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Gene Simmons: Family Jewels (Season One) - television series DVD review
Gene Simmons: Family Jewels (Season One) Not Rated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 4 stars
Actors: Gene Simmons, Shannon Tweed
    Studio: A&E Home Video
DVD release: 19 December 2006   Runtime: 286 minutes (2 discs)
Format: Color, NTSC
Special features: Audio Tracks (English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), 13 episodes, Rough cut of pilot, Unseen couch interviews, Inside the demon's lair, Gene's history of rock and roll, The lost songs, Bloopers, Behind the Makeup featurettes, Gene Simmons 24/7, Simmons family text biographies

The face-painted, bass-playing, blood-spurting, tongue-wiggling founding member of mega rock group KISS invites you into his world with Family Jewels. The self professed king of shameless self-promotion and a total workaholic, Gene Simmons both glorifies his rock god status and parodies it. Along the way he also demystifies his demonic stage image in this reality show that ran on A&E.

In the Simmons household are his longtime partner, (marriage is not in Simmons' vocabulary, so wife wouldn't be accurate) Playboy Playmate Shannon Tweed, son Nick, and thirteen-year-old daughter Sophie. Though this is a rock star family reality show that could easily be compared to The Osbournes, Family Jewels is a bit different. The entire family comes off as less chaotic and more grounded. Self-deprecating humor and generally good one-liners keep the sarcastic but upbeat tone of the show constant.

Throughout the thirteen episodes, the basic theme (if you want to call it that) is to get Gene more involved with his family and spending less time focused on financial deals and overall scheming to do business wherever and whenever he can. One of the highlights of the season is Gene meeting one of his biggest fans, Bob, and spending the day with him. Never in your wildest imagination would you think that Gene would be seen playing miniature golf, bumper boats, and go-carts. At the end of a long, laborious day with the fan, Gene even invites him over for dinner and gives him a tour of his KISS office; his parting gift is a KISS condom.

The DVD comes with roughly an hour's worth of extras: photo gallery, interviews with the family, and cast biographies. The episodes include Happily Unmarried, Next Generation Rock Star. The Demon Lives, Driving Me Crazy, Food or Sex?, Sexercise, The Un- Anniversary, Loose Change, Fan... Tastic, Horsin' Around, Gene's Addiction, Shrinkwraped, and Behind the Makeup. If you have a KISS lunchbox, the original KISS dolls, or KISSology Vol. 1, then you adding this to your collection is absolutely a no-brainer.

reviewed by Bobby Blades
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