'Welcome to the Family' review: Mike O'Malley heads modern 'Romeo and Juliet'

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The latest entry into NBC's Thursday night comedy lineup has the makings of a promising new show.  "Welcome to the Family" is bit of a spin on "Romeo and Juliet," only it takes place in Southern California and Juliet's pregnant. There's also no death.

Instead of the Montagues and the Capulets, "Welcome to the Family" is about the Yoder and Hernandez families. Dan ( Mike O'Malley) and Caroline ( Mary McCormack) Yoder are just happy their wild child daughter Molly ( Ella Rae Peck) somehow managed to graduate high school, while Miguel ( Ricardo Chavira) and Lisette ( Justina Machado) Hernandez are ready to see their son Junior ( Joseph Haro) off to the ivy league. All of those plans change when Molly tells Junior she's pregnant. Naturally, she does it via text message while he's giving his valedictorian speech at graduation.

The show has some laughs, though there's still room to grow. Most of the funny comes from the scenes where the families interact with one another, as the cast has found a decent chemistry with each other. It should come as no surprise that the funniest of the bunch is O'Malley, as he's a veteran comedic actor with shows like  "Yes, Dear," "My Name is Earl" and  "Glee" under his belt. Haro (one of  Zap2it's Ones to Watch) is no slouch either. The real surprise here is Peck, though. After a stint on  "Gossip Girl," she slides into comedy with ease as the airheaded Molly.

The best material comes from O'Malley and Chavira, as the dads who simply cannot stand each other. They disagree about everything they possibly can, even if it's just to do it. However, at the end of the day they just want what's best for their kids.

"Welcome to the Family" may not be the funniest new show on TV, but it definitely has a lot of promise. It fits in ll with the other new entries in NBC's Thursday night comedy lineup and could easily grow into a strong show that sticks around for quite a while. That's all dependent on you giving it a chance, though.
Photo/Video credit: NBC
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