Welcome to the Family



Funny sitcom glosses over reality of teen pregnancy.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series puts a funny spin on some serious issues in today's culture, including teen pregnancy and race relations, but it does so with care. The characters face big challenges and don't always make constructive decisions, and consequences aren't what they would be in the real world. Content tiptoes around the issue of prejudice, but both Miguel and Dan make snap judgments about each other based on their racial and socioeconomic situations. On the other hand, the two families are forced to set aside preconceived notions about each other and work together to support Junior and Molly through new challenges. 

Positive role models

Miguel and Dan let stereotypes influence their feelings about each other, and it's hard for them to get past their intolerance, even for their kids' sake. Each assigns blame to the other for their respective kid's circumstances, which takes a toll on the emotions of the group. Caroline and Lisette are more willing to focus on the task at hand than on past mistakes, but they have their moments of pettiness as well. When faced with a difficult situation, Junior (and, to a lesser degree, Molly) shoulders responsibility and adjusts his priorities.

Not applicable

Adults' verbal foreplay is fairly pointed with talk about having sex, wanting to have sex, and how often they like to have sex. Kissing and fondling implies the act will follow, but there's no nudity or simulated sex. The issue of teen sexuality is a constant presence, given the unplanned pregnancy that set into motion the plot of the show.


Sporadic use of "hell," "suck it," and "oh, my God," and name-calling like "douches." Molly is said to have been "knocked up."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some alcohol consumption during meals.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the issue of teen sexuality is central to Welcome to the Family, a sitcom about the forced blending of two very different families after their kids drop the bomb that they're expecting a baby. Sex is more of a discussion point than it is visual; adults frequently refer to their desire for sex (lots of it), and there's some kissing and suggestive touching that implies, but doesn't show, what comes next. Salty language ("hell," "suck it") is a concern, and there are some comical references to a racial divide between the Latino and Caucasian characters. On the upside, the series shows families coping with new challenges, adjusting their perspectives, and, in time, embracing ideas and people who are different from them.

Parents say

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What's the story?

With their daughter, Molly (Ella Rae Peck), safely through high school and planning to leave for college in a few months' time, Dan (Mike O'Malley) and Caroline (Mary McCormack) sense that new freedom is around the corner for them. Meanwhile, Molly's boyfriend, Junior (Joseph Haro), is looking forward to Stanford, and his parents, Miguel (Ricardo Chavira) and Lisette (Justina Machado), couldn't be more proud. All that changes when Molly finds out she's pregnant and Junior decides to marry her and raise their child instead of going to college. Needless to say, neither family is thrilled about the situation, and cultures clash and tempers flare as these very different families get to know each other.

Is it any good?


WELCOME TO THE FAMILY's experienced cast makes good use of comical set-ups and the characters' well-aimed jabs at one another, guaranteeing you'll laugh throughout. The show does dabble in the issue of race, but it's not done in a way that creates a divide so much as muddles what already exists between the two families, showing both to be equally small-minded and judgmental but mostly well-meaning. Ultimately, though, these imperfections make the characters more appealing instead of less.

The show's biggest stumbling block is the glossy picture it paints of teen pregnancy. Given the decidedly jovial tone, it's not surprising that there's little depth to this aspect of the story, but it is worth contemplating the messages it sends to teens about the real-life consequences of sex. If your kids do tune in, you could start good conversations about this and other issues that might be on your teens' minds.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the media influences our perspective on certain issues. What messages do we get about self-image, popularity, and relationships from TV shows and movies? Do these ever contrast with your personal values? Do you find yourself swayed by them? How can you counteract their influence?

  • Teens: Is sex a pressing issue among your peers? What are the possible consequences of having sex? Where do you have access to reliable information about issues related to sex?

  • What is the state of race relations in the world today? Do you think we're in a better or worse position than we were a few decades ago? Is it ever appropriate to incorporate race into comedy? If so, what rules should apply to make it OK?

TV details

Cast:Mary McCormack, Mike O'Malley, Ricardo Chavira
Topics:High school
TV rating:TV-PG

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old October 21, 2013

Good, funny show.

I personally love this show. If sex is an issue for your family, this is not the show for you. They don't actually show it, but they show them about to do it, then cut to commercial. Junior's family is hispanic, and Molly's is caucasian, so there are also a lot of racist remarks.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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