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Studio: A&E Television Network
Rated: Not Rated
Running Time: 4 hours, 45 minutes
· Rough Cut of Pilot Episode
· Unseen Couch Interviews
· Inside the Demon’s Lair
· Gene’s History of Rock & Roll
· The Lost Songs
· Behind the Makeup Featurettes
· Gene Simmons 24/7
“It’s The Osbourne’s, only everybody is better looking!”
Gene Simmons, Shannon Tweed, Sophie Simmons, Nick Simmons
The household of aging rocker, Gene Simmons, lead singer for Kiss, is positively brimming with quirky people, quirky situations, and TONS of Kiss memorabilia. You throw some cameras in there, and you’ve got yourself a reality show.
There is one, major problem with reality shows like this one, and Hogan Knows Best, and The Osbourne’s: they’re not reality shows. They’re shows about real people, yes. But these are shows that have to tell a complete “story” in a half hour running time. So while they try to make everything look as spontaneous as possible…you can tell that they’re following a script.
Every episode starts out with Mr. Simmons telling us why he’s awesome. Whether it is about the (over) 4,000 women he’s slept with, that he’s filthy rich, or that he’s happily unmarried. Which is when we cut to his former Playboy Playmate “wife” Shannon Tweed, or one of his kids, who tell us that maybe he’s not as awesome as he thinks he is. Usually when they’re doing this, they’re sitting on one of those Real World couches, sitting right next to Gene Simmons, who usually retorts with something like “I’ve slept with over 4,000 women.” After that’s all done, we get to the incredibly scripted stuff.
One of the stranger interviews, done through SpermCam.
There’s the episode where Gene’s daughter, Sophie, gets to buy a horse because she has good grades in school. She keeps the horse at the Simmons mansion, which “really surprises Gene” when he gets home. After that we’re treated to a montage of the horse looking at Gene through the windows, or making noise during important phone calls. Real funny stuff. And then, “unknown to Sophie”, Gene gets rid of the horse. I think Sophie really nailed it on the fourth take when she confronted her dad. “Dad, why did you get rid of my horse?” “Because I’ve slept with over 4,000 women…THAT’S why.”
Then there is the hilarious episode where Gene challenges his son, Nick, to see who’s a better driver. Or the heartwarming episode where Gene goes to a ranch to collect bull semen. And be sure not to miss the ‘Gene’s got to lose weight’ episode, when he bribes a clerk to buy him an absurd amount of fast food while he and Shannon stay at a health club.
"You could be number 4,763."
But despite all of this…why is this show so damned addicting? I went through a whole disc in one sitting, not even realizing that precious time was floating by. Without a doubt it has to be because of Mr. Gene Simmons. He certainly has a charisma about him, an ego the size of his Cthulu tongue, and is very much the center of his own private Gene Simmons Universe. And through all the scripted situations, you do see a real bond between him and his kids; especially with the copious amounts of home movie footage that they disperse throughout the show. Whether it is Gene having a tea party with his daughter, or helping his son take his first steps. His kids, Nick and Sophie, haven’t been sent to rehab (yet), and if the footage that we’re given of them bares any semblance of truth at all, then they appear to be extremely good-natured, smart, not angst-ridden (!), teens.
This is an okay distraction worth watching as long as you can get past the quickly tiresome formula and are a super fan of Kiss.
There are a variety of special features to choose from on the second disc. The big one worth watching is probably the Unseen Couch Interviews. The rest of the stuff seems more like deleted scenes, cleverly turned into featurettes. You’ve also got Mr. Simmons talking about the history of Rock and/or Roll, which is a pretty good featurette.
6 out of 10