, Sing’s leading lady Clea will also turn up soon, though Murphy says they have yet to find their Lea Michele double.)
The Halloween episode will be especially eye-opening for Justin Bartha’s character David, Bryan’s less-effeminate partner. “The gay male is an interesting thing to explore,” Murphy said. “If a gay guy is drawn to anything fashion or feminine, why is that considered a stereotype? Why is that controversial? In what way does the gay community look at that? In what way does the straight community look at them?” And if that wasn’t enough for a sitcom to think on, the episode will also tackle a young “gender bender,” reminiscent of Dyson Kilodavis, whose mother made headlines when she wrote the nonfiction children’s book My Princess Boy based on her son’s love of wearing dresses. Murphy says the 5-year-old son of one of David’s doctor friends will announce he wants to go as a pink fairy for Halloween. “It throws his father into a state. It’s a really interesting discussion of children and parenting and joys and embarrassments,” he said. Ellen Barkin’s Über-conservative Jane, of course, will have none of it. She’s going as Endora.