Pilot Perception: Welcome to the Family

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: Welcome to the Family, NBC in the U.S. and Global TV in Canada, Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c

The Pedigree: The show was written and created by Mike Sikowitz (Rules of Engagement), who executive produces with Jamie Tarses (Happy Endings) and Michael Engler (The Big C). Engler directed the pilot.

The Cast & How You Know Them: Welcome to the Family stars Mike O’Malley (Glee), Ricardo Chavira (Desperate Housewives), Mary McCormack (In Plain Sight), Justina Machado (Private Practice), Ella Rae Peck (Gossip Girl), Joseph Haro (Awkward), and Fabrizio Guido (World War Z).

The Premise: Right after they graduate from high school, sweet but ditzy Molly Yoder and serious, academic-minded Junior Hernandez find out that they’re expecting a baby, and their very different families must learn to get along for their sakes.

A Taste:

What Works: I was interested in this show from the start because I’m a big fan of Mary McCormack from her previous work, and she was very good as always here. I actually really liked both sets of parents: they’re all clearly trying to do what’s best for their families in their own ways. I liked that the fathers had a very specific, personal reason to dislike each other, rather than it being a cultural thing. And I thought the teenage couple was really sweet; I’m definitely rooting for them.

What Doesn’t: The “culture clash” aspect could very easily veer into racist stereotypes, and way too much of Molly’s character was based on her apparent lack of intelligence. While this is somewhat necessary for the “They’re so different!” premise, it’s important for the show to make the characters and situations more interesting on their own terms if this is going to work.

Our Favorite Line: “Our society is so patriotic.” “Do you mean patriarchal?” “Probably.”

You Might Like This if you like family comedies, especially those about different families thrown together or about parents dealing with teenagers getting married and/or having kids, like Reba or 18 to Life.

If You’re Interested: Welcome to the Family premieres tonight (Thursday, October 3rd) on NBC and Global TV at 8:30/7:30c.

(Photo courtesy of NBC.)

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