Andrea Martin who I know as Quark’s mom, Moogie, on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Kacey Rohl is someone I have never seen before, but she looks like the love child of Amber Tamblyn and Anne Hathaway by way of Amanda McCartney and Jennifer Lawrence.
Azura Skye serving up Goldie Hawn realness with her blond hair. I almost didn’t recognize because she usually plays a dark-haired Goth girl on the verge of suicide.
Benjamin Arthur looks like the love child of Matt Adkins and Larry Beougher. If you don’t know who they are, then perhaps you should look deep inside to find out where your life went horribly wrong.
The Engel patriarch dies, leaving the family $200,000 in the hole, so they all work together at his law firm to stay afloat.
WHY YOU SHOULD BE WATCHING
I am not entirely sure that you should be. It has some potential. Only some.
The show opens and we get a special glimpse into each of the Engels, as they throw words on-screen while some shit goes down.
The son, Jimmy (Arthur), is pretending to work the door at a club when really he is stealing wallets and shit. A guy realizes it, yells Hey!, and Jimmy bounces. Jimmy is kind of a box of rocks. He’s cute. We are treated to these facts about him: Small-time Criminal. Voted Most Popular at Juvie Hall. Afraid of Bees (which I am sure will come into play hilariously in a future episode).
Oldest daughter, Sandy (Skye), is in a parking lot driving a big ass Ford Expedition, talking on the phone about some Danny Glover-read Bible audiobook, waiting for a parking space. Then a dude in a Smart FourTwo swoops into her space. He gets out of her SUV, walks up to the Smart to tell the guy that she was clearly waiting for that space. He, of course, calls her a crazy bitch. She lets that marinate for about two seconds, then she fucks that guy up. Her facts: Former Pill Popper. Occasional Shoplifter. Life Coach.
Youngest daughter, Jenna (Rohl), is an attorney at a big law firm. When we meet her, she is getting shit on by her boss, Charisse (Kenny Power’s church bitch sister-in-law). She is one of those bosses that lords over her underlings with the possibility of a promotion that isn’t going to happen. Think Kevin Spacey in Horrible Bosses. Finally Jenna can’t take it anymore, and she decides quit and take over her daddy’s law office. But not before she rolls into a partner’s meeting, and blows Charisse’s shit up by kicking her a bottle of the chlamydia medication she had asked for and spilling the tea that she is a chronic overbiller. Her facts: Mover & Shaker. Good at Punctuation. Wishes She Was Wearing Sweatpants Right Now.
Their mother, Ciel (Martin), is a complete over-the-top mess. At the beginning of the pilot, Ciel is meeting with her attorney, who is trying to explain the financial shambles that her recently departed husband has left her in. She can’t with him, so she offers him a bottle of scotch (a bottle, not a glass) while she reaches for a bottle of wine to cope. She begins babbling about her children, and she pulls out two wine glasses seemingly to pour a glass for herself and the attorney. Nope, both for her. What becomes ludicrous is as she is babbling, she is trying to drink the wine at first one glass at a time, then both glasses at the same time, then both glasses and the bottle. Honey, if you want the wine so badly, there is a faster way. Two words: Chardonnay enema. In her drunkenness, she decides that they best way to help her children is to kill herself so that they get the insurance money. She somehow gets on the roof, glass of wine in-hand and wearing boots with 5″ heels. Doubtful. Anyway, once up there, she realizes that she is being silly and can’t kill herself. She turns around to head back the way she came I guess, when she loses her balance, falls off the roof, and lands on the grill. Her facts: Momma Bear. Dog Owner. Adventurer.
If any or all of that sounds like fun, then knock yourself out. I’d rather take two hits of ecstasy and get knocked out rather than watch this because..
WHY YOU SHOULDN’T
Everything feels forced.
Martin is really hamming it up here at a volume that is unnecessary because there is no studio audience. She really needs to turn it down a notch. Rohl must have gone to the Elizabeth Keene School of Dramatic Arts, because she can barely act her way out of a hole in the ground, yet she is the most compelling character on the show. Clearly the comedy is going to be sourced from Martin’s insane mother, Arthur’s loveable idiot, and Skye’s former drug addict musings (“Mom, what are you on right now? Ativan? Percocet? Oh.. that’s valium. An oldie but a goodie.”). All this while Jenna tries to reign them all in, while practicing law?! You’ve got the wrong one today. But I will say this though. I was willing to watch a second episode of Working the Engels, and I’ll watch a third. Welcome to Sweden got no such chance.
THE GRADE: D+