The sitcom-ready plot of the season finale is fun, but it skips over the deeper issues
Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed of "Gene Simmons Family Jewels"
In the midst of the season finale of “Gene Simmons Family Jewels,” son Nick teases his rock star dad, saying, “You are a sitcom. Who writes you?” It’s a question that could be asked of the entire episode, which hits every sitcom beat (and sometimes better than a lot of the actual sitcoms in prime time, but still). Gene orders a custom ring. It doesn't arrive when it's supposed to! He wants to propose at the top of a Mayan ruin but gets too winded to do it! He tries to pop the question during a biplane ride, but she can't hear him over the engine! Wacky, wacky hijinks abound!
Watching Gene Simmons bump up against every conceivable obstacle in trying to propose to girlfriend Shannon Tweed
is fun and funny, but it’s an oddly unsatisfying conclusion to a season that’s been marked by a roller coaster of emotions. As much as I want a tidy happy ending for Tweed and Simmons, I have to wonder: does an apology and a kick ass vacation really make up for almost 28 years of playing second fiddle to a rock star’s career and (let’s face it) massive ego? And do we as viewers really want this season tied up in such a pretty bow?
Granted, it might not be such a pretty bow. We don’t get Tweed’s response, only a “to be continued…” which, if her answer is the pretty much expected “yes,” feels like a cheat. It’s not that I expected Tweed’s relationship crisis to be dragged out interminably. She clearly loves Simmons, and, other than a fundamental difference of opinion about whether or not their relationship is an open one, they seem well matched. Their non-marriage has lasted a heck of a lot longer than most real marriages in Hollywood. But I’m hoping that she makes him work quite a bit harder to win her over – and a big ring, while very nice, isn’t really enough.
The penultimate episode, during which Tweed was treated as royalty in her hometown while Simmons was forced to play second fiddle, only proved how far he has to go to be a grown-up. He could barely cede the spotlight to his girlfriend for a moment, either falling asleep on her family’s couch or changing the subject to himself during a radio interview. Even though he realized he was a jerk after the fact, I think he needs to do a lot more repair work than throwing his cell phone into a pitcher of ice water to prove he’s paying attention to make it clear he’s a changed man.
When Simmons asks Tweed’s mom for her hand in marriage, the older woman seems understandably suspicious, half-joking, “You hurt my kid and you’re dead meat, Mister.” Maybe the people around Tweed have simply had to watch her put up with second place for too long. And if one thing seems clear in watching the show, it’s that Tweed is a lot more than a trophy wife. This appears to be a marriage (so to speak) of equals. And I find it hard to believe the shiny trinkets and vacation hijinks that would woo a Hef girlfriend would do the trick for a smart cookie like Tweed.
Do you think she accepted the proposal? Do you think they should iron things out? Do you want to go to Belize now?