Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Television Tuesday: Discussing Fandom-Blending Via, "The Family Stallone," Show

"The Family Stallone," is a new Paramount+ exclusive (for now, I could see it eventually getting syndicated too) and it follows actor Sylvester Stallone, his wife, Jennifer, and their three daughters. The eldest is Sistine, followed by Sophia, and then Scarlet. It's a reality show that will appeal a little bit to a variety of fandoms. The daughters are like less-annoying Kardashians who do a podcast, work in various businesses, and have the usual relationship drama and personal struggles that fans of trashy reality programs will eat up. However, the presence of Sly brings in a whole new demographic--I'd imagine--of older folks who are tuning in explicitly for him being a bit of a lovable grouch and hanging out with his family or actor-friends (In the year 2023 Al Pacino appeared for the first time in a reality show, let it be noted). These various fandoms could clash between Boomers with fond memories of, "Rambo," and Gen-Z youth who adore the daughters and follow them religiously on Instagram, but it weirdly enough manages to (mostly) work.

One big elephant in the room the first two episodes of the show do not address (but might eventually) is how Stallone and Jennifer actually filed for divorce while the show was filming and then reconciled. There is nary a hint of that in the debut episodes that were posted last week, with everything being much more breezy and fun outside of Sistine being upset due to her own relationship issues Sly talks her through. The vibe of the show is pretty chill and silly, with the girls loving to mess with Sly. One prank is a bit in bad taste--in my opinion--when he's led to believe via a birthday cake he'll be a grandfather soon and throws a fit about not even having met a potential baby daddy. I see what the ladies were going for, but yeesh.

Half the show's (older) viewers will be ecstatic to see Al Pacino.
The other (younger) half will have no clue who he is.

Some reviews have found this to a, "By-the-book," reality affair where you have a famous family getting up to various shenanigans, learning a valuable life lesson, talking about familial love, rinse and repeat. That isn't necessarily false, but the presence of grouchy but sweet ol' Sly always being there ready to point out just how absurd the show is, in fact, does inject a nice bit of actual reality into the, "Reality show," format. Sly is the glue that holds the show together, and that arguably makes me like this program more than I would've expected. Whether the mish-mash of fandoms tuning in will feel the same way shall remain to be seen. The show did make me want to watch, "Demolition Man," again, as that's my favorite role starring Stallone, so if this at least bumps-up sales of his movies then mission accomplished, I suppose.

4 out of 5 stars (for the first two episodes).

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