Photo Credit: Art Streiber/NBC
Ever tune into a new show, only to spend the whole time trying to figure out where you know this or that actor? There's a good chance that Welcome to the Family, which premieres Thursday at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC, is just that kind of show.
But it would be a shame if identifying the actors distracted you from really watching this one. Why? Because several TV critics say the actors are the very reason to give the show a try. The initial conceit of the series is that a brainy Latino boy impregnates a dim-witted white girl, bringing two families together, kicking and screaming. And it's the ensemble cast playing the various family members that makes the magic happen.
"If there's a sleeper hit among the season’s new comedies, it could be Welcome to the Family, wrote the critic for the New York Daily News, adding that the actors "slide right into their roles."
"In the pilot, Mike O'Malley is tremendous," wrote the critic for The Hollywood Reporter. "So is Ricardo Chavira. There hasn’t been a pilot this fall where two actors overcome the material they are given to almost miraculously save a show. … You have no idea how impressive that is."
So let's avert potential distractions, and make sure you know who these people are going in. This cheat sheet ought to help…
Mike O'Malley (Dan Yoder): Glee fans will recognize him for his Emmy-nominated role as Kurt's (Chris Colfer) dad. He also played a mobster on Justified, or maybe you know him from last summer's big- screen thriller, R.I.P.D. Here he is on The Ellen DeGeneres Show talking about Glee:
Mary McCormack (Caroline Yoder): She got really famous back in 1997, when she played Howard Stern's wife in Private Parts. That led to several more movies. But TV viewers are most likely to remember her as a pantsuit-wearing power wielder: she was the Deputy National Security Advisor on NBC's The West Wing; a lawyer on ABC's Murder One; and a Deputy United States Marshal on USA's In Plain Sight. Here she is talking about the USA drama with Chelsea Handler:
Ricardo A. Chavira (Miguel Hernandez): He was Carlos Solis -- Gabby's (Eva Longoria) husband on ABC's Desperate Housewives, which is no doubt why Longoria agreed to guest star on an upcoming episode of Welcome to the Family. Here the pair are interviewed about their Desperate Housewives characters' relationship:
Justina Machado (Lisette Hernandez): She was the long-sufferering Vanessa Diaz, the wife of Federico (Freddy Rodriguez), the embalmer at the Fisher family funeral parlor on HBO's Six Feet Under.
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Ella Rae Peck (Molly Yoder): She played Serena's (Blake Lively) cousin Lola Rhodes, who dated Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford), in The CW's Gossip Girl.
Joseph Haro (Junior Hernandez): He played Clark Stevenson on MTV's Awkward.
Fabrizio Guido (Demetrio Hernandez):
So that's where you know them from. (You're welcome!)
Jennifer Graham Kizer is an iVillage contributing writer. Follow her on Google+.