Normal, Ohio (TV Series 2000–2001) Poster


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Never forgive FOX for canning this one
BullMooseWV1 July 2007
I'm still sad this show didn't make it. Not only was Goodman great in this show, but his character was someone I could really relate to. I'm gay, but most gay TV characters are foreign to me. My partner and I couldn't even take "Will & Grace" after a couple episodes. But we instantly liked Rex Gamble. Masculine, blue-collar, small-town family guy. His homosexuality was matter-of-fact. There was no shrill over-the-top drama about it, or liberal "preachiness" so common in most TV shows these days. And most importantly, the show was well cast and FUNNY.

If it ever comes out on DVD, we'll buy it.
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I absolutely love John Goodman in this show!
BitaB22 February 2001
I thought this one was a winner! Goodman was great as a gay father and ex-husband. I still enjoy watching him on Roseanne reruns! I don't understand why so many people didn't like this show. I hope to see his show back on the air. I haven't been able to find it on the television lately. Maybe some people are afraid of seeing the truth on TV! Anyhow, thumbs up to the cast and crew on this show! I don't think there was anything wrong with this show! Bring it back!!
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I loved it, loved it, loved it!
Movie Watcher2 November 2000
I loved this show! How wonderful it is to finally see a program on television that features a gay male character in the lead(!) that isn't a stereotype. In fact, he breaks all stereotypes. John Goodman plays William "Butch" Gamble, a tough, macho, masculine guy who also happens to be gay. He stands up for himself when verbally attacked and he likes football too. When is the last time a gay character on television or in the movies had all of those qualities?

I knew it would be a good show simply because everything John Goodman does is a showcase for his amazing talent and natural style of acting. His character in "Normal, Ohio" brought to mind the characters he played in "Roseanne" and "Coyote, Ugly," but this time he is the central focus.

The main point I want to make is that I have worked in network programming for years and I know how hard it is to get a show on the air. In fact, I can't imagine how difficult it must have been for this show's producers to even make this show at all. When critics say "Normal, Ohio" isn't as good as other programs, those critics do not realize that a few years ago, a show with a gay male character in the lead would never have been on TV at all.

It doesn't matter if you're gay, straight, bi or whatever - everyone should support this program and watch it. Let's not forget the way America jeered Margaret Cho's sitcom "All American Girl," which should have been praised for its wonderful portrayal of an Asian family. Hopefully, "Normal, Ohio" will find an audience before it's too late.
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Tearing down the walls
papatom13 November 2000
I am so excited that this show is getting watched. I am thrilled that it breaks down the stereotypes of gay people. Hollywood does tend to glamorize gay people and pigeonhole the entire community. This show gives people a different take on the all too utopian Will and Grace. I personally like how Butch has to put up with fear and ignorance in the episodes. There are a lot of gay people who aren't affluent New Yorkers who deserve a role model. Too many times the gay community sells out. This show may not be high art, but it caters to those who have a taste for realistic characters.

If you haven't seen it yet, please take time out of your schedule to see an extremely gifted actor play the new American Hero. Thank you Fox for taking a chance on a risky show. Thanks Mr. Goodman for being there.
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Great show!
brand81513 December 2000
I've watched this show and I can only say one thing: great!.I knew this show would be good because John Goodman is the star.This show once again proves the immense talent of Mr. Goodman.I've been a huge fan of his since his excellent performance in The Babe.Anything he's in is great,though,so...This show could run a long time if everyone found time to watch it.I agree that it doesn't showcase the usual gay stereotypes found in other shows.Once again,great show.
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I loved it.
stealth_tiger7 November 2000
I'm very partial to John Goodman in anything, but I was especially pleased to see him playing this new character. I think that him being a "normal" acting guy speaks in favor of the gay community by showing that not all gay men fall into the stereotype. Being a young gay man from Ohio myself also makes this show appealing, but I think that everyone should give it a chance. This show has potential, and I really hope it stays on the air for quite a while. Goodman makes this character interesting. As for comparing it to Roseanne, people will always see him as Mr. Conner. He spent years playing that role, and it is the one that he is most well known for. To sum it all up... Great show. Watch it a few times at least. (I'm taping every episode, and plan to watch it fanatically ;-)
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Sure it's not your typical gay man but it's funny enough to be interesting.
Brian-2721 November 2000
I just watched the first episode of "Normal Ohio" and yes it's different but it has some potential for success. It's simple John Goodman plays a gay man who returns home to Normal, Ohio from Los Angeles to take up home with his strict family especially his parents. Goodman also makes good with his son he left behind when he told his wife he was gay, now papa must be proud to have a son going off to medical school. And Joely Fisher stars as Goodman's sexy sister who's a single mother who lightens things up for John. Sure I know a beefy, beer drinking football-loving Midwestern man doesn't fit the profile or look of a homosexual but I'm glad the producers made it this way to show that many people can have a lifestyle that fool the norm. It yet remains to be seen whether or not FOX has a surprise hit or just another ordinary show. Only time will tell.
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Loud, Crass, and not too funny
baker-920 December 2000
I watched the show pretty regularly until it's recent cancellation. While there were funny bits here and there (mostly in the early episodes), most of the show was loud, crass & way too broadly acted, in the usual Fox Network style. The two parents - played by Orson Bean and Anita Gillette - were particularly tiresome.

The idea of having a non-urban, average-guy gay man as the central character is terrific. But this show had too many characters to juggle; some of the more interesting ones (the ex-wife, the son) had too little to do, while I could've done with less of the sister and the parents.

Given how bad most of the new network comedy shows have been over the last few seasons, I was really hoping this one would be the exception.
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A Good Idea Spoiled by Corporate Stupidity
cubdukat4 January 2008
First of all, I agree with most of the posters that say that Fox should have been shot for the way they handled "Normal, Ohio." That being said, a good amount of the blame should also be laid at the feet of John Goodman himself, who seemed to base his response to interviewers who asked about the show on its original title: "Don't Ask."

As good an actor as he is, John Goodman was the wrong actor to choose, in that he did everything but sabotage the show himself. He seemed very uncomfortable--almost to the point of hostility--that there was some small contingent of the gay community that might find him desirable, and that doesn't go over so well when you're playing a gay man on a gay-themed comedy. I didn't expect him to be anything like Richard Karn (who is aware of his gay following and is cool with it), but he definitely didn't handle it well.

But most of all, I miss this show because of the possibilities that would have been opened up had Fox not pulled the plug and showed a bit more moxie. If it had continued, Butch would have gotten a love interest--none other than Dan Aykroyd! This was a show that could have finally broken the "Will and Grace" stereotype of gay men that seems to have a complete stranglehold on the media. Only one other show has come close, and that was the two "Wings" episodes with "Men in Trees'" Abraham Benrubi (another straight-but-not-narrow actor who actually appeared on "Roseanne" as a younger version of Goodman's character). Sadly, like most potentially daring ideas on TV nowadays, they were forced to sacrifice their higher concept for survivability.
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