Fall 2013 Pilot Review: Welcome to the Family

Airs: Thursdays on NBC at 8:30

Timeslot Competition: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC), The Millers (CBS), The X Factor results (FOX), The Vampire Diaries (CW)

Premise: The Yoder family and Hernandez family struggle to come together despite culture clashes and feuding fathers when the Hernandez’s son impregnates the Yoder’s daughter and they get engaged.

Pre-show Thoughts: The plot synopsis that was released during upfronts didn’t do this show any favors. The focus was all on the fact that one family was white and the other was Hispanic, so they didn’t understand each other. That sounded awful to me and like the idea for the sitcome came from a past decade. I do like Mike O’Malley though.

The trailer showed that the problems between the families weren’t necessarily about race, which made me feel a lot better. It made it seem like Dan Yoder and Miguel Hernandez had some sort of previous problem with each other before they found out that their children were dating. I was hoping that their dislike of each other is based on something other than the fact that they were from different cultures.

Post-show Thoughts: After watching the show, I have no idea why they are trying to make the differences in the families about race. It was mentioned once, I think, and that was it. The problem just seems to be that the two dads got off on a bad foot.

It wasn’t a great pilot but it wasn’t awful. I like Junior and Molly and think they are cute together, if not a bit unprepared for their future (which will probably be a good chunk of the plot). I want their moms to be friends and cute grandmas together too.

I did have one non-plot related issue. I am all for having feminist characters on TV and I don’t think that feminism is about knowing the correct set of terms (like patriarchal). However, I couldn’t tell if that was something being used to add some depth to Molly’s character or if the show was making fun of her. I’d like the show to separate her comments from the humor of her not knowing the correct term.

Overall, it was off to an OK start. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will be on the air long enough to find its footing, but I could be wrong. I’d like to see at least one more episode before deciding if I’ll stick with this one.

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