Your Enjoyment of Leah Remini: It’s All Relative

Family and friends gather around Leah Remini's living room to perform a funeral wake for her mother, Vicki Marshal while she's still alive and sitting in the corner.
Leah Remini: It's All Relative (Photo: TLC)

Leah Remini: It’s All Relative features the former Scientologist and her family in a wacky hijinks candid reality show. Surprise: it’s not that bad.

Show

Leah Remini: It’s All Relative, airing back-to-back episodes on TLC Thursdays at 10pm.

Premise

A candid reality show for the wacky hijinks of Leah Remini (The Talk, Dancing with the StarsKing of Queens) and her family.

Pedigree

Remini is one of the executive producers. The show is a fairly standard 30-minute candid reality series—faux plot points, talking head interviews, weird non sequiturs—which is where TLC shines. There’s a surprising lack of information available about this show.

Who is Leah Remini: It’s All Relative For?

Remini is an interesting person and pops up in the darnedest places—remember when she was on Drag Race? If she doesn’t get on your nerves, you’ll probably make it through an episode.

What Works

I was not expecting much from this show—the genre is not my preferred source of reality television—but it turned out to be quite watchable. I think Leah’s approach is what makes the show work. She seems to have the attitude of “Oh, okay, I guess it’s my turn to do this type of show,” so there’s a matter-of-factness to what’s going on around her. Everyone knows they’re on a reality show and that there may be times where they have to go through the motions, but hey it could be fun. This is most evident in the talking head interviews, which usually feature two people playing off each other, such as Leah and her husband Angelo, or Angelo and their daughter Sofia’s nanny, or Leah and her mother. My recommendation: watch Leah’s eyes, particularly when they start to widen at almost no provocation.

The other element, which was unexpected, was the frankness in which Leah discusses her split from Scientology. The debut episode featured the family throwing a party to reunite with their non-Scientology friends. According to Leah and her siblings, if you leave Scientology publicly the church declares you “disconnected” and you are basically shunned.1 Leah says her family had been part of Scientology since she was a child, and the cut-off with people she has known for decades was instant and a major life adjustment. Isn’t this fascinating?

What Doesn’t Work

Part of the reason I don’t care for this genre is that it is sooooo disposable and derivative. I mean, there was that Alan Thicke show which was basically the same thing. Aside from the tidbits about Scientology, It’s All Relative isn’t breaking any new ground.

Verdict

The show held my interest for most of the episode and I had a few genuine laughs during some of the talking head interviews (seriously, watch Leah’s eyes). You probably won’t be marathoning this show, but if you are channel surfing or need something to fill a half-hour between programs, this show is worthwhile.

  1. Don’t sue me.  

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About Mike McComb 656 Articles
Mike has been writing about TV online since 2008, when he started the blog WTF Little House on the Prairie? The blog was a project to practice writing about television analytically prior to getting an MA in Television-Radio-Film from Syracuse University, or as he likes to call it "TV Camp." After a lengthy stint at TVLatest, Mike wanted to launch a site that brought in classic TV, diamonds in the rough, and the shows everybody watches. E-mail: mike@whatelseison.tv
  • Aaron Mucciolo

    Alan Thicke’s eyes widen for no reason?