Family Business: The Complete First Season
Appearing under the pseudonym "Seymore Butts," producer-director-star Adam Glasser and his former sidekick, the ravenous sex kitten "Shane," found their niche in a porn industry that had grown increasingly specialized. With glossy, sterile "couples" porn on one end of the spectrum and legions of sadists, fetishists, and amateur gynecologists on the other, the "Seymore And Shane" videos were refreshingly laid-back and naturalistic, like the home movies of hip swingers looking for a good time. Compared to the dolts and trolls that dominate the profession, Glasser is relatively intelligent and charismatic, which makes him a natural subject for the reality-television series Family Business, where The Osbournes meets Project Greenlight meets Showtime at 3 a.m. Now 38, going gray, living in a cavernous bachelor pad, and sharing custody of a 6-year-old boy, Glasser looks like industry wreckage, but Family Business tries to spin him as a nice Jewish boy who kisses girls for a living. The show's central conceit, repeated ad nauseam through annoying whip-pan transitions and a too-cute xylophone score, is that Glasser can wear two hats comfortably. One afternoon, he's Seymore Butts, blocking scenes for signature anal and female-ejaculation series with titles like Assgasms and Squirters. The next, he's a devoted father and family man, tossing the ol' ball around with his son and sharing an ice-cream cone at Ben & Jerry's. Over 10 episodes, the series never once questions his ability to change from Superdad to Superstud, which wouldn't be so suspicious had the producers not failed to include obvious information. (Who's the mother? Why the breakup? What are the terms of custody? How does Glasser feel about the boy's second home doubling as a porn set?) As the title suggests, family and business co-exist harmoniously in the Glasser clan, with Adam's proud mom Lila manning the books and his irascible 60-year-old cousin Stevie doing the dirty work of hounding local distributors, gophering for lube and enemas, and even shooting a scene when a guest director flakes out. In the series' wacky sitcom universe, Stevie has been cast as the lovable old pervert, but instead he comes across as a miserable lout, given to aggressive skirt-chasing and diarrheic strings of profanity. Family Business only feels honest during porn shoots and committee meetings, when the gritty necessities of positioning cameras for the money shot or shipping units of Gapes Of Wrath supercedes the unreality of the Glassers playing themselves on TV. The rest of the time, the show functions strictly as a ploy to expand to ancillary markets, with all the spontaneity and candor that implies.