TV Review: ‘4th and Loud’

"4th and Loud" TV Review on

Given the KISS connection, AMC’s “4th and Loud” has appropriately hidden a pretty solid docu-series underneath lots of heavy makeup. At its core, this show about the LA KISS – a new arena football team, which counts KISS members Gene Simmons (last seen in reality circles flashing his “Family Jewels”) and Paul Stanley among the owners – operates on two tracks: A sports show, about guys risking life and limb to chase their football dreams; and a business start-up, where management periodically clashes with the front-line staff. For AMC – whose reality offerings haven’t particularly impressed – the premiere delivers an unexpectedly solid kickoff.

Not surprisingly, the opening moments play up KISS’ rock ‘n roll credentials, but they’re only part of the management brain trust, which also includes KISS manager Doc McGhee, managing partner/owner Brett Bouchy, and president/owner Schuyler Hoversten.

The ownership’s concerns, however, run parallel – and occasionally, at cross-purposes – with those of coach Bob McMillen, and the various players trying out for a shot at the team, where, we’re told, the average compensation is a mere $830 a week. Most hang on to day jobs while going through practices, and in the premiere, two grapple with injuries – one brought about by a car accident that resulted in brain damage years before – that threaten their careers.

There is, perhaps inevitably, some play acting involved. It’s hard to believe, for example, that Simmons is so naïve as to be shocked that playing full-contact football with a head injury might be a life-threatening proposition. (As a footnote, with L.A. in serious drought conditions, it’s also kind of weird to see a practice rained out, which can’t help but make an Angeleno wonder, “When the hell was that?”)

For the most part, though, “4th and Loud” is actually spare and serious, with McMillen pushing back against moronic-sounding plans like having players wear KISS makeup during games – a marketing flourish that he sees, rightly so, as putting showbiz ahead of sports, and turning the players into carnival acts.

Frankly, the series’ game plan might not have enough bells and whistles to flourish as a reality show – where the audience is programmed to tap into outlandish characters – unless people become invested in individual players. And despite the promising start, there’s a lot of game to be played, as it were, until the final gun.

For now, though, AMC has delivered an interesting series whose insights regarding the hunger that drives athletes wouldn’t look out of place on ESPN. And while “4th and Loud” feels a little too understated to make anybody want to rock ‘n roll all nite, it’s not hard to root for this plucky underdog to make a little noise.

TV Review: '4th and Loud'

(Series; AMC, Tue. Aug. 12, 9 p.m.)

Production

Produced by Thinkfactory Media.  

Crew

Executive producers, Adam Freeman, Adam Reed, Chris Gillen, Erin Kelley, Leslie Greif; co-executive producer, Mayen Ma; supervising producers, Alan Bloom, Paul Peltekian; senior producer, Natalie Gecht; producer, Kevin Oberding; camera, Tim Obeck; editors, Peltekian, Joe Guercio. 60 MIN.

Cast

With: Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons

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  1. duvidl says:

    Tuned-in to this show by accident. Thought I was watching re-runs of “The Osbournes”.

  2. Mike says:

    Tammy, the Arena Football season is almost over. The Arena Bowl will air on ESPN this Saturday night, August 23, at 8pm Eastern Time, featuring the Arizona Rattlers battling the Cleveland Gladiators. “4th and Loud” should give viewers insight as to why the LA Kiss had a rough season in 2014.

  3. Tammy says:

    I like the show, but what channel can actually watch the games? Also I think the dancers should be called LA kissers and at the end of each routine blow kisses to the fans. Just a thought!!

  4. Spooldie says:

    Kiss is the only rock band I know that puts money/fame before music. Other bands (Rolling Stones,Beatles,Aerosmith,The Who..etc) have their music as legacy…

  5. Tracy says:

    Being a football mom for years with close connections to the Arena game and the struggle the athletes endure to play this game they love, I applaud AMC for not editing out the lack of attention to the athletes to provide the proper environment in which to thrive as a team. If the series continues with this honest exposure LA fans are sure to understand what led to the loosing season. Hopefully the owners will learn from that too and make the necessary changes next year.

  6. Heywood Jablowme says:

    Give the show a chance and realize it doesnt have to have bells and whistles to protray real life. Thats the problem we need to create a fantasy to have people involved. How about people watch and learn how to start up a business and see whats all involved. Or look at the troubles of a second chance athelete trying to get another chance.

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