Welcome Home – Season 2 Image

In a nightmare situation, four thirty-somethings are forced to move back in with their parents in the raucous comedy series, Welcome Home. The show centers on four friends Justin (Justin Alvis), Bobby (Bobby Chase), Ron (Daniel B. Martin), and Jen (Mindy Miner). Akin to the uncomfortable comedy of Curb Your Enthusiasm and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Welcome Home puts its cast of characters in awkward interpersonal situations in hopes of squeezing out every laugh possible.

You do not need to have seen season one (I didn’t) to get into Welcome Home. Thanks to a “last-time-on…” opener, we pretty much get all the information we need. Justin is the smarmy a-hole narcissist who nails a job by claiming to be transgender because of the company’s diversity policy. He spends much of the season digging deep into his new life as a fake transgender person and ultimately uses it to campaign for town mayor.

Ron and Jen are dating(?) maybe, but definitely in an open relationship(?). Jen needs Ron to accompany her to her support group and later finds out she’s pregnant with Ron’s baby(?) or at least she thinks it’s his. Ron, on the other hand, convinces fake-trans-Justin and brother Bobby to hook up with the women at the nearby sex-addicts support group. Poor Bobby is just caught in the middle of this storm of madness. You should start to get the non-PC vibe of Welcome Home by now.

“…nails a job by claiming to be transgender because of the company’s diversity policy.”

Welcome Home is not for the snowflake. It’s here to offend, but in a way that ultimately turns the tables on its cast. Regarding Justin’s fake transgender storyline, no attempt is made to incorporate a politically correct spin on it or appeal to the sensitivities of that community. Its comedy leans heavily into that insensitivity, and its characters are portrayed as ignorant. If you like comedy roasts, this is up-your-alley.

Personally, I like anything that challenges political correctness. Welcome Home has some interesting socially ill-informed and cringe-worthy moments. It approaches delicate issues like women-in-the-workplace with a sledgehammer and the transgender angle doesn’t help in the slightest. Stay away if you’re easily triggered as they “go there” often.

That said, I also like my comedies to be funny. To me, this is the greatest weakness of the series. It feels like a B-level sitcom. While Film Threat overlooks and applauds low-budget guerilla filmmaking, it’s far from broadcast quality, and the acting is average to passable throughout which is standard for sitcoms. To me, jokes fall in the category of what I call first-pass jokes—meaning the jokes were thought-up in mid-air and placed on the page without ever going back to make it funnier, or thinking—can I find a way to tell this joke is a unique and fresh way, or simply asking if it can be more clever?

“…characters are well-defined, very selfish people, and the supporting characters are developed well and quirky…”

Humorous situations are presented as humorous, hoping that’s enough to elicit a laugh. There’s a moment when one character is changing a baby’s diaper and next to them on the table is another character changing their Alzheimer grandma’s diaper. She then screams a scatological joke. Just presenting a series of funny ideas is not enough. Overall, Welcome Home’s scripts need to work much harder for the laugh than it currently does.

On a positive note, the four main characters are well-defined, very selfish people, and the supporting characters are developed well and quirky too. Yes, it has low-budget production values, but changing up camera angles, employ better coverage of characters during conversations, and working and re-working jokes would up-its-game overall. There is great potential to produce better comedic work overall with Welcome Home.

Welcome Home (2019)

Directed and Written: Justin Alvis, Bobby Chase, Daniel B. Martin, Amanda Stankavich

Starring: Justin Alvis, Bobby Chase, Daniel B. Martin, Mindy Miner, etc.

Movie score: 6/10

Welcome Home Image

"…has some interesting socially ill-informed and cringe-worthy moments."

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