Comical culture: when two worlds collide

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When we first met husband and wife Gabrielle and Carlos Solis in Desperate Housewives, it was obvious what their role was on the hit show. They were the comic relief in the otherwise dramatic and sometimes tense storyline. The couple was portrayed by actors Eva Longoria and Ricardo Antonio Chavira.

He was the hard-working guy who was often away on the sort of business that afforded the pair their opulent lifestyle. However, his absence meant she had a lot of free time on her hands and soon started looking elsewhere for affection.

As most men in his situation would, Carlos confronted his wife with his suspicions and they fought, in a hilarious way though.

But we are not talking about Desperate Housewives today. We’re looking at Welcome to the Family, the single-camera comedy coming to Comedy Central.

While it features Chavira, you will be delighted to know Longoria also makes an appearance as his character’s ex. The two really seem to get along, but let’s call it what it is: the producers of Welcome to the Family milked the actors’ previous association.

It is like the spoof movies which give you the impression that all they are trying to do is make you laugh, meanwhile they are shamelessly ripping off others’ original movies.

On Welcome to the Family, Chavira stars as Miguel Hernandez, the father of the protagonist, Junior. The Hernandez family are modest Latinos who are roped into a white family when Junior impregnates his girlfriend Molly. Now the two families have to tip-toe around each other for the sake of the young couple.

It is a new and exciting dynamic to see Chavira act as a father of a child who has completed university since he had no children on Desperate Housewives, but they did have a little girl at a later stage.

It has to be noted that Longoria is not a permanent cast member on the show, she only appears occasionally. Again, this is an obvious selling point for what is otherwise just another ordinary sitcom.

It is almost like having The Bold and the Beautiful’s Ron Moss act in a show with Katherine Kelly Wegeman (Brooke Logan) as a love interest. On one hand fans of the previous show would be happy to see them together, but on the other hand the critical eye would suspect the new offering might not be strong enough to stand on its own feet. Welcome to the Family is worth watching to test this theory.

 

• Welcome to the Family, Comedy Central (DStv channel 112), 7.15pm from Monday.

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