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Gene Simmons - Family Jewels - Season One

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UPC: 733961762679

Format: DVDMultiple Formats, Color, NTSC

List price: $7.99
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"It's good to be me," says Gene Simmons, and the Kiss bassist-frontman could hardly find a better vehicle for himself than Family Jewels, the first season of which (13 episodes, plus extras) is presented here on two discs. There has rarely been anyone as shamelessly and gleefully skilled at self-promotion as Simmons, who makes P.T. Barnum look like a shrinking violet and pro football player Terrell Owens seem modest. Whether he is glorifying or parodying his Rock God image (the show features both in roughly equal measure), he knows that either way, it's all about him--and it was ever thus for a guy whose success has always depended at least as much, if not more, on image and marketing as on music. Fast-paced, tongue-in-cheek, and just naughty enough, the 22-minute episodes keep it short and simple, focusing on Simmons' principal preoccupations: his disdain for matrimony (although he and former Playboy playmate Shannon Tweed have been together for decades, they've never married), and, of course, his legendary reputation as a sex machine (the current estimate is 4,600 conquests). Thus we find Gene going to a Hooters opening in Las Vegas; conducting auditions for his latest scam, a video series called "Sexercise"; weekending at a health spa with Tweed, who refuses to sleep with him unless he drops a few pounds; and appearing on a Playboy Channel show with porn stars like Jenna Jameson… while Tweed and/or their two kids (teens Nick and Sophie), who love to goof on Dad, are at home setting fire to his rock star pants or some such shenanigans. The existence of a blooper reel among the bonus material hardly supports the notion that the show is unscripted and spontaneous; Simmons' day with an almost frighteningly obsessive Kiss fan, during which he confides to Tweed that at times the adulation "just becomes too much," provides one of the few "real" moments. Little matter. Despite his bluster, or more likely because of it, Simmons is good-natured, smart, and genuinely likeable; so are his kids, who are kinda snarky (but then, what teenager isn't?) but seem well-adjusted and a lot brighter than Ozzy Osbourne's sullen brood. If there's one obvious omission, it's that so little of Family Jewels has anything to do with music (a ten-minute bonus feature called "Lost Songs" is about it). Then again, those uninterested in rock 'n' rolling all night and partying every day may consider that a major selling point. --Sam Graham
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Video details

List Price: $7.99
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: A&E Entertainment
Actors: Shannon Tweed Nick Simmons Sophie Simmons Gene Simmons Tracy Tweed 
Size: 7.4000" x 5.3000"
Weight: 0.2500 lbs.
Language: English, English