I wanted to like Welcome to the Family, I really did. It has a strong cast playing the two sets of parents. Its premise is straightforward, and even contains some weighty issues. Its lead-in is Parks and Recreation.
But I don’t. I strongly disliked the premiere. The show, which centers on two families who must overcome their differences because their teenage children are about to have a baby and want to stay together, had potential, but because everything that could have been good about Welcome to the Family (a.k.a. “WTTF,” as the promos continue to bash into our heads) fails to deliver. The jokes are flat, the characters are annoying and the dialogue is bland. I don’t think I laughed out loud once.
I did, however, groan a lot. I groaned whenever Dan (Mike O’Malley) or Caroline (Mary McCormack) made a crack about their daughter Molly’s (Ella Rae Peck) apparent stupidity. “That’s right,” Dan triumphantly says after her graduation. “She’s gonna be Arizona State’s problem now.” A few scenes later, he notes it again: “Nobody rejects our daughter except the lengthy list of colleges and universities,” he says. It may have been mildly funny the first time, but it just sounds mean after half a dozen repetitions.
I groaned at the Romeo and Juliet-esque forbidden romance between Molly and Junior (Joseph Haro) and their uncomfortably sticky-sweet dialogue. (“You’re my plans,” Junior tells Molly after she reveals her pregnancy. “I love you ’cause you always say the right thing,” she replies.) Plus, that dual proposals subplot? Maybe it’s better not to talk about that.
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