From behind bars to behind a gay bar. That’s the basic premise of Logo’s newest reality show, In the Big House.
It follows a close-knit family trying to find a new normal now that former Mafioso patriarch, “Big Lou,” is out of prison after 25 years back-and-forth. Now, he and his daughter, son-in-law, gay son and ex-wife are living under the same roof and working together at West Hollywood gay institution, Fubar.
It’ll be interesting to see if Big Lou comes around to the ways of the gays, but as of the first episode, he’s pretty friggin’ homophobic (that’s our best type-written mafia accent, by the way). He’s willing to make money off the gays (hello, Chick-fil-A), but not support their rights.
Out-and-proud son Louis, thankfully, isn’t about to hide his queer behavior from anyone, let alone his father. So the stage is set for plenty of cross-generational, culture-clashing fireworks.
The most surprising thing of all? This is a really enjoyable reality show. We popped the screener into the DVD player expecting to hate it, but found it rather compelling and less contrived than most shows of its type. That’s not to say a few of the “plot lines” don’t seem a bit staged, but we’re all pretty used to that by now.
We’ll definitely be tuning in for the second episode if only for the painful joy of seeing Big Lou verbally torture Louis’ super-cute boyfriend. It’s awkward, funny and just a little bit scary.
After all, old mafia habits die hard.
In the Big House
Premieres tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on Logo