Saturday, August 05, 2006

You Heard It Here First: Watch 'Gene Simmons Family Jewels'!

Trust me, you don't wanna miss the new reality series GENE SIMMONS: Family Jewels" when it premieres Monday night at 10 on A&E. I recently got a sneak peek at the first three shows and they are a total gas! (And I'm not even a fan. I consider myself more of a KELLY CLARKSON/JAMIROQUAI girl, dontchaknow.) Anyhoo, the series spotlights KISS's most notorious front man, his longtime companion, 1970s Playmate SHANNON TWEED, and their two teenagers SOPHIE, 13, and NICK, 17. There are lots of voyeuristic thrills: such as a glimpse inside Gene's undergound home vault crammed with Kiss action figures, comic books, platinum records, masks and more. Plus you get to see him fondle a lot of groupies AND clean the cat box.

This series works where "The Osbournes" didn't because (a) you can actually understand what Gene is saying, (b) he's hilarious and self-deprecating, and (c) Shannon and the kids don't let him get away with any of that rockstar posturing. There are some obviously scripted gimmicks: For instance, the first episode follows Shannon and the kids' attempt to surprise Gene with an impromptu Jewish wedding. But this is a hilarious inside joke b/c Shannon and Gene have been together for 23 years, have 2 kids and have NEVER married. And as his kids put it, he's "totally WHIPPED." (In fact, on the HOWARD STERN show, the couple revealed that he asked her to sign a legal "agreement" before they even had sex for the first time.) Even better is the fact that Gene's son is 6 foot, 7 inches tall -- and that's not a typo! -- and he wants to be a rock star too. You'll LOL when Gene tries to "help," by booking Nick gigs, suggesting corny band titles like "Engine" and even offering to "play bass" with him and his teen friends. Take it from me, a non-Kiss fan, check out "Gene's Family Jewels"!
(Gene and his gi-normous kid, Nick)

P.S.: What's this about ACE FREHLEY being a closet Nazi? Gene told Howard he used to march around in vintage Nazi costumes to freak him out when they were on tour. (Gene's Jewish -- don't tell MEL).

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