‘Welcome to the Family’ creates blended family

NBC’s new comedy “Welcome to the Family” starts with an unfortunate image problem.

The series, which debuts Thursday (8:30 p.m. EDT), is about an aimless California girl from a middle class white family who is impregnated by the valedictorian son of a Latino family, both as they’re about to graduate from high school.

In pre-premiere promotions, both of the grandfathers-to-be were depicted as hostile, frankly racist characters. A particularly crass sex joke was shown repeatedly. It was anti-advertising, the type of publicity that screams “stay away!”

During the pilot, it turns out Dan Yoder (played by Mike O’Malley) and Miguel Hernandez (Ricardo A. Chavira) had a past run-in that accounts for their mutual dislike. When Hernandez literally offers an injured Yoder a shoulder to lean on toward the end of the episode, it’s the first sign they may become more than one-dimensional characters.

We’re not sure about some of the others. Yoder’s daughter Molly is essentially a dimwit, yet we’re also to believe that she’s a strong, committed feminist. Hernandez’s smart son is pressed by his dad to be driven and detail-oriented, yet carelessly leaves birth control to chance.

And, yes, we get it. They had sex. When Junior Hernandez gallantly approaches Yoder to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage, he notes that he’s already had more than her hand.

For the past few years, NBC’s Thursday-night lineup was the place where hip, funny series like “The Office” and “30 Rock” labored in obscurity. The network’s directive this year is to “go broad,” and there are no jokes in “Welcome to the Family” that are likely to slip by anyone.

Just when you’re about to dismiss it, though, there’s a late plot twist that promises to take the story in an intriguing new direction.

Somewhere in this sitcom there’s a beating heart.




WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s