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'4th and Loud' review: Arena football, sealed with Kiss

The new unscripted hour

The new unscripted hour "4th and Loud" (10 p.m., AMC) with LA KISS, an Arena Football League team owned by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. Credit: AMC / Ben Leuner

THE SHOW "4th and Loud"

WHEN | WHERE Tuesdays at 9 p.m., AMC

WHAT IT'S ABOUT Almost exactly a year ago, Kiss frontmen Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons -- along with manager Doc McGhee and Arena Football League executive Bret Bouchy -- bought a Los Angeles Arena Football League expansion team, and quickly named it -- what else? -- the LA Kiss. Coaches and players were hired -- tonight the 24-man roster is put together -- and a future begins to take shape, which this doc-series will track. And what a future: Simmons and Stanley decided to impose Kiss style and energy on the team, which was smart, perhaps, from a marketing standpoint, but perhaps not from a winning one. The Kiss had a very rough first season -- three wins, 15 losses. As such, this series may not have a happy ending, at least for the first season.

MY SAY Deep, deep in the shadow of the NFL is the AFL -- arena football, well hidden to most except dedicated fans who like its pace (fast) and scoring (high). Games are played in pocket-size stadiums (arenas, if you will) by talented players who, nonetheless, were not quite talented enough to play in the NFL.

The punchline here would appear to be that it's so bargain-basement and so borderline cheesy that even Kiss is now an owner. (So is Mötley Crüe -- but that's probably another reality series.) But what's surprising is that there's nothing remotely cheesy about "4th and Loud," a good docuseries that trains the camera most of the time on the guys on the field. That's absolutely the right direction to point the lens because they're the ones with the real dreams -- young men who ardently want to play professional football and refuse to let those dreams die. It's a little sad, but also a little inspirational, even if the team they're playing for is called the LA Kiss. (Now, about that name. . . .)

BOTTOM LINE Surprise, surprise -- Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley appear to be serious team owners and the series documenting their wild, crazy new venture is serious, too.


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