orn is a multi-billionaire dollar a year business. Some
say porn is the only reason the Internet is so popular, and it's been proven
again and again that porn is the only sure-fire profitable business on the World
Wide Web. So what does that say about our society? Well, for one, it says that
people love porn. Rather you approve or not, "Family Business" is
about the porn industry. Or, to be more precise, about a man name Adam Glasser
and his family, mother Lila and (much older) cousin Stevie, who runs a porn
empire known as "Seymore Butts", the other name Glasser goes by.
Only on the Showtime channel could "Family
Business" not only find an audience, but get made in the first place.
Showtime, for those of you who don't know, is a premium cable channel in the
States, so that means in order to get it you have to pay for the privilege.
Besides Showtime, HBO would probably be the only other viable home for this
reality series, although that would be a stretch nowadays considering that HBO
is trying to move away from trash with epic miniseries like "Band
of Brothers" and shows like "The Sopranos".
There's plenty of nudity in "Family Business" and
definitely more than insinuated sex, since the series follows Glasser as he
shoots one quickie porn movie after another. (In porn lingo, the type of movies
Glasser shoots are called "gonzo", which are basically shot on video,
has no story, and is basically people getting together and having sex.) In the
first episode, we meet Glasser, who lives in a big, vacuous house that he also
uses to shoot most of his movies. (I wonder what the cleaning bill for his
living room alone looks like?)
The first thing you notice is how lonely and isolated
Glasser is. The house is almost sterile, with no recognizable personality to its
aesthetics. Glasser himself is divorced and shares custody of his 6-year old son
Brady with his wife. (The wife never appears in the series, and her name is
never mentioned.) In the first episode, Glasser makes lunch for Brady and drives
the boy to school, not realizing that Labor Day is a national holiday, and that
schools are closed! The sequence really brings home that, despite the fact that
Glasser and others in the porn industry would like to think that they're
"like everyone else", they are in fact not. The "average"
person knows that schools and most businesses are not open on Labor Day.
The second episode takes Glasser to his 20-year high school
reunion, where he frets about what others will think of him. The third episode
focuses more on Glasser's mother, Lila, who is also his bookkeeper. We see what
it's like for Lila when people ask that dreaded question: "So, what does
your son do for a living?" This question, actually, forms the basis for the
show's best moments. It's uncanny how the camera captures the shocked,
surprised, disgusted, or in some cases, delighted look on the face of people who
asks the question and gets an answer back. In the first episode, Glasser goes on
two Internet dates that both end rather disastrously.
"Family Business" is an interesting series, but
I'm not entirely sure where it can go from here. I suppose the series can
continue to follow Glasser's day-to-day business, but the fact that there's no
planned "ending" might damper any hopes of the series being known as a
"must see" show. For instance, I actually saw the third episode first,
and there was nothing about the episode that required me to have seen the first
two in order to understand it. In a way this is a good thing, because newcomers
can jump on board at any time. Then again, fans that devote their time to
watching "favorite" shows like to think that their devotion offers
them something the average fan doesn't get.
The most interesting thing about "Family
Business" is just what a nice and affable guy Glasser is. If anything, he
might just be too nice for his own good. For instance, his editor Bishop takes
luxuries with his boss' time, and probably looks down on Glasser as not being a
"real filmmaker" as opposed to himself. Cousin Stevie is a
50-something screw up, prone to long bouts of laziness and grumpy disposition.
Adoring mother Lila is an understanding mom, proud that her son has achieved
great success in his chosen business, and ready to defend her son to the bitter
"Family Business" has a lot going for it, and
it's no big deal to spend 30 minutes a day with Glasser. As mentioned, the guy
is very likeable, and you root for him in his search for true love. But when
your name is Seymore Butts and you produce videos called "Squirters",
where girls literally ejaculate liquid out of their, er, privates, what are the
chances that the "perfect woman" will also be that