Last night Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley continued their foray into arena football, doing it the “KISS” way, making it clear to anyone watching that, hey, football is not really at the top of this reality show duo’s concerns.
It’s not that you don’t see any football at all when you watch this show—you do, in between the deal making and show planning. And, if you like really BAD football, boy, you are in for a treat with 4TH AND LOUD. But, the opening L.A. KISS home game made it pretty clear: This is about KISS, not the L.A. KISS.
No doubt, the team and coaches realize what Gene and Paul are trying to do. They want to make money. Neither is shy about their love of the green stuff. And, in order to make money, they want to do something different. And, their version of different is to make going to see the L.A. KISS a total “entertainment experience,” not just an arena football game.
Of course, KISS fans will love the show, and will probably see Gene and Paul’s team marketing plans as pure genius. Perhaps they are; they have a TV show out of it, of course, and have made a highly successful 40-year career from a couple good songs. But, real football fans will most likely cringe, just like the team and coaches did, when the cheerleaders start going out on the field for extended periods every time they score and with just the overall “circus” (as Coach Bob dubbed it) atmosphere going on around them. A distraction at best, a farce, at worst. If the team had lost on top of it all, it probably would have landed solidly in the “farce” category but, given the win, we’ll go with distraction. As Coach Bob McMillen said:
I had a great talk with Paul, and I thought they were putting the football team behind a lot of things. He goes, ‘Yeah, they come to watch us perform, but they also come to watch the show, too, that we put on. So, it’s all about being about the show, it’s just not about one thing.’
Translation: Football is incidental to 4TH AND LOUD. Not that it really matters; no one is tuning in to watch this show to see a football game, anyway. It’s a reality show and, in fact, a pretty entertaining one thus far.
The funniest—although maybe not to the coaches and team—command from Gene and Paul is that they must win a championship in their first season. From their actions and discussions, they apparently expect the L.A. KISS to win every time they go out on the field (of course, at 2-1, that’s a ship that has already sailed). Last night, they won their opening home game, good for any team, but the expectations of Gene, Paul and their promotion force are pretty overwhelming. “No pressure,” Gene told the quarterback; no wonder the guy has confidence issues; they’ve set the entire world on his QB shoulders.
Coach Bob doesn’t help things. He probably means well, but being disrespectful to players—who goes out on the field and pushes a star player?—probably isn’t going to get him very far in the long run. He seems to want to make them into a cohesive group, but at the rate he’s going, their common focus is going to be against him, not with the team.
So, will the L.A. KISS take the arena football world by storm and win a championship in their first season? Who knows; anything can happen in reality TV, even creating a football team called “L.A. KISS,” so don’t count them out. But, no doubt the more important thing to Gene and Paul is that the team and show make money (can’t blame them for that, it’s a business), and they are definitely creating the atmosphere to make money. And, the show itself is pretty entertaining, especially if you are a big KISS fan. Maybe not so much if you want to see some hardcore football action, but if you are a member of the KISS Army, go for it.
4th AND LOUD airs on AMC on Tuesday nights at 9/8c.
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