Late last night, just before signing off, I read a very interesting comment that was posted on this website. (It’s the third one on No Confidence.) Yesterday afternoon, as noted by frequent commenter Flo, TMZ reported that Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed, famously unmarried for almost 30 years, are actually getting hitched next month.
Many who have learned the news in the last little while are no doubt thinking, “Finally!”. I’m not one of those people. I’m more inclined to think, “Why?”.
When Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels began airing its sixth season just a few months ago, I wrote a piece entitled What’s Really Going On With Shannon Tweed and Gene Simmons?. Taken aback by the events depicted in the season premiere, I speculated on why Shannon temporarily left her longtime boyfriend and father to her two grown kids.
I clearly hit on something because to date the posting has generated more than 4300 hits, easily making it the most accessed bit of writing I’ve ever done in the history of this site. (Most of my pieces generate considerably less than that number. Way less.) Furthermore, it inspired several thoughtful comments from readers.
As the season neared its end, I wrote a follow-up called Gene Simmons & Shannon Tweed Need To Get Real With Their Audience. It’s been accessed more than a thousand times and yes, it has also provoked a number of entertaining reader comments. Finally, I wrote about the season finale which irritated me with its bogus cliffhanger ending. (That one’s been checked out a little over a hundred times.)
As you may recall from that episode, fearing he was going to lose Shannon forever if he didn’t give her what she wanted, Gene proposed to his longtime love near the end of their vacation together. But rather than show her response, we got the dreaded “To Be Continued…” graphic. What a joke.
Shortly after its successful airing (about 3 million people watched the July episode), we learned that the show’s seventh season was scheduled to air in early September. Thanks to an earlier comment from Flo (the first one on No Confidence), I’m now aware that A&E has bumped the show to October.
Now we all know why. According to a wedding invitation obtained by TMZ, the ceremony is to take place at The Beverly Hills Hotel on Sunset Boulevard in the late afternoon on October 1st. And yes, it will be taped for Family Jewels. (The show now returns October 4th.)
Here’s an obvious question: if the family was always planning on making this public announcement long before the new season starts airing, why all the suspense at the end of the last one? (It rather defeats the purpose of a cliffhanger if you already know what happens next.)
Despite what some antsy bloggers and news sites reported back in the summer, there was no actual confirmation of an official engagement at that time. Remember, we never heard Shannon’s answer. And no one in the family told us what she said.
Here’s an even more obvious inquiry: is this for real? Are we to believe that after years of growing resentment (both private and public) that Shannon is now willing to forgive all of Gene’s allegedly long list of transgressions in order to plunge into something he’s long been dead set against? Do stubborn people really change that quickly? Can a two-days couples retreat (and an undetermined amount of recent therapy) achieve the desired result?
Let’s face facts here. Gene’s a lifelong workaholic, endlessly driven to extend the legacy of Kiss ’til there’s no energy left in his overworked body. Just check out some of his recent Tweets. There’s a new album coming (and probably another full-scale tour to promote it), another possible TV project in the works, and Family Jewels has started filming the new season. Despite being in his early 60s and annoying the hell out of Shannon for his long absences from home and family, he shows no signs of cutting down his work schedule. So, why commit to a guy who’s not likely to ever change this self-destructive habit?
Then, there’s the issue of fidelity. As noted in my first Family Jewels piece, the family steadfastly avoided talking about the release of a sex tape that features Gene getting it on with another woman three years ago, likely one of the key sources of the couple’s recent tension (along with Gene’s addiction to work). That’s a pretty big elephant in the room to ignore and as I pointed out in my second piece, pretty insulting to the audience who, unless they seek out answers online, are probably still confused about what’s really going on.
Is Gene really only interested in Shannon and no one else? Are the days of him racking up big conquest numbers (supposedly in the thousands) really over? I’m just not convinced.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe in evolution. I believe that circumstances in one’s life can instigate some kind of positive change that can be more than fleeting or superficial but this is Gene Simmons we’re talking about. He’s about as flexible as the Catholic Church. As he foolishly Tweeted on August 16th, “I’ve never been wrong.”.
Like an addict at their lowest, change can only happen if you want it to happen, which is the only way you can begin the road to recovery and redemption. But Gene’s attempts to win back Shannon last season were more desperate than anything else. Realizing perhaps too late how lucky he’s had it, he had to compromise his own principles in order to get her back to the table.
And so far, it’s worked. If this whole wedding business is legit, then all the pressure is on Gene to completely change his lifestyle in order for the marriage to last. That means no other women to conquer and a greatly reduced workload. I just don’t see it happening.
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Friday, September 2, 2011
CLARIFICATION & UPDATE: A&E is releasing two new Family Jewels box sets in late Spring, according to TVshowsonDVD.com. Look for Season Six Part One and Season Six Part Two on June 12. So, just to make things clear, all the recent episodes that were aired in 2011 were part of one complete season, not two half-seasons. The air dates for the real seventh season have yet to be released.
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, February 29, 2012