Gene Simmons Family Jewels: The Complete Season 2 - DVD Review
Posted By Josh Clinton on 12.19.2007
Gene Simmons .......... Himself
Shannon Tweed .......... Herself
Nick Tweed-Simmons .......... Himself
Sophie Tweed-Simmons .......... Herself
In the last few years, A&E has became known for its reality television programming. While other networks say they have "reality" shows, what they usually have our "pseudo-reality" shows. Shows that border on being "scripted" rather than "unscripted" and ones that tend to focus on drama that doesn't seem quite as real. That's not the case with one of A&E's recent reality show hits, Gene Simmons Family Jewels.
Gene Simmons Family Jewels follows the life of legendary KISS bassist and vocalist Gene Simmons, his longtime partner Shannon Tweed, and their two children, 18-year-old Nick and 15-year-old Sophie. Cameras follow Gene and his family around throughout their everyday lives. The series is similar to MTV's The Osbournes, since it does feature the real life of a rock star and his family. However, Gene and his family seem to enjoy being around each and hardly ever fight unlike the Osbourne family.
What makes this series so intriguing is that family seems like a traditional family. However, technically Gene and Shannon are not married. Gene likes to say they have been "happily unmarried" for twenty-two years. In some parts of the country, the would be married by default at this point but that's not the point. The point is this a big, happy family. Gene Simmons, the rock star, and Shannon Tweed, the one-time Playmate of the year, seem like a match made in heaven and they are. Gene, however, is not shy to tell everyone that he has slept with hundreds and hundreds of women besides Shannon. So their relationship seems to be more "open" than you might expect for a family that seems normal.
Besides Gene and Shannon, Sophie and Nick are a couple of "normal" teenagers. There is no doubt that these two kids are the offspring of Gene and Shannon. Nick is already taller than his dad and when you look at Sophie, it looks like you are looking at a younger version of Shannon Tweed with black hair. What is really funny with the kids, though, is the fact that they might be more mature than Gene and Shannon. They know when to take charge and put their parents in their places, when need be. Every now and then, Shannon's sister, Tracy, will drop by to drive Gene crazy and act like another kid.
The second season of Gene Simmons Family Jewels features some real reality. Gene and Shannon decide to get facelifts and for the first time ever, a high-profile celebrity couple allows cameras in to capture the brutal surgical procedure and recovering process, which is actually funny at times. That is definitely real! Besides that, other storylines in this season include Nick leaving for college, Sophie developing into a young lady, and Shannon wanting to have another baby while Gene just wants to live the life of a "Rock God". Of course, there is always the running joke of Gene and Shannon not being married and hints that Shannon wants him to finally marry her. Along the way, there are also trips to New York City, Las Vegas, Aspen, London, Paris, and even the tropical island of Turks & Caicos.
While season one of this series introduced us to Gene Simmons and his wacky family, season two took things to another level. You actually have real, gritty drama in a reality TV show. For the most part, Gene Simmons Family Jewels is a comedy that everyone can laugh at. However, there is just enough real drama to keeps things interesting. No one has to wonder why this show became another hit for A&E. Season two of this show proves once again that there is quality reality television programming out there, you just have to know where to look.
Episode 1 - Under the Knife?
Season two starts off with Gene and Shannon preparing for facelifts. Shannon thinks she is pregnant and sends her sister, Tracy, and her son, Nick, to the store to get her a pregnancy test. Gene gets word that his publicity tour has changed as is off to New York to appear on MTV's TRL. Somewhere along the way, Gene's Demon costume gets lost, and he sends the hotel's assistant manager on a hild goose chase to find it before the show airs.
Episode 2 - A Bun in the Oven?
Gene and fellow KISS band member Paul Stanley have been honored to be asked the be the Grand Marshals of a NYC Halloween Parade. While they are away, Shannon takes her pregnancy test. Everyone anxiously awaits the results, especially Gene when he returns home.
Episode 3 - Gene's Big Mouth
After learning that Shannon wasn't pregnant, Gene brings up the idea of adopting a child. Shannon doesn't want to have to wait a year to adopt a child though. Gene loses his little black book and runs wild trying to find it. Shannon attempts to teach Gene to think before his opens his big mouth to speak.
Episode 4 - Nice Day For A Facelift
Gene and Shannon both undergo cosmetic surgery and then prepare for the recovery process.
Episode 5 - Face Off
A very graphical episode of Gene and Shannon's facelifts in which Shannon has to stay in the hospital due to the pain. Nick and especially Sophie can't really handle the initial results of their parents makeover.
Episode 6 - Sir Crazy
Shannon is finally allowed to come home and ends up driving the kids wild. Gene thinks the doctors don't know what they are talking about and ingores there advise. Nick and Sophie turn to their Aunt Tracy for some help in escaping the madness.
Episode 7 - Snowblind
Shannon tries to escape to Aspen for some real R & R, but Sophie talks the rest of the family into heading up their as well. Gene soon learns that Sophie wanted to go up there because of a boy she likes and Gene tries to find out all about him and ends up getting in trouble. Soon he has to be rescues by the mountain's ski patrol.
Episode 8 - Coming Out Party
Gene plans on making a "Rent-A-Bachelor" charity event his coming out party, but being as he didn't follow the doctors orders he is unable to attend. He sends Nick in his place and the bids go wild. Gene must now find a way to heal himself before he accepts the first ever "Golden Tongue" award at the Adult Video News Awards.
Episode 9 - The Wingman
Gene decides to take his business partner's thirty year old nephew out on the town in Las Vegas to help cheer him up after learning about his divorce. Gene soon finds out that getting game isn't as easy as it used to be.
Episode 10 - Uncle Gene Wants You
Gene decides to take Sophie to San Diego's Camp Pendleton to help her do some research for a school paper she has to write on the armed forces. After a lot of smack talking back and forth, they are thrown into a few brutal basic training exercises. No one is laughing now.
Episode 11 - Growing Pains
Nick's friends persuade him to move out of the house. Nick decides to check out a college. Sophie, Shannon and Gene go shopping to buy items for Nick to bribe him into staying home. Nick has a terrible experience at the weekend orientation. Sophie asks Nick not to tell their parents about his experience so that his parents will continue to bribe him into staying home.
Episode 12 - Master Gene Theater
A look at some hilarious outtakes, Bad jokes, and never seen before couch interviews from season one. Including a few new segments of Gene and the family.
Episode 13 - British Invasion
Gene and Nick take a personal tour of London's musical landmarks for Nick's 18th birthday. One of their stops was The Beatles' Abbey Road Studios. The vacation almost ends on a sour note when a young exec from Gene's English record label tries to turn their trip into a publicity tour. Gene and Nick get some good father and son time on this trip.
Episode 14 - All Grown Up
Gene takes Sophie to Paris, France for a photo shoot with a professional photographer. Of course, being his only daughter, Gene makes sure nobody takes advantage of his 14 year old daughter. Meanwhile, Shannon and Nick remain in London, Nick spend the day with a girl friend he made on the earlier episode (British Invasion) and thinks of staying in London for College.
Episode 15 - Rich Dad
Gene helps out a mother and son with their strip club while he is in Las Vegas. He rushed home after that to play volleyball with Sophie in a Father/Daughter game she never told him about because she doesn't want to bother him and his busy schedule. Gene thinks she just doesn't want him there and wants to be a proud dad.
Episode 16 - Alpha Male
Sophie wants to go camping with the family on her birthday to prove that she and Sharon are the Alpha Males in the family, not Gene.
Episode 17 - Sucker Bet
Sharon and Aunt Tracy are off to the Kentucky Derby and Gene insists on tagging along. A problem at the hotel leaves Gene wishing he would have stayed home. Tracy talks Sharon into betting $100,000 on a horse.
Episode 18 - ...And They're Off
In a panic over Shannon's $100,000 bet on a horse she knows nothing about Gene frantically tries to sell her ticket at a discount to anyone he comes in contact with.
Episode 19 - Trapped In Paradise
Gene, who hates the sun and sand, travels to Turks & Caicos in an attempt to bring an Indy car race there. But as usual, things don't go as planned.
Episode 20 - Genetopia
Gene toys with the idea of buying his own island with his own rules and calling it "Genetopia." While Gene is away, Shannon tags along with Tracy as she goes to a speed dating event. Tracy soon learns that the guy she thinks she hitting it off with great, is only trying to get to Shannon, who is after all "happily unmarried."
Episode 21 - Fact or Fiction?
In the second-season finale, Gene appears on Adam Corolla's radio show and is challenged to take a lie-detector test to verify his boasts regarding his sexual exploits. Afterwards, he is joined by Shannon for lunch with Hugh Hefner. Gene and Shannon then travel to Las Vegas for her sister's wedding.
The video is given in fullscreen color with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Transfer is good with minimal distortion. The quality is a little better than what you would find on television. No major problems at all.
The audio included is available in English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound. There are subtitles available in English as well. It's pretty standard quality for a TV show. The dialogue comes out crisp and clear.
This is an extra episode not in the official season. It's called "It Was A Very Good Year". However, this episode did air on A&E. It's basically serves as the "recap" episode for the second season of the series. Gene and his family take you back to their favorite moments of the season. Nothing new here, so nothing you have to see but you did get some commentary from Gene and his family about certain episodes of this season. So that can be interesting to hear.
"The Lost Couch Interviews" Featurette
This runs for six minutes. It's basically the outtakes for the "couch interviews" that appear throughout each episode of this show. These interviews didn't make the final episodes, mostly because they are almost like bloopers for the show. However, could actually fit in with the show since Gene and his family are funny. So check these out for sure.
THE INSIDE PULSE
If you haven't seen this show on A&E yet, then rent this series and watch it. You don't really have to watch season one before you watch season two. In fact, season two is better than season one so this is a good place to start. Gene Simmons will no doubt want to buy this DVD set, and I would make the same recommendation for fans of quality reality show programming.