Reality shows have risen in popularity so rapidly for awhile it looked like they where going to take over television. They even managed to enter into the usually statelier realm of premium cable such as Showtime.
Family Business is a series that follower the lives of Adam, single father, devoted son and pornographer under his nom de voyage, ‘Seymore Butts’. His mother Lila is the bookkeeper taking care of the back end of the business, no pun intended. Adam’s socially challenged and acerbic cousin Stevie serves as the operations officer for this most unusual of family endeavors. Thankfully, Adam’s young son, Brady, although shown in the more normal settings appears to have been completely sheltered from the adult aspects of his father’s vocation.
As the Family Business: Season 2 opens the audience gets to view the results and changes that have occurred due to the exposure provided by the Family Business: Season 1. Okay, again, not a pun. Steve now as aspirations of being an actor, he takes acting classes, goes out on auditions and even has a web site started. Lila does what comes natural for a nice Jewish mother, cooking. She begins to write a cookbook and is out there seeking a publisher. She of course also wants nothing more than to find a nice Jewish girl for her son to settle down with. She even sets him up with a speed dating evening to help that process along. As with the first season Adam is having some difficulty finding the right girl. For some reason the first dates seem to go well until that inevitable moment when the young lady asks the question, "What do you do for a living?" Even Adam’s girl Friday in his office has ambitions, Myrna wants to be a featured ‘dancer’ and star in some of Adam’s films. All of this has a downside for Adam who still is trying to run a business between all the side projects of his staff.
There are some strange moments presented in Family Business: Season 2. For example Stevie is trying to film his own videos for his web site. He hires a beautiful girl and sets her up with a guy. As the couple remove their clothing it turns out the girl is actually a guy. The never had problems like this on Father Knows Best. Meanwhile Adam is stuck doing more and more work usually done by others. He is noticeably becoming stressed. Yes, men that make adult films have business problems, albeit some of which are unique to their industry. Some problems the family encounters are more run of the mill. In one episode Stevie forgets his twenty fifth wedding anniversary and naturally encounters the ire of his wife. Adam’s solution is to bring everyone to Las Vegas where the couple can renew their vows. The scenes of the bachelor party are more explicit than a regular television show.
There actually is a strange sense of family here, even with the ancillary characters such as Myrna and camera-man Bishop. The point Family Business: Season 2 wants to get across is aside from the adult aspects of the business this is a normal family. While on the surface this seems to hold up there are few aspects of their lives that are not altered or affected to some degree by what they do. Adam comes off as a caring father and a man that has a moral code of sorts. Even though revealing what he does to the young women he dates turns most off he should get credit for being honest about it. As he explains to a couple of the women he would rather be left on the first date than start to develop a relationship only to have her leave when she finds out. Despite the additional work that comes to Adam he does seem to fully support the many side ventures of his friends, family and co-workers.
Steve is the natural comic relief for Family Business: Season 2. They paint him as the perpetual mess up of the family. Try as he might things always go wrong when Cousin Stevie is involved. In one episode when Adam is on a promotional trip Steve is placed in charged of the cover art for a new release. In the final proofs Steve realizes that his own vacation pictures got mixed in and where featured on the box, just what people what to see when buying an adult film, an older man in an Hawaiian shirt and pool shorts.
While much of Family Business: Season 2 seems even more staged than the typical reality show Family Business: Season 2 does have its entertaining moments. When Adam is explaining to his son Brady that he has to go out of town on business, to sell things and sign autographs. He son humbles his father a bit when he inquires ‘Who made you Mister Popular?" Like the Sopranos, this is the alternate family taken to the extreme but at its core it is still a rather functional family.
Of course there is a large amount of nudity in each episode on Family Business: Season 2. What many will find strange is that the large percentage of it is far from erotic. There are almost endless scenes of the technical aspects of making an adult film, all the direction, consisting mostly juggling body placement around camera angles. In these behind the scene looks we do get to see how Adam uses his family status to his advantage with the starlets. They appear to love his stories of how he dotes on his son and ooh and haa when his mommy calls him.
Typical of Showtime the Family Business: Season 2 DVD is well presented. The two disc set has five episodes each covering the entire Family Business: Season 2. The audio is provided in both Dolby 2.0 and Dolby 5.1. I found the 5.1 audio almost too overpowering. It booms out of the speakers with incredible force. I found it easier on the ears to switch to the two channel track. The video was clear and free of defects, not unexpected considering how new the source material is. While Family Business: Season 2 is not for every taste and definitely not for the whole family if you enjoy a ribald look at a bizarre family Family Business: Season 2 will bring a laugh.
by Doug MacLean of hometheaterinfo.com
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