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'Working the Engels' review: Silly summer comedy

From let, Kacey Rohl as Jenna Engel, Azura

From let, Kacey Rohl as Jenna Engel, Azura Skye as Sandy Engel-Karinsky, Benjamin Arthur as Jimmy Engel, Andrea Martin as Ceil Engel in "Working the Engels." Photo Credit: NBC / Steve Wilkie

THE SHOW "Working the Engels"

WHEN|WHERE Premieres Thursday night at 9:30 on NBC/4

WHAT IT'S ABOUT TV can always use a kooky clan -- the "Everybody Loves Raymond" kind with adult chemistry, not a "Full House" of too-cute kids. Too bad this new show comes with a too-cute title. "Working the Engels" -- I had to say it five times to get the joke.

The pilot proves funnier. "SCTV" comedy god Andrea Martin is perky mom Ceil, whose husband has died, leaving behind his law firm and large debts. Youngest daughter Jenna (Kacey Rohl, "Hannibal") happens to be a lawyer, though she mostly plays doormat at a partnership that acronyms-out to LSD. Odder assistance comes from problematic progeny Sandy (Azura Skye), whose God-finding hasn't fixed her anger issues or drug desires, and simple-brained sticky-fingered hot-bod brother Jimmy (Benjamin Arthur). Their talents and/or faults turn out to dovetail ideally. The family that sues together, stays together?

MY SAY Just watch these able actors work. They are the show. "Engels" is a Canadian co-production, peppered with the country's comedy all-stars (Jennifer Irwin and Colin Mochrie tonight), and they give it good vibes. But the scripts, despite mad moments of whimsy, can't keep pace with the cast's comic timing and tone.

BOTTOM LINE Yummy summer silliness.



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