Sex & Lies on Gene Simmons Family Jewels   

Gene Simmons and his son Nick on their show GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS on A&E.I rarely watch Gene Simmons Family Jewels. That’s not a commentary on the quality of the show as I do find it entertaining when I do watch it, I’m just not into reality shows that follow families (be it because they have eight thousand kids or one member is a celebrity) around. However, a good friend (Mo) does watch the show and has been bugging me for weeks to blog about the August 16th episode entitled, “Sex and Rock n’ Roll.”

Why, you ask? Well, she noticed a pretty glaring continuity error that calls into question one of the major “storylines” in the episode. Even I was shocked at how blatant the error is when I finally caved and watched the episode online.

But before I get to that, can I talk about how hilarious Gene and his partner, Shannon, are? Early in the episode, the family discusses how Gene isn’t very social. This exchange, in which Nick (the son) and Shannon talk what she’d have to do to get him to agree to social engagement, is particularly funny:

Nick is speechless at something Shannon says on GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS on A&E.SHANNON: Bribe him?
NICK: Or bribe him. Actually, that would work too.
SHANNON: Promise him sexual favors?
SHANNON: Went too far?
NICK: I heard what sounds like a piano wire break? I think that was my brain.

As it so happens, Shannon runs into an old friend while she’s at the florist who friend invites them to dinner party the following night. Shannon convinces Gene they should go and he’s up for it… at least until they arrive and he sees the van in the driveway. Instantly he feels out of place but Shannon’s not letting him leave. Only they quickly realize this party’s not exactly the innocent dinner party they assumed. Oh, yes, Gene and Shannon have managed to get themselves invited to a key party!! Ha-ha, it’s awesome to watch Shannon’s panic as she realizes just what is going on at this “dinner party.” Even better is how Gene can’t resist teasing her about it. I love when Shannon tells her friend that Gene’s having “a little flare up” as a way to escape the party. Gene telsl Shannon she can stay at the party if she wants on GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS.Only it backfires because her friends wants to know if Shannon can stay instead and Gene’s all, “You can stay, you don’t have to go…” HA! Then she won’t tell Gene exactly what she said to get them out of the situation. Hilarious.

But, seriously, can we talk for a moment about how you should not invite an old friend to this type of party as if it’s just your regular dinner party? Unless more was said at the florist than we saw, the lady gave absolutely no indication that Gene and Shannon should expect to walk into that kind of scene!! That’s insane. Or maybe that’s something Gene and Shannon used to be into so she felt they should assume that’s the invite they were getting? I don’t know, I still think it’s beyond strange. It did make for some great TV though. I can’t deny it.

Anyway! Back to the continuity error. Early in the episode, Gene makes a trip to the NAMM show and arranges for Nick’s band to perform at the show. Nick’s worried they need more time to practice. Nor is he too keen in accepting his dad’s help for anything else. He doesn’t want to be that kid who is cashing in on his dad’s celebrity status to make it. They borrow a van from one of the guys’ uncle and head out.

As night falls, they decide they should stop and try to get some sleep. They pull into a pretty low-rent motel on the side of the road. Nick even notes, “Ok, this place looks nice and disgusting.” As they pull into their parking spot, they scrap the side of the van against one of the carport poles and pour out of the van to examine the damage.

Here are some screen caps of that moment, where we can clearly see that back passenger door on the van is a sliding door. See how the handles of the two passenger doors are together and then the door slides back when opened?

Note the two passenger door handles are together here.
Notice the how the back passenger door SLIDES open. Notice the how the back passenger door SLIDES open.

Fast-forward to the morning. The boys roll out of bed and, as they walk outside, they see glass by the front passenger door. They quickly realize the van has been broken into and all of their equipment is gone. But wait a minute!! As one of the guys is looking in through the broken window, something else should look wrong to the viewers. Check out how the back passenger door now has hinges and we can no longer see the handle for that door like we could before… Uhh, what the hell?

Notice the hinge on the back passenger door instead of the door handle that was there the night before. We can clearly see the guys swing the door open instead of slide it.
The guys now have to swing the door of the van open instead of sliding it open.

We even get a perfect shot of them swinging the door open rather than sliding it open. Were these prankster thieves who also switched out their van for one that was almost identical while robbing them?

I call bullshit.

And it doesn’t stop there. No, as we see the guys drive up to the show, we see that they seem to be back in the original van!! The sliding door is back with the two handles next to each other. Insane! But this van has plastic on the window (to cover the broken window) and everything.

Arriving at the show, the sliding back door is back!
The guys slide open the door to get out. We see one guy hopping on his foot to avoid glass from the broken window.

What’s up with that, A&E?! The thing is, there was no reason we had to know they had switched out the vans. With just a little better editing it wouldn’t have been noticeable. But, really, why did they even have to switch out the vans at all? Mo’s theory’s there is it was the production van that was broken into and that’s the van we saw in the parking lot of the motel the next day. But, but… how does that explain the bag on the window when they pulled up to the show? Or was that just for show?

They comment on the glass on the ground and one of the guys stepping on it (when they get out of the van at the show). I guess that’d be one way to really sell that it’s the same van. Except we can clearly see that it’s not. And if it was just the production equipment that got stolen then that means they staged the “Gene has to call to get them replacement instruments” stuff and that’s pretty low, even for a reality show.

I suppose we’ll never know the truth but Mo wanted me to put it out there to see if anyone else had noticed the van switch. If you did and you have a theory for why it happened, share with us in the comments. Please.

2 Responses to “Sex & Lies on Gene Simmons Family Jewels”

  1. 1
    Mo says:

    Thank you for posting… I now can put it behind me.

  2. 2
    Sandie says:

    You know Rae I used to watch the show at the very beginning because it was really fun, but I gave up on it when it started getting too scripted.
    And so speaking of “mistakes” on the show, a while back Nick was supposedly visiting a college and then decided to stay the night in the dorms. See the problem is the college he visited was Santa Monica Community college which does not have any dorms. So make of that what you want, haha.