A Welcome to the Family Community
NBC (ended 2013)

Hey you! This isn't a review, it's a PREview. Huge difference. Most notably, the "P." Also, these PREviews are based on early cuts of pilots that might change drastically by the time they officially hit the air, so we can't properly review them. But we CAN give you an idea of what to expect. In this series of early looks at the new shows of fall 2013, there's no contemplating, no deep analysis; just super-duper quick thoughts on what we just watched that we're passing on to you. We'll revisit each previewed show in the fall with the hyper-intellectual breakdowns and fart jokes you're used to from us goons here at TV.com. 



Welcome to the Family – Thurdays starting October 3 at 8:30pm on NBC


STARRING AND CREATED BY: This was NBC's budget-cutting comedy—there aren't any big stars on the roster—but you'll know Mike O'Malley from Glee and stand-up comedy (and depending on your age, Nickelodeon GUTS), and Mary McCormack from In Plain Sight and The West Wing. The cast also includes Ella Rae Peck, Joey Haro, Ricardo Chavira, and Justina Machado. Mike Sikowitz of Rules of Engagement infamy created the program, and sitcom veteran Jamie Tarses will executive-produce.


THE GIST: It's high-school graduation and Caucasian Molly barely got her diploma, while Latino Junior is headed to Stanford; he's the school's valedictorian. But when it comes out that Junior got Molly pregnant, RUH-ROH! Molly's parents and Junior's parents—and by the way, the dads just plain don't like each other—find their families smashed together, along with conflicting parenting styles and cultures. Yup, another one of those. 


SNAP JUDGMENT: When NBC embarked on its "broad comedy" initiative and started moving away from more intelligent fare like Community and The Office, Welcome to the Family was exactly what the network had in mind. Full of dialogue that isn't very funny and bland characters with no discernible voice, this sitcom is so light on charm that you'll barely know it's there. It is not a fun watch. But it's not offensively bad like the season's worst new comedies, it doesn't try to take the easy route and by simply focusing on white people versus brown people... at least in the pilot; I'm sure that will be huge moving forward. Instead, it portrays Latinos in the same light as white people. with the same problems, and the thing that really separates the families is that the two dads hate each other, race be damned. However, none of that makes up for the show's complete lack of creativity or wit, and it comes off as a multi-camera sitcom that was turned into a single-camera comedy. This is as plain as vanilla flan.


PILOTITIS DIAGNOSIS: This is a very forward-moving pilot; backstory isn't a concern and exposition is practically absent. But you'll still know it's a pilot because it moves from "I'm pregnant" to "We're getting married" in no time, skipping any actual discussion of the reality of the situation in favor of shoving the premise in your face.   


FACES TO LOOK OUT FOR: It's hard for anyone to give a great performance with the talent-draining writing they're chained to. So the only face to watch is yours, in a mirror, while you're watching this. 


RANDOM THOUGHTS: Who texts the father of their child that they're pregnant during the middle of the father's valedictorian speech? Sitcom people, that's who.


EXCITEMENT LEVEL: Not very high at all. Let's call it a 3 out of 10. 


PILOT PREVIEW POWER RANKINGS: 

(Where we rank the fall season's pilots based on very early impressions)


DRAMA

1. Almost Human - J.J. Abrams and J.H. Wyman's robotic buddy-cop drama

2. The 100 - Teens have fun (and die) on post-apocalyptic Earth while the adults fight each other in a big tin can orbiting the planet

3. Intelligence - Josh Holloway stars as a Cyber Command agent who has Wi-Fi in his brain

4. Sleepy Hollow - Ichabod Crane zaps to the future to help a detective stop the Headless Horseman

5. The Tomorrow People - Young people, including Stephen Amell's cousin, get superpowers.

6. The Blacklist - James Spader is a master criminal who turns himself in to the FBI on one condition: He only works with the pretty new FBI agent

7. Hostages - Toni Collette is a doctor whose family is taken hostage and will be killed by Dylan McDermott's character unless she kills the president in surgery

8. Dracula - Jonathan Rhys Meyers is the fanged one in this re-imagining of the classic story of an undead guy chasing his old girlfriend

9. Lucky 7 - A group of gas-station employees win the lottery, for better or worse


COMEDY

1. Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Andy Samberg and a bunch of buffoons are cops in Brooklyn

2. The Michael J. Fox Show - MJF returns to TV as a man with Parkinson's who goes back to work, much to the delight of his family

3. Back in the Game - Maggie Lawson returns home and winds up coaching her son's Little League team while her drunk dad heckles her

4. Trophy Wife - Malin Akerman marries into a big family and ends up with two ex-wives and three stepchildren in the process 

5. The Crazy Ones - Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar are a father-daughter team in the advertising business

6. Mom - Anna Faris and Allison Janney play a mother and daughter with life problems

7. Enlisted - Geoff Stults goes to army reject camp with his two brothers 

8. About a Boy - Jason Katims' TV adaptation of the film adaption of Nick Hornby's novel about a man-boy friendship

9. Welcome to the Family - A White family and a Latino family are forged together when their teen kids decide to get married after a pregnancy

10. Super Fun Night - Rebel Wilson and her loser friends hit the social scene

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 11/21/2013

Season 1 : Episode 8

41 Comments
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I feel bad for Mary McC. Bring back In Plain Sight. Mary was amazing in that.
This show is done. I got half way through the pilot and shut it down.
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It aired its first episode and I laughed out. :)
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Didn't this show aired the first episode this week? How it's a preview then?
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Thanks for confirming what I expected, crap city.
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What an "original" concept for a comedy.
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'Instead, it portrays Latinos in the same light as white people.'

You actually wrote this Tim??? It's bad enough that NBC thinks it's still topical to have two families of different heritage experience a culture clash when race should be such a non-issue in this day and age, but then you go and say that, I mean, really? How nice of NBC to portray Latinos just like white people, however so thoughtful of them. God forbid they were portrayed any other way, that would scare American viewers.
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I think, if you read it in context, he was saying that it was kind of ridiculous that they didn't really have a difference.
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I went into this with negativity but came away with a better opinion. There was some good writing here and will watch a few more eps to see, but not all bad, there are a lot worse comedies and reality shows out there.
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Nailed it. Wayyyy too predicable and lame joke.
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er that shoulda said jokes with an S but now that i think about it, joke was probably more appropriate for this show.
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Sorry dude, I laughed a lot during this. It was funny and I'm sorry you didn't like it. It was, btw, a lot better than Trophy Wife which wasn't bad and #4 on your list. Well, nobody's perfect--a little too much UtD, I guess.
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Personally, i think you can't take a comedy seriously, and this is just that, a comedy. The only thing tv wise my husband and i can agree on are comedies, so this fit the bill. We both loved it. I thought there'd be some skin crawling stereotyping, when there really wasn't all that much. (Except of course rich white girl/poor(ish) latino boy). The kids were surprisingly believable, even if the dads hating each other wasn't. If anything, this will be amazingly mindless comedic relief from all the serious cop/doctor dramas out there. The proverbial palate cleanser, just like i like it. Heck, the hubs was demanding the second episode!
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This !
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I didn't expect a positive review from TV.com. I think that this will be this season's 1600 Penn for me, that I love the show, despite some obvious flaws, while everyone else focuses heavily on these flaws and hates the show. Even the humor seems the same. The show looks like it's going to be hilarious! I'm excited!
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"Preview"
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Whatever.
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The review is pretty much what I expected for this show. (That's a dig at the show, not the reviewer.) The setup just says "yawn" despite how much I like many of its cast members. But in all fairness to it, I may watch the pilot anyway.

Still waiting to see if CBS' The Millers is as bad as I expect it to be. That's the [p]review I'm really waiting for.
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I didn't like it at all; very predictable, I did not laugh once and it will be cancelled, last year I had a client praise The New Normal and I told him it would get cancelled and it did. Based on this pilot if it does not amp up the funny this won't make it to season 2, there's a lot of competition this season so NBC needs to step up its game, CBS has comedies on lock down and FOX has some very promising comedies coming.
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I yawned already when I read the title of the show. I won't even give it a chance; I'll watch exactly 0 % of it.
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I just watched it on Hulu and thought it was really good. Sure, I'm pissed at NBC for cancelling Go On (and to a MUCH, MUCH, MUCH lesser extent Animal Practice, Guys with Kids and 1600 Penn, all guilty pleasures of mine), but this was a solid 20 minutes of comedy. Mike O'Malley stole the show, but the rest of the cast was pretty solid too.
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Animal Practice and Go On. sigh.
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Go On and 1600 Penn were both great! Can't believe that Go On was canceled.
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BTW, how the hell was this "broad"? It was very well directed. No physical comedy, no laugh track, just solid acting, dialogue and camera work.
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Already watched the pilot, and honestly it was better than I expected. Based on the commercials, I've been expecting this show to be absolutely awful. It was only okay. Some jokes worked and Mike O'Malley was good. The actors for the most part were decent. However, the reason why the two dads don't get along is so stupid. But, I'm probably not going to watch this since I'm still mad at NBC for cancelling Go On while it had better ratings and more viewers than Parks and Rec and Community which were renewed.
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If I had decided to watch it, it would only be because of Mike O'Malley. Cause you know, he's awesome and GUTS (seriously can we bring back Nick GAS so I can watch my game shows more??). But I just can't do it. I will sit there and bitch that Go On isn't on my screen and just be let down. I'll just watch him occasionally be the best part of Glee.
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I'm only watching cause of Mary McC. But if the writing is that bad I'll probably end up checking out even with the lovely Mary in the cast.
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I was thinking exactly the same. I doubt it'll survive the 4 episode test.
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I completely disagree with your ranking. I haven't seen all the other comedies but I watched the ones released and Welcome to the family has been the best one followed by trophy wife. Its got a great cast and as long as they keep the quality up like it was in the pilot it will be one of the best new comedies this year
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I would say this was decent, but it bothered me that something like this gets picked up while Go On (which I really liked) got the heave ho. Meh. Just another show to not watch because it won't make it past episode 13. Does NBC things it stands for Need Broad Comedies? Because can someone tell them that it shouldn't? Please?
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Honestly, I'm watching everything else on NBC Thursday so I'll probably end up watching this.
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Personally Mike O'Malley will forever be remembered to me as Tom AND Raymond from My Own Worst Enemy He did an excellent job switching between lovable and horney goofball Tom to chillingly lethal Raymond.
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