Parents' Guide to

George & Tammy

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Drinking, domestic violence in luminous biography.

TV Showtime Drama 2022
George & Tammy Television: Poster image

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Is It Any Good?

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Delicate and wistful, this unusually effective bio-series follows the typical beats of a behind-the-music style treatment but the powerhouse puts it in a league above. Of course, fans of country music, Jones, Wynette, or all three know that the narrative is headed nowhere good, but the acting by Shannon and Chastain is so affecting, and the chemistry between them so potent that danged if George & Tammy doesn't make you wish for a while that it would work out between these two great big messes. Chastain is particularly magical during long scenes in which she performs Wynette's hits like "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" and "Stand By Your Man"; what might have been inert in other dramatizations makes you feel the heartbreak lying just behind the words (and her singing, like Shannon's, was recorded for the film and is startlingly good).

These performances, the brisk pace, and the sumptuous visuals all make it easy to fall into George & Tammy's story and forget for long moments the inevitable conclusion. Director John Hillcoat has an unusually keen eye for details that show instead of telling: the ersatz gleam of rhinestones on Jones' stage suit as he lolls drunkenly beside a toilet, the crisp smack of hundreds of hard-soled shoes stomping impatiently on a concrete floor as a grouchy crowd waits for the show to start. We've seen these moments before and seen similar stories told, but George & Tammy's artistry makes it all feel new, alluring, and terribly sad.

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