Adam Glasser seems like an ordinary guy. He's a single father, with a loving mother who works for his business as the bookkeeper, and a crusty, but loveable curmudgeon of a cousin named Stevie who handles most of the "grunt work" of Adam's business.
Seems like the perfect family…and it is, except for the fact that the "Family Business" is pornography, and Adam is none other than "Seymore Butts", one of the most popular and noteworthy producers of adult entertainment in the entire industry.
I missed Family Business when it first aired on Showtime, and was a little wary about reviewing the DVDs. Most of the mainstream work I have seen about the adult industry either paints it as dark and sleazy or overly glamorous, and the truth of the matter is that it's neither – it's just a business like any other…okay, except for the fact that you occasionally get to see a really attractive girl naked. But that's the only difference…really!
When the average person on the street hears the word "porn", they probably think of Larry Flynt. But Adam and his family are the real face of the adult industry…just average, everyday people like you and I, and I was glad to see Showtime give us a real (and often humorous) look at what really goes on in the life of adult industry workers.
Here's what you'll get to see in the first season of Family Business:
"Personal Ads" - If you think it's easy to get a girlfriend when working in the adult business, think again! The girls that work as talent aren't exactly the kind who conjure up thoughts of "commitment" and "reliability", and girls outside the business almost always run once they hear the word "porn" come out of your mouth. That's the cruel fate Adam learns in episode one, as he tries to use an online dating service to find the woman of his dreams…and it doesn't work any better for him than it has for me! (Err…I mean those who would use an online dating service. Yeah…that's what I meant!)
"Reunion" - Despite his status in the adult business, Adam decides that he is going to go to his high school reunion. While most are generally polite to him, you can see the looks of disgust behind the eyes of many of Adam's so-called "friends". It's a good lesson on how we prejudge people based on what they do rather than who they are, and viewers can't help but feel sorry for Adam, who actually seems like the most decent person at the reunion.
"Casa de Butts" – Like Adam at his high school reunion, Adam's mom, Lila, gets a harsh reaction from her new neighbor when she finds out that Lila's son makes a living in the adult film business.
"Sex Toys" - Adam decides to use the "Seymore Butts" name and produce his own line of sex toys. He has a meeting planned with Doc Johnson, the number one manufacturer of adult sex novelties, but he needs to find a sketch artist for his ideas. It's cousin Stevie to the rescue…but not before a few bumps in the road have to be cleared.
"Strictly BiznASS" - Adam has been busy shooting a new film at his house, and his mom feels like Adam needs to find a hobby outside of work. Stevie decides to let Adam sit in on a poker game with his buddies – and Adam has a negative reaction to some of the people he has to spend the evening with.
"Seymore's Other ASSets" - An amateur couple offers Adam $5000 to shoot a personal video for them…but when the male half of the couple has some "performance problems", things start to go downhill!
"ASSistant" - Adam's extremely cute assistant decides that she wants to do porn! But Adam wants to talk her out of it! Fortunately for the home viewer, Adam loses his fight! Woo Hoo!
"Las VegASS" - Adam and Stevie take a trip to the January 2003 AVN Show in Las Vegas. At the show, Adam finds himself attracted to stunning blonde Digital Playground Contract Girl Jesse Jane. Meanwhile, Stevie checks out a bondage show!
"I Want To Be An Adult Film Star" - The Canadian daughter of a friend of the family comes to Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a porn star. Once again, Adam finds himself trying to convince a young woman that the industry is not for her.
"Roller Disco Boogie" - It's Uncle Stevie's birthday, and what better way to celebrate than a roller rink full of porn stars…naked porn stars!
Shot mostly with hand-held video (much like Adam's own adult films), the picture here is pretty sharp and free from any evident pixilation or other problems. The episodes are presented in the full-frame format – the same as they originally appeared on Showtime.
Each episode has a crisp 5.1 Dolby Digital track, with the option of listening to a Spanish mono track, for those that habla Espanol.
Disc Two contains one Commentary Track on the "Seymore's Other ASSets" episode. The commentary is done by executive producers Jay Blumenfield and Anthony Marsh, and it's an enjoyable track…although one wishes they would have provided tracks for a few more episodes.
The rest of the bonus material is all on Disc Four, and begins with Mother Knows Best, a few comments and clips featuring Adam's mom, Lila. There's then a collection of Deleted Scenes, including extended versions of Stevie's lap dance in a sex store and his encounter with a bondage girl in Las Vegas. Also included is a music video of Family Business' Theme Song, as well as a section called Butt Stevie?, which is a montage of some of Stevie's greatest profane moments (boy, does this guy love to say the "F" word!). Behind The Butts is a brief look at the Seymore Butts offices, plus comments about what everyone's jobs are. Rounding out the bonus features are a Season 2 Preview, plus Family Interviews that include comments from both Adam and Stevie.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Family Business is a winner. It's a reality series that is both highly entertaining and highly addictive. If you have an aversion to pornography or nudity, this probably isn't going to be your cup of tea. However, if you've always been curious about the adult business or are a porn watcher who doesn't know much about how those movies really get made, this DVD set is highly recommended.