leah-remini-its-all-relative-premiere-TLC.jpgLeah Remini, star of “King of Queens” (and, if you’re a certain age, “Saved by the Bell”) debuted a new TLC reality show Thursday (July 11) called “It’s All Relative,” which is a look at her over-the-top, fun-loving Italian family. The brood includes her husband Angelo, mom Vicky, step-dad George, sister Shannon, daughter Sofia and various others.

In the premiere episode, Leah and Angelo addressed her very public departure of the Church of Scientology as they throw a party to celebrate that “life goes on,” as Remini says.

“We recently left Scientology and are currently being shunned by most of our family and friends,” Remini explains. “It’s not normal for friends of 25, 30, 40 years not to talk to you. … We still have our struggles with it every day. I look in my phone every day and I want to call somebody and I’m like, ‘Oh, they can’t talk to me.”

But instead of brooding about the friendships they’ve lost, Leah and Angelo throw a party for “their friends who are still supporting them.”

Of course, the party planning is rife with “funny situations,” like step-dad George trampling Leah’s flowers while he tries to get bird poop off the side of the house.

What is a shame, however, is that the show could have really explored what it was like for Remini to leave Scientology, of which she was a member for decades. But it glosses over it largely in favor of silly stuff, like the bird poop incident.

The second episode is actually worse, as Leah’s mother demands a faux wake be set up so she can hear what people will say about her when she dies. Wasn’t that a plot of a “King of Queens” episode?

Will you keep tuning in to “Leah Remini: It’s All Relative”?

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."