After my cringe-filled experience watching just one episode of Gene Simmons Rock School, I swore off viewing anything Mr. Simmons did that was not KISS-related. That show was pretty much the worst thing I have ever seen. I would rather be subjected to days of Oprah than minutes of Rock School.
Gene is at it again, however, with a new "reality" series about his family life called The Osbournes. Oh wait, sorry, that has already been done. This show is called Gene Simmons Family Jewels, and it will air on A&E. Simmons, his "wife" Shannon Tweed (they are not married but have been together for 22 years) and their two kids star in the new show. I am not optimistic about the show being any good.
The Osbournes was such a success because Ozzy is such an unpredictable guy. His craziness follows him offstage; and the contrast between that and his rather middle-of-the-road home life made for interesting TV. Gene Simmons is not unpredictable. He is totally predictable. If there is a camera around, Gene is trying to get in front of it and gratify his enormous ego. He could have the hottest wife and the coolest kids, but this show will sink under the weight of all that bluster from Gene.
As much as I might criticize the show, I'm sure I will watch it. A&E has released the summaries from the first few episodes. Here they are:
The A&E Network has released a sneak peek for GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS.
Dad is Gene Simmons - the legendary, tongue wagging demon of KISS. Mom is Shannon Tweed -- former Playmate Of The Year, actress and model. And their kids, Nick and Sophie, are, well...surprisingly charming, well-behaved teenagers dealing with the trials and tribulations of adolescence, even though Mom and Dad are like no one else′s parents.
Gene and Shannon have been happily UNmarried for 22 years and have no plans of getting married any time soon. Gene is a rock star, and a multi-media magnate. He is also the kind of dad who brings Gatorade to his daughter′s soccer games and stands in the front row of his son′s rock band when they play gigs.
Monday, August 7, 2006 at 10PM/9C
Shannon Tweed hates surprises. Gene Simmons loves them. On his way out of town to attend the Grand Opening of the Hooter′s Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, he asks Nick and Tracy Tweed (Shannon′s sister) to plan a surprise birthday party for Shannon on his behalf. While in Vegas, he gets roped into attending the wedding of a male fan and his fiancé, and even gives the bride away. When Shannon inadvertently finds out that Gene was not only planning a surprise party for her AND that he attended someone else′s wedding, she decides to turn the tables on him, and give him a little surprise of his own - an ambush wedding! When "Mr. Happily Unmarried" for 23 years shows up to what he thinks is Shannon′s surprise birthday party, he gets the biggest surprise of his life.
NEXT GENERATION ROCK STAR
Monday, August 7, 2006 at 10:30PM/9:30C
If your dad′s Gene Simmons and you want to go into the music business, some career counseling is to be expected. But when Nick starts a band of his own, Gene transforms from a proud father into an overbearing manager. From the band′s name to the clothes Nick wears, Gene won′t leave his son alone and he even prematurely books Nick′s first gig, unaware that his son′s band quit. Nick struggles to step out from his father′s shadow and to perform in front of a packed house at The Key Club on the World Famous Sunset Strip. Meanwhile Shannon sneaks 13 yea-old Sophie into LA Fashion Week, and witnesses every hot stud at the event flirting with her little girl.
THE DEMON LIVES
Monday, August 14, 2006 at 10:00PM/9:30C
When Gene pulls up to a studio lot for a guest appearance on an Adam Sandler produced sitcom pilot, he isn′t let in because the guards don′t know who he is. That event sparks a concern within The Demon that no one knows who he is anymore, and that maybe he′s lost his edge. At home, Shannon′s concerned because Nick and Sophie are too busy thus forcing her to face the empty nest syndrome, so she visits a fertility specialist. Having his identity concerns put to rest, Gene boasts to his family that KISS will be honored in Las Vegas for a TV special. Excitement builds ahead of the performance, as the Demon must prepare to go back on stage. Trying out new make-up, fire-breathing lessons on the front lawn, and fitting Gene for his signature Demon concert wardrobe are just the beginning. Just as he is walking out the door to Vegas, Shannon confronts Gene, having decided she wants to have another baby. She locks Gene in the bathroom until he delivers what she needs, giving a new meaning to the question - which came first, the chicken or the egg?
FOOD OR SEX?
Monday, August 14, 2006 at 10:30PM/9:30C
After Gene parties with a bunch of adult stars at the Adult Video Awards, he returns home to Shannon who notices he is putting on some girth. Shannon tricks him into going away to what he thinks is a romantic getaway. When they arrive, he learns that they have separate rooms, and his food intake is rationed. Gene wants two things - food and sex, but he can′t get either. Meanwhile, Shannon′s sister, crazy Aunt Tracy encourages the kids to run rampant. They tear through dad′s shrine-like KISS office, break out the whipped cream, and even try their hand at piercing Sophie′s naval.
DRIVING ME CRAZY
Monday, August 21, 2006 at 10:00PM/9:00C
Gene Simmons didn′t start driving until he was 35 years old and Nick is studying to get his driver′s license. An admittedly horrible driver himself, Gene faces off against Nick in a driving test challenge, with the threat of having to humiliate himself in the middle of Beverly Hills if he loses. As his daughter starts to date, a nervous Gene insists that Shannon take their daughter to a self-defense course. The driving test and the self-defense course both prove painful for Gene, who learns that father doesn′t always know best.
Monday, August 28, 2006 at 10:30PM/9:30C
It′s Career Week for Sophie Tweed-Simmons and her assignment is to tag along with Gene to work. It′s a familiar assignment, but if your dad′s Gene Simmons, expect the unexpected. Shannon is not too pleased to discover that Gene has taken their 13 year-old daughter to auditions for a sexy new exercise video called "Sexercise." Shannon turns up the heat on the Demon and has Sophie talk with her dad about the birds and the bees. Sophie′s talk provokes the rock star who′s slept with 4600 women to prove that Gene Simmons and safe sex can be part of the same sentence, as he takes his shot at a Public Service Announcement, (PSA), for Planned Parenthood. No sooner than he finishes the PSA, he is challenged to wrestle a reject from the Sexercise auditions as she calls him a sexist pig. He accepts the challenge only to find out that when he gets to Miss KittyÕs night club it′s...lube wrestling.
Gene Simmons can′t stop working. He′s an addict in the truest sense of the word. From hunting down investors in Florida for his latest project to developing his newest product, the Gene Simmons tongue vibrator, the man doesn′t know when to say when. Shannon and the kids stage an intervention. They kidnap Gene′s appointment book and force him on a ski vacation that turns from bad to worse. In the end the family packs up and pulls out, ready to desert Gene in the mountains. Back home, Gene tries to make up for his performance on the vacation, but in the end it′s he who′s sleeping alone.
An emergency springs up when Gene is about to lose the Indy Racing League marketing account worth millions of dollars. He drops everything and even uses his celebrity to become Grand Marshall in front of hundreds of thousands of fans. Unfortunately for Gene, while he′s gone Shannon buys Sophie a horse for her good grades without really thinking it through. All hell breaks loose when Gene returns from his exhausting business trip and finds the horse is now living at his Beverly Hills mansion.
Playboy Radio welcomes Gene in studio and conducts a search for his biggest fan. The prize - a day with Gene to spend however they choose. Gene spends the morning getting dressed and ready to meet who he expects to be a beautiful female fan from the KISS Army. Gene pulls out all his cool clothes to get ready for his hot date, only to be stopped by Shannon who decides his clothes are corny and old fashion. When Gene arrives to meet the fan, his blonde bombshell turns out to be a 40 year-old, overweight, father of two who turns Gene′s day of fun into a living hell bombarding him with questions and taking him to miniature golf. Meanwhile back at home Shannon and the kids take the opportunity to raid Gene′s closet and literally burn 30 years of bad fashion in the back yard. Gene′s day only gets worse as Shannon invites Bob the fan to dinner at the house.
Shannon and Tracy leave for a long overdue shopping spree in Beverly Hills. Meanwhile, Gene Simmons is despondent that he′s lost $20,000 on a cattle ranch investment. Meaning to cheer up his father, Nick inadvertently mentions that $20,000 is no big deal. This spurs Gene to teach Nick a lesson in the value of money and hard work. To Nick′s chagrin dad takes him on the road to a ranch unknown where Gene encounters an unexpectedly beautiful rancher, a bunk bed sleepover with his son, and ultimately has to roll up his sleeves and collect the semen of a bull to turn a failing business around. All in an effort to show his son not to take everything for granted.
Gene Simmons is a man on fire. He′s got so much to do, but so little time. He needs to cover five cities in three nights and two days. As his private jet flies off filled with beauties he needs to check up on the first franchised KISS coffee shop in North Carolina, sign a marketing deal with cigarette boats in Miami for his Simmons-Abramson marketing, make a personal appearance at a nightclub in Chicago, and on his way to an investment meeting he gets waylaid by another beauty and winds up partying in New Orleans. All this, and he has to be home in time for Sophie′s championship volleyball tournament.
Gene Simmons has a business meeting in New York to discuss putting a sexy spin on the classic hand car wash by turning it into Gene Simmons Bikini Car Wash, but he has forgotten something even more important - his 23 year UN-anniversary. Feeling homesick he flies Shannon and the kids with him to visit mom. A tour of Gene′s old pre-KISS stomping grounds leads to Grandma′s house for a touch of heart and nostalgia. Shannon, Sophie and Nick head back to LA and leave Gene to his business in New York. Upon his return to LA he encounters an unhappy Shannon, a family portrait from hell, and a car wash filled with Bikini clad babes.
BEHIND THE MAKEUP
Shannon wakes up not feeling too well, and Gene offers to drive her to the doctor. Once there, he learns that it isn′t their usual family doctor, but instead a plastic surgeon. When the surgeon suggests Gene Simmons might also consider a facelift, at first The Demon is reluctant. In typical Gene Simmons style, he secretly has a change of heart and does the Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon circuit on his own. When Shannon finds out about the hypocrisy, she decides to schedule dual his & her facelifts, forcing Gene to go through with it. When it comes time to go under the knife, Shannon has news of her own from the fertility specialist leaving The Demon speechless, and his Playmate partner beaming - and everyone wondering if the pitter patter of little demon feet aren′t too far behind. As the first year series ends, we are left wondering what Gene Simmons′ new face will look like, and whether Shannon Tweed is pregnant.
Tag: Gene Simmons
Ha! I read your excellent post on Gene Simmons on the same day I find a mint copy of the Kiss CD "Music from The Elder" (which is actually my favorite of theirs, believe it or not!) It was 2.50 at a pawn shop I visit when I am in its town several times a year. There was a buttload of other Kiss CDs in that store, all for about 2 to 3 dollars, all mint. Which ones would you recommend for me to start with as an exploration of the band? I never really followed them back in their heyday!
I find that totally bizarre that Music From the Elder would be your favorite, but there are others like you out there. Personally, I cringe when I hear the album. It has its moments, but it seems pretty silly to me. It is by no means the worst KISS album -- there are plenty worse.
I would pick up Alive!, KISS (s/t), Destroyer, Ace Frehley (kiss solo album)and/or Creatures of the Night to start. Pretty much any of the band's output from 1974-1979 is worth owning.
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