×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: ‘4th and Loud’

With:
With: Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons

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

More TV

  • The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

    TV News Roundup: 'The Daily Show with Trevor Noah' to Air Live After Democratic Debates

    In today’s roundup, Trevor Noah announces two live specials after the first Democratic debates and the new season of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” sets a premiere date. SPECIALS “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” will broadcast live following the Democratic Party’s first 2020 presidential primary debates on June 26 and 27 at 11 p.m. ET on Comedy Central. [...]

  • Agents Accuse Writers Guild of Refusing

    Writers Guild 'Plans to Respond' to Agents' Proposal as Frustration Mounts

    In a sign of increasing frustration, Hollywood agents have accused the Writers Guild of America of foot-dragging in the bitter two-month dispute. “It has become clear as more days pass that the Guild is not interested in making a deal,” said the negotiating committee for the agents in statement issued Tuesday. “Over the past year, [...]

  • Samantha Bee Variety

    Samantha Bee Isn't Thrilled to Be the Last Woman Standing in Late Night

    Samantha Bee is now the only female host in late night, and that’s a stat she’s not happy about. “It’s a bit unsettling,” Bee recently told Variety. “It’s been a bad year to be a woman in this space. It’s not really a badge that I want to wear.” Shows that have been canceled over [...]

  • XXXTentacion

    Watch a Trailer for New XXXTentacion Documentary

    A year to the day after rapper XXXTentacion was murdered, his estate has released a trailer for an upcoming documentary on the artist, which the announcement says is “releasing soon.” The clip, which includes narration from X himself, captures quick flashes of him reuniting with family and friends, engaging with fans, and working on music. In the [...]

  • The-Saddest-Goal

    Fascism and Fútbol Feature in Chilean Series Project ‘The Saddest Goal’

    PAMPLONA, Spain – Chilean production company Manufactura de Películas pitched its unconventional Pinochet-era drama “The Saddest Goal” today at Spain’s Conecta Fiction TV co-production and networking TV event, held in Pamplona. Set during qualification for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, a period of great political instability in Chile, “The Saddest Goal” kicks off as the [...]

  • Spain’s La Claqueta, Portugal’s SPi Ink

    Conecta Fiction: La Claqueta and SPi Ink Fiction Co-Production Pact

    Spain’s Seville-based shingle La Claqueta and Portugal’s SPi have clinched a co-development agreement for three fiction projects a year. Companies first made contact at last year’s Conecta Fiction, the annual co-production meet in Spain. The companies have also pacted to co-produce the animated feature-length docu “El viaje más largo” in collaboration with Portuguese pubcaster RTP [...]

  • Eliza Clark

    'Y: The Last Man' Series at FX Hires Eliza Clark as New Showrunner

    The FX series based on “Y: The Last Man” has found its new showrunner. Eliza Clark has been named showrunner, writer, and executive producer on the upcoming series — which is titled simply “Y” — based on the graphic novels by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. She takes over from original showrunners Michael Green [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content