Norm (TV Series 1999–2001) Poster

(1999–2001)

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Funny, funny, funny...
Manos-625 March 1999
The Norm Show is gonna be a big hit. Trust me. This has everything a sit-com should have. Great acting, funny humor, originality, and... well that's about all it needs. Norm MacDonald's monotonical jokes hit you dead on, and Laurie Metcalf is great as the leading actress on the show. But still, Norm MacDonald is the highlight of the show. He doesn't even have to make a joke to get you laughing. Though it is kind of unrealistic, with Norm being an ex-hockey-player-turned-social worker, but that's just part of the originality. Everyone will love this show after watching just one episode, so I think it'll be around for a while.
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A gem; relationship shows are never this funny
liquidcelluloid-15 August 2004
Network: ABC; Genre: Sitcom; Content Rating: TV-14 (for language and crude & sexual humor); Classification: contemporary (Star range: 1 - 4)

Season Reviewed: Complete Series (3 seasons)

After a high profile bouncing from the Weekend Update desk on 'Saturday Nigh Live' the irrepressible Norm MacDonald was able to land softly in this, his own self-titled series for ABC. From creators Deborah Oppenheimer and Bruce Helford ('The Drew Carey Show'), 'The Norm Show' is a sitcom that is very much in touch with the specific sense of humor of its lead and knows how to best convey it. This show is what 'Drew Carey' could have been had it not evolved into a self-indulgent star vehicle in the final seasons.

MacDonald plays Norm Henderson, a former hockey player sent into community service after being busted on gambling charges. The plot is just thin enough for any number of possible gags. He is kept in line by dedicated public servant (Laurie Metcalf) and constantly making a fool of his incredulous supervisor Denby (Max Wright, 'Alf'). Ian Gomez ('The Drew Carey Show') and joining later Nikki Cox ('Unhappily Ever After') and Faith Ford ('Murphy Brown') do a fine job keeping up with the shows bounding energy, but it's character-named leads MacDonald, Metcalf and Wright that are run the show.

'Norm' feels like it was poured out of MacDonald's head. Too often funny comedians come into a sitcom and flounder around, muffled by its trappings. But MacDonald finds himself right at home here. Through the years the episodes have some bizarre and creative plots that push the boundaries of reality. The crude humor is piled high and thick, but McDonald is able to turn the oldest gags into an honest laugh with his trademark deadpan comic delivery. His touch is everywhere. MacDonald has never been funnier and sitcom veterans Metcalf (criminally underrated in everything she does) and Wright fall into his twisted groove perfectly.

'Norm' is a relationship series through and through with all the usual trappings. It has a preoccupation with dating, sex and bed-hopping amongst its ensemble that would turn the head of even the biggest 'Friends' fan. As a relationship show it is peerlessly funny. But while the show's crude humor and office comedy elements work well, it never convinced me that it needs to be a relationship comedy. Do we really need Norm and co. going through some contrived love-lorn drama? And do we really believe MacDonald when proclaims to be 'in love' with someone he met that week? Particularly when he does it in the exact same dry, monotonous voice that serves the jokes so well, but is impossible to take seriously. This is a regrettable kink in the armor for me. And it doesn't help that ABC shuttled this show out the door with nary a whisper in its final season.

Most of the time, however, 'Norm' does it right and rises above the usual banality of this material. It lacks any pretension about itself and is refreshingly free of the melodrama that bogs down most shows of this ilk. Its purpose, first and foremost, is a giddy laugh. It is the crude, sex comedy in near top form where so many other shows fall flat. It aims low but it gets the job done.

'Norm' doesn't break the mold of the sitcom and try anything revolutionary, but within this mold (the one-liners, the put-upon boss, the cute wiener dog stealing the show, and the typical office & apartment setting) 'Norm' fills out the genre, stretching it to the limits and, best of all, getting genuine laugh-out-loud belly laughs. On a side note, the original "wrecking ball" opening sequence is, I think, a modest classic among intros.

Here's one of the highest compliments you can give. 'Norm' makes me wonder why so many traditional sitcoms flail about in such embarrassing desperation to get the slightest laugh. McDonald makes it all look effortless. It just shows what great casting, performers willing to dive head-first into the material, and exceptional comic delivery can do for you. A silly, mindless and truly hysterically funny series. Its hard to ask for anything more in this type of show.

* * * / 4
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Beats the hell out of other ABC shows
Op_Prime26 December 1999
This show is great and Norm MacDonald is very, very funny. I consider it an equal to The Drew Carey Show, if not a superior. I recall many wondering if Norm could bounce back from Dirty Work's failure and it seems he has, rejuvenating his career. Seeing him on SNL, I didn't know what to expect from Norm on this show. But I'm happy with the results. I doubt ABC will cancel it anytime soon.
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Funny guy, standard sitcom
Hotoil13 January 2001
Norm MacDonald is a funny man. He really shined as Weekend Update anchor on SNL and it was a shame when NBC canned him (especially after seeing the unfunny anchors that followed). He was even funnier when he did the talk-show circuit, where he would always crack up hosts and audiences with his off-the-wall improvisational wit. Now giving him his own show is a great idea, but not if your just using his name and presence without really utilizing his talents.

What they've done here is stick Norm Macdonald in a really run-of-the-mill sitcom. Granted, it may be one of the better sitcoms, but it's a sitcom nonetheless. And if you've got half a brain and have seen the comedies of the past, you'll notice there is nothing new here. Old jokes, old situations, little substance. It's a cookie-cut genre that takes Norm's humor for granted.

If one positive thing has arisen from the series, it has been keeping Norm in the spotlight so he continues to pop up on late-night TV to promote it, therefore setting the stange for classic spontaneous Normisms!
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9/10
An absolute ABC classic!
Catherine_Grace_Zeh14 August 2008
"THE NORM SHOW," in my opinion, is an absolute ABC classic! I haven't seen every episode, but I still enjoyed it. It's hard to say which episode was my favorite. However, I think it was always funny when a mishap occurred. I always laughed at that. In addition, I really loved the theme song. Despite the fact that it was a short-lived series, it was nice that all of the main characters had stayed with the show throughout its entire run. It seems that no one stays with a show throughout its entire run. Everyone always gave a good performance, the production design was spectacular, the costumes were well-designed, and the writing was always very strong. In conclusion, I hope someone brings it back on the air for fans of the show to see.
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10/10
get this show out on DVD
drawler28 August 2006
ABOUT TIME THIS SHOW WAS ON DVD. Pretty much the best comedy to come out of America since cheers and the simpsons.

Fantastic FUNNY gags. The writing is excellent. Brilliant deadpan delivery. The cast are fantastic. Cutting edge humour abounds. Often on the verge of politically incorrectness, it pushes the boundary every now an then.

Has been unfairly treated by network executives in the us and the uk who don't understand comedy. They wouldn't know good comedy if it jumped up and tickled them in the ribs.

Why was it ever cancelled? No other comedy makes me smile and laugh as much as Norm/The Norm Show. Its time to get this out on DVD and for everyone to re-appraise it.
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This funny show deserves longevity
4-Kane23 December 2000
I've been watching "Norm" since its debut in 1999, and haven't stopped watching it. I think it's one of the most underrated shows, and one of the funniest shows (if not THE funniest show) on the air.

One of my favorite episodes is the one where Danny's father dies, and Danny discovers that his dad was gay. Another hilarious one is where Danny gets a toupee. These episodes prove that "Norm" IS funny.

The cast is clever, consisting of supporting actors/actresses who were in other series: Max Wright ("ALF"), Faith Ford ("Murphy Brown"), Laurie Metcalf ("Roseanne"), and Ian Gomez ("Drew Carey Show" and "Felicity") to name a few.

Leaving "Saturday Night Live" to do "Norm" was a smart move for Norm MacDonald. And there is little that I would like better than to see this series obtain longevity. It deserves a good, long run. And I would honestly like to see "Norm" stay on the air for at least five or six years.
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Amazing. An American sitcom which is actually funny.
DanPacino4 February 2002
'The Norm Show' (a.k.a Norm) is, without a doubt. One of the funniest, if not the funniest American sitcom I have had the pleasure to witness.

I have found that almost all 1990's American sitcoms have been complete and utter crap (with the possible exception of all the animated ones). One only needs to watch a few episodes of the horrible 'Friends' or the disgustingly dull 'Everyone loves Raymond' to know that the humour in these shows is very thin and the characters are all very easy to hate. Then came Dharma and Greg - Possibly the worst Television show ever conceived. It was looking pretty bad for American T.V.

But, alas. American sitcoms had a saviour and it came in the form of a Canadian. The stylistic wit and sometimes un-p.c japes of Norm MacDonald have given me hope for American TV. If only more sitcoms were like this.

Long live Norm and his Weiner Dog!
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Laurie Metcalf is Hilarious...
T-Pain2 September 2000
I love this show and I hope it stays on for at least a few more years. I think it's superior to Drew Carrey, which is also a great show. While, Norm is indeed wonderful, Laurie Metcalf (the sister from "Roseanne") steals the show. She's perfect for a show like this. Good sitcom-y fun.
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