George and Tammy – The DVDfever Review – Jessica Chastain, Michael Shannon – Paramount+

George And Tammy George And Tammy, which centres around the relationship between singer-songwriters George Jones and Tammy Wynette, opens with the words:

    “In the late ’60s, George Jones was the undisputed King of Country Music… but he was slipping.

    Then he met a former hairdresser just starting to climb the charts. Her name was Virginia Pugh… Better known as Tammy Wynette.”

Now, I have to be honest… I’d never heard of George Jones, but of course, I had heard of Tammy Wynette, and not least because of her collaboration with the KLF in 1991 with Justified & Ancient.

But in this Paramount+ series, we go back to 1968, and George’s (Michael Shannon) career is on the wane, not least because he’s a constant drunk, and thinks nothing of urinating all over someone else’s carpet. Tammy (Jessica Chastain) is an up-and-coming new talent, and this takes a look at their fractured relationship.

Along the way, we see her crying while singing D.I.V.O.R.C.E., since she’s having arguments with musician and husband Don Chapel (Pat Healy), and he’s far from keen that she’s spending too much time with this new man, given how her burgeoning career is taking off, all of which rather causes consternation between the two men. Would she put her family in second place behind George?

George Jones as Will Burgundy

Personally, as I mentioned, I’d never heard of George Jones before, but in looking him up, he seems a bit similar to Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy, making me wonder if perhaps Ferrell should’ve played him in a rare straight role (as he did in The Shrink Next Door), as he doesn’t do drama too often. To me, I’ve only seen Michael Shannon in drama and he does sound the same in everything, so that’s why I can’t think of him as anything other than him.

Whether the two leads are the right actors for the job is one thing to question, since Ms Chastain is 45, yet playing a woman who’s 25 and up. Meanwhile, Mr Shannon is 48, and George Jones is almost 40, so there’s not too much of an age gap there, but couldn’t they get two actors of closer age?

Two episodes was enough for me, but if you’re a big fan of country music and the relationship between George Jones and Tammy Wynette, this may be more up your street. To me, it’s just another angst-ridden drama about two singers with messy personal lives.

That said, I did like the moment where George eats a raw potato to soak up the booze. I should try that!

Thanks to our friends at Paramount+ for the screener prior to release.

George and Tammy is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is on Paramount+ from Monday Decvember 5th, showing weekly. Okay, so it’s stated as December 4th in the US, but given that it’s on at 9pm there, it’ll be at 2am in the UK, so it crosses midnight, yet starts at exactly the same time.

George And Tammy – Official Trailer – Paramount+

Detailed specs:

Running time: 45-50 minutes per episode (6 episodes, weekly)
Release date: December 5th 2022
Studio: Paramount+
Format: 2.00:1

Director: John Hillcoat
Creator: Abe Sylvia
Writers: Mary Castellanos, Logan Faust, Abe Sylvia, Sheri Holman, Bryan Goluboff, Becky Mode, Lindsey Villarreal
Based on ‘The Three of Us: Growing Up with Tammy and George’ by Georgette Jones
Music: David Mansfield

Tammy Wynette: Jessica Chastain
George Jones: Michael Shannon
Billy Sherrill: David Wilson Barnes
George Richey: Steve Zahn
Don Chapel: Pat Healy
Peanutt: Walton Goggins
Lou Bradley: Joshua C Allen
Harold Bradley: John Teer
Sheila Richey: Kelly McCormack
Jan Smith: Katy Mixon
Charlene: Kate Arrington
Georgette: Regan Ciccarelli
Pappy Daily: Robert Morgan