Welcome to the Family

NBC, Thursdays 8:30/7:30 Central

Oct 03, 2013 Web Exclusive
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Welcome to the Family is another teen pregnancy sitcom. Think Reba, except on Welcome to the Family, the girl, Molly (Ella Rae Peck) is stupider than the guy, Junior (Joseph Haro). Junior, a valedictorian on his way to Stanford and higher education in the sciences, is stopped in his tracks when irresponsible Molly, barely scraping through high school and on her way to Arizona State University and an indeterminate future, announces she is pregnant. Molly's parents' plans are also stopped. Father Dan (Mike O'Malley), was going to get in shape and mother Caroline (Mary McCormack) was going to take advantage of that. In an ugly surprise, it turns out that the unpleasant owner of the gym where Dan went to cash in a "first lesson free" coupon also happens to be Junior's father Miguel (Ricardo A. Chavira). By the end of the pilot, Molly and Junior are engaged and accepting of the situation, and a grudging truce is reached between the two families, made easier by Caroline and Junior's mother, Lisette (Justina Machado). In the closing scene, Caroline is left staring at her own home pregnancy test.

Welcome to the Family is a serviceable family sitcom. O'Malley stereotypically plays the out-of-shape, big-hearted, blustering dad. McCormack's attempt at comedy is exaggerated-which works all right when she's doing drama, but is histrionic for comedy. Machado is always typecasted as the same characterLatina wifejust at varying ages. Haro and Peck are generic sitcom teenagers with absolutely nothing to distinguish them from others of their ilk. Welcome to the Family's storyline is so predictable, it doesn't warrant watchingat least it doesn't have the white noise buzz of endless dialogue that exemplifies The Secret Life of the American Teenager. (www.nbc.com/welcome-to-the-family)

Author rating: 3/10

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