Now Streaming: “George and Tammy”


The title of this series that premiered in December 2022, refers to country music icons, George Jones and Tammy Wynette. The drama series is still available for streaming on Showtime apps. The show is impactful not only for its documentation of the lives of country music royalty, but also in how it details complicated relationships in general.

The stars in “George and Tammy”

Probably the least likely casting choice is Michael Shannon as country performer George Jones. Shannon might be better known to audiences as the repressed, hypocritical, and self-flagellating federal agent, Nelson Van Alden on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” Therefore, hearing Shannon sing, watching him interact with other people in a way Van Alden could only dream of, is a bit of a surprise.

Opposite Shannon is the versatile Jessica Chastain. Probably most viewers will probably recall Chastain from her role in 2011’s “The Help.” She was also in “Blonde” (2022), “A Most Violent Year” (2014), “Molly’s Game” (2017), among other releases.

Shannon and Chastain create believable chemistry in the series. So much so that at times it did not matter that they were actors in a biographical series. It also did not matter that they were supposed to portray famous people. However, audiences might wonder if some of the issues the couple faced would have existed had they not been famous.

“George and Tammy”: portrayal of human issues

Without being what some would call a “hatchet job,” “George and Tammy” shows the beloved stars at high and low points, with several funny bits in between. The humanity illustrated by the depiction of Tammy’s mental health struggles, and the family made with George’s Possum Band, gave the show a feel very much like nostalgia for a time that is long gone, and in some cases, before the viewers’ time.

For viewers who are aware of such issues as “toxic masculinity,” the way George is shown to have released Tammy from her husband, might be an example of that, or he might be a hero, depending perspective.

It should be noted that “George and Tammy” is based on a book by Georgette Jones. And for people who require more details in their biopics, the aforementioned title might be a place to turn for more information, and perhaps greater descriptions of events. In some ways, “George and Tammy” wraps up too abruptly. Part of the fun in watching the series was seeing the ways the lead characters dressed that not only exemplified Western wear, but also reflected the time periods in which they lived. But the rather sudden jump to 1995, wherein Tammy is out of her element on a music video set. It has none of Tammy’s sartorial or musical style.

Still, “George and Tammy” is one of the best surprises on a streaming site. It transcends and includes country music fans, and shows the humanity of two legendary performers.

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