We’ve seen for you… George & Tammy, Love and Country Music

We’ve seen for you… George & Tammy, Love and Country Music

Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon play George & Tammy in a biographical series that follows the history of this legendary country couple.

What is George & Tammy? In the 1960s, George Jones (Michael Shannon) is a country music star, while Tammy Wynette (Jessica Chastain) embarks on a promising career. When she is hired to support George, it’s love at first sight. Everyone is married on their side, but that doesn’t matter: carried away by passion, they leave their respective families. Thus begins a romantic and professional relationship that will last for years, punctuated by romance and hits like Stand by your man, but also by gray areas, arguments, breakups and heartache.

George and Tammy was originally intended to be a movie starring Josh Brolin in the male lead. Abe Sylvia finally adapted the book in the form of a series The three of us: growing up with Tammy and George, written by her daughter Georgette Jones. The names of George Jones and Tammy Wynette, still a legendary country music couple, probably mean nothing to you. On the other hand, you will inevitably be familiar with the hits that underline the series dedicated to them, starting with the song Stand by your man. But even if you’ve never heard of these two musicians, even if you’re not a big fan of country music, you’ll discover it with them George and Tammy a masterful series that manages to encapsulate in just six episodes the true and heartbreaking story of their troubled and sulphurous relationship from their encounter to their death.

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The series begins in the late 1960s: George Jones is a country music superstar, even if his career seems to be on the decline; For her part, Tammy Wynette is an unknown but talented singer. She grew up listening to George’s songs and doesn’t hesitate for a second when she is offered to go on stage to work with her idol. The meeting ignites: at first sight, the two musicians fall madly in love with each other. All are single married, but George is on the verge of a divorce anyway, and Tammy eventually leaves her husband, Don (Pat Healy), a mediocre and violent singer-songwriter who takes their children with him. marriage, separation, reconciliation, divorce; Concerts, legendary duo hits, solo careers; Passion, jealousy, addiction, illness: the couple would experience a series of ups and downs, happiness and sorrows, and their names would remain inseparable — until Wynette’s death in 1998 at the age of 55.

George and Tammy, love and country music

Jessica Chastain, who is producing the series, insisted that the role of George should go to her boyfriend Michael Shannon, with whom she previously shared the film’s poster take shelter. The choice is particularly inspired, not only because we know the actor’s talent, but also because he is the singer of the rock group Caporal and therefore has a real legitimacy to step into the musician’s skin. And that’s despite admitting he’s not a big fan of country music. For her part, Chastain worked with a Nashville vocal coach, and the lessons paid off: she totally honors Wynette’s character. When they are accompanied by Walton Goggins or Tim Blake Nelson in particular, the chemistry between Chastain and Shannon is particularly captivating, and both shine in complex roles that they know how to grasp dramaturgically rather than musically.

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If we really think about it Walk the line, a 2005 film starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon as Johnny Cash and June Carter (the country’s other great love story), George & Tammy focuses on a shorter period in which the two stars shone together before going their separate ways went. The causes of the rupture include a mix of alcoholism, domestic violence, outside pressures and psychological fragility. From recording studios to concerts, from tour buses to writing sessions, from interviews to TV shows, from family homes to motel rooms; We delve into the world of country music, the music industry and the life of this couple bound by a deep love but also by a series of toxic dynamics that send them spiraling into horrific self-destruction.

For the series, Michael Shannon switches from rock to country

Classic biopic, straightforward and geared towards the development of the two protagonists and their relationship, George and Tammy oscillate between light and shadow – and privilege the dark side, but without ever tipping over into pathos. Tender and melancholic, the series gives the music a prominent place, not just as a soundtrack. Each episode bears the title of one of the duo’s emblematic successes, and that’s not just a pretext: the music, the songs are the reflection or expression of the lives of George and Tammy. The lyrics reveal their feelings, their situation, their suffering, as do so many messages they address to one another – like the sublime Stand by your man, composed by Tammy Wynette, which claims her loyalty and support for the man she loves, when he is at his lowest. The soundtrack, which is great in itself, enriches the story and intensifies all emotions: love, pain, jealousy, regret. And still love. Love always.

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Carried by the amazing performances of Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon, George and Tammy tell a love story that is as romantic and tragic as it is true. With masterful dramatic writing, perfect pacing and a perfect re-enactment of the era, it’s a heartbreaking series full of empathy for its characters. It also has the great quality of making the majority of the audience discover a mythical couple whose destiny, seemingly straight out of a novel, has left an indelible mark on country music.

George and Tammy
6 episodes of about 52′.
On Paramount+.