Romo's World: What Is Normal?

normal
1. [n] something regarded as a normative example; “the convention of not naming the main character”; “violence is the rule not the exception”; “his formula for impressing visitors”
2. [adj] conforming with or constituting a norm or standard or level or type or social norm; not abnormal; “serve wine at normal room temperature”; “normal diplomatic relations”; “normal working hours”; “normal word order”; “normal curiosity”; “the normal course of events”
3. [adj] (psychology) being approximately average or within certain limits in e.g. intelligence and development; “a perfectly normal child”; “of normal intelligence”; “the most normal person I’ve ever met”
4. [adj] in accordance with scientific laws
5. [adj] (geometry) forming a right angle

Beauty & The Geek

I know I should not be promoting any show that has ties to Ashton Kutcher, but I’m sorry the show entertains me. Albeit during the summer season my standards are lower, Beauty & The Geek‘s mix of reality-voyeurism and unintentional comedy have made it a not-miss show for me.

In many ways none of the people on the show are normal and yet in many ways they are all normal. The “geeks” are not normal because they have limited social skills, experience with women etc… The “beauties” are not normal because they do not know certain facts or how to perform tasks “normal” people can do.

This Wednesday the finale takes place between the team of Chuck and Caitilin against the team of Richard and Mindi. Yes I agree that both women have too many i’s in their names. The feud between Chuck and Richard has created a dream finale for the producers.

Most of the “geeks” on the show were of the quiet, shy, nice variety of geek. On the other hand Richard’s “geekiness” reaches new levels because of his obnoxious and awkward behaviour. The fact that Richard has no desire to really change from being a “geek” irks Chuck.

Chuck, rightly or wrongly, feels he has learned something by being on this show. His self-righteous and condescending attitude towards Richard bothers me more than Richard acting like and idiot and a jerk. Because Chuck was one of the less “geeky” guys on the show he got a big head. One of the “beauties”, Scarlet, actually showed some interest in Chuck. All of a sudden Chuck decided he knew what “normal” was and that he was the one who should tell Richard how to act.

Yet Chuck seems to have forgotten about tolerance. Sure Richard is annoying, sure he does stupid thing, sure he is immature but what right do Chuck have to judge him? He ise an admitted “geek” and no matter what changes he has made in the past weeks he is not some vastly different person than the one who entered the show.

If Richard wants to be a “geek” and does not think he needs to change his behaviour, who is Chuck to tell him he should change? Chuck’s near bullying of Richard strikes of no different than the traditional behaviour of how “jocks” have treated “nerds” or “geeks.” You would think that Chuck, being a (former) “geek” would be more tolerant of Richard. But no, Chuck wants to forget his “geeky” ways and deny his past by showing his distaste for Richard’s “geeky” behaviour.

Regardless of the “geeks” most of the show has come down to the performance of the “beauties.” Caitilin, whose parents obviously did not know how to spell Caitlin, and Mindi, have by far performed the best of all the “beauties.” Both have proven that they are not the stupid bimbos the show was implying the “beauties” were. Each of them are the reasons their team is in the final.

As you can tell by now I am rooting for the Richard/Mindi duo to win the $250,000 as I think it would piss Chuck off to no end, which would make me happy.

One last thing about Richard. He has, whether planned or not, become one of the more memorable reality TV stars. No doubt he will be able to parlay his reality stardom, win or not, into greater gains than grumpy Chuck.

Six Feet Under

Nate’s 40th birthday party turned into a drunken ruckus that sure sets things up for the run to the finale. Nate’s attempts to live a “normal” family life keep crashing in on him. First he marries his former best-friend and mother of his child. Constant doubts of whether he truly loves her or if he just wants to be with her out of obligation for the child never gets resolved before his wife is murdered.

Eventually Nate re-connects with Brenda, the woman who has been in and out of his life ever since the death of his father (and the start of the show). Many viewers thought that while he was with his first wife, Lisa, he was really in love with Brenda. So the inevitable getting back together of Nate and Brenda was seen as a sign that Nate would finally have what he always wanted.

The short marriage of Nate and Brenda has been a rocky one. Brenda’s constant doubts of herself as a mother, wife and overall “normal” human being make her difficult to live with. Brenda’s most recent pregnancy, coming so close to her recent miscarriage, created the conflict in the most recent episode. At first Nate’s reaction to the news was not excited enough. Later Brenda freaked out when Nate tried to show his excitement by telling the family and friends who came out to celebrate his birthday.

After several shots of tequila Nate eventually freaks out and kills an invading bird, a blue jay I believe. This just after it looked like he was about to kiss Maggie, his step-father’s daughter. I’m not sure if I got the symbolism the writers were going for but it seemed like the bird symbolised Nate. In that the bird kept trying to enter the house, going against its natural instinct and giving up its freedom. On the same hand Nate keeps trying to live a “normal” life and fails at it. Perhaps his natural instinct is to be free? Ok, so now my English teacher is happy because I paid attention to all that crap spewed to me about symbolism and such.

Nate and Brenda are not the only people struggling with normality. David and Keith, perhaps the two most normal people on the show, are trying to start their own version of a normal family. Yet due to the fact neither of them owns a uterus makes that difficult. The debate of a surrogate and adoption has divided the two. Keith wants to have their own child, what he feels is normal, whereas David wants to adopt because he thinks the idea of “renting” a uterus to be abnormal.

Billy and George had an interesting tête-à-tête during Nate’s birthday party. Both men struggle to maintain their sanity. The heavily medicated Billy has decided to go off his meds, while George chooses to undergo shock therapy treatments in his attempt to regain a normal life. Is Billy’s mental instability “normal” for him? Is putting him on meds to make him “normal” as per societies standards wrong?

So the question I ask…what is normal?