Being surrounded by a table full of Capones — in Chicago, no less — might not sound like the most comfortable place to be, but that’s where I found myself one warm September afternoon. Sitting in the cozy confines of a suburban restaurant that is the setting for much of the action in ReelzChannel’s latest reality series, The Capones, the stars talk about their famous legacy and why they believe their everyday lives will make for good television.
“For a long time people always said, ‘You have such a cool life and so many cool things that go on, you know all these people, you should have cameras following you.’ So it’s just one of those things that happened, the kind of thing [where] you mentally prepare yourself for it for a long time and then when it happens it’s like, ‘Wow, this is kind of cool. Here it is.’”
That’s Dom Capone, a.k.a. “The Boss,” who co-owns Capone’s Restaurant & Pizzeria with his mother, Dawn. Despite his friendliness, he carries a quiet intensity that makes you want to be careful around him, at least at first. Of course that could also be due to Dom’s resemblance to his distant relative, infamous mobster Al Capone. (Dom says his great-great-grandfather was Al’s uncle.)
Helping run the restaurant are a variety of cousins, friends and other fun-loving misfits who are sure to rival any colorful characters you’ll see on reality TV.
There are two guys named “Sausage” and “Meatball,” whose personalities match their girth; uncle “Toupee Lou,” a rail-thin eccentric for whom knowing where the bodies are buried probably isn’t just an expression; Bart, a ladies’ man who has no problem getting women but isn’t so good at keeping them; and Dom’s current girlfriend Staci, who just can’t seem to get on Dawn’s good side.
Viewers will be treated to plenty of family drama, along with daily life in the restaurant, and stories involving Bart helping Sausage get back into the dating scene, and maybe even a few cockroach races here and there.
There also is sure to be a fair amount of bleeping, although the cast insists they did watch their language. Whatever words they use, though, Meatball says the show still reflects the closeness of this unique family, as seen in their traditional Sunday dinners that end each week.
“We feel it’s important to show people that even though we might be a little screwed up, the thing is, at the end of the day you’re still family,” he says. “You’re sharing meals and life has to go on, and you’re a support group for each other.”
Sure, Dom could make things easier on himself in the drama department. He has the perfect solution.
“Just don’t hire family and friends,” he says. “There’s no arguments.” To which his mother replies, “No one else would work for you.”
For once, The Boss is speechless.
The Capones premieres Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 10pm on Reelz.