Leah Remini premiered her new reality show on TLC "Leah Remini:It's All Relative" last night with two back to back episodes. Within the first 5 minutes of the show it is clear that Remini and her family were made to be in front of the camera. Their comedic timing and fresh, genuine interactions with one another are the ingredients that make up a truly entertaining reality show.
The show stars Remini, her husband and restaurant owner Angelo Pagan, their 9 year old daughter Sofia, Remini's mother Vicki, her sister Shannon, the nanny and her brother in law. One unique aspect of is that Remini engages the producer and camera crew during the show.
This isn't Remini's first time featuring her family on camera. She allowed cameras for VH1 to document her wedding to Pagan and Sofia's birth back in 2003 and 2004. After watching both of those specials I remember wanting more and waiting for the family to do another special of some sort.
The first episode dives right into the Scientology controversy that Remini made headlines for last year. She left the Church of Scientology and as a result was shunned by friends she knew for years. Therefore, she decides to throw a party to thank all of their friends for sticking by them. The planning of the party and the party itself brings out various funny moments including Cheryl Burke of "Dancing with the Stars" joining Remini's family as they work on their dance moves.
The second episode deals with Remini's mother Vicki wanting to plan a pretend wake to hear what her family thinks of her and if there is any negative aspects of herself she needs to improve. Although the wake starts out as a joke and there is a lot of laughter, both Remini and her husband find themselves moved to tears as they talk about Vicki. The best part of the exchange is Sofia calling her grandmother a "sick, sick person."
While Sofia is a close runner up for the standout in the show (seriously her frank tone and sarcastic comments are the carbon copy of Leah), it's Remini's mother Vicki who steals the spotlight. Coming off the disaster of Kandi Burruss' mother on "Real Housewives" and other mama drama on television, it's refreshing to see a mother who is light, loving and funny as Vicki is. She is hilariously sweet and doesn't seem to be putting on for the camera.
"Leah Remini: It's All Relative" is also different from many of the other reality shows on television for one main reason; it's not thriving on drama. While other shows rely on contrived drama scenarios and physical altercations to bring in viewers, this series is a feel good funny family show that we need more of on today's television.
The show airs on TLC, Cox Cable Channel 48 on Thursday nights at 8pm.