Even before “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” premiered on A&E this week, fans saw a very ugly glimpse of a crumbling relationship between Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed. With the couple forced to do the media rounds to promote their show, the two sat next to one another on programs such as the “Today” show and “The Joy Behar Show.”
Their body language said it all—even a Northeast winter isn’t as cold as these two.
Since “Family Jewels” premiered, fans and some in the media have wondered if what we’re seeing is real. Are there serious problems between Simmons and Tweed, or is this just a two-month late April Fool’s joke, brilliantly conspired by Gene, Shannon, and the suits at A&E?
Story: Shannon Tweed discovers TMZ photo on ‘Family Jewels’ premiere
It’s a fair question, really, because ever since “Survivor” ushered in the era of reality television, we’ve wondered how real the reality we’re seeing truly is.
This is the age of the Balloon Boy. We live in a society where some believe the moon landing took place on a sound stage and that Osama bin Laden has either been dead for years or has yet to be killed.
Politics aside, we’re skeptical. And understandably so. So why would reality television, a genre of TV whose chief objective is to gin up interest, get ratings, and enjoy the cash flow, be any different?
The deterioration of Gene and Shannon’s long-term relationship feels very similar to when we saw Kate Gosselin and her ex-husband Jon rip each other apart—both on TLC and in the media. To me, that all felt genuine, though the capitalization on the added fame and attention each took advantage of was certainly planned and well-executed.
I have no clue whether Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed’s relationship drama is real, fake, or somewhere in between. But it’ got us all buzzing about it. And, real or scripted, that’s all A&E cares about.
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In Boston, you can catch a new episode of “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” next Tuesday night on A&E.
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