Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Emmy Episodes: Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings

It’s always my policy to watch every Emmy-nominated episode each year, which leads me to sample a handful of shows that I don’t tune in to on a regular basis. For the fifth year in a row, I’m making a special effort to spotlight each of those installments to offer my perspective on shows that I don’t review each week.

Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings: Season 1, Episode 8 “These Old Bones” (B)

This is the second time in four years that a Dolly Parton production has been nominated for Best TV Movie, though it’s the first one I’ve seen. This is actually the eighth and final episode of a series that was apparently eligible to submit in this category since it’s the only installment from the show that exceeds the newly-required 75-minute runtime. I haven’t had too many run-ins with Parton aside from the song “Jolene” having been played recently during a spin class and having been stuck in my head ever since then. This was a sentimental story, one that was aware of just how sappy it was from the start and eager to present a heartwarming and layered portrait of a mountain town and its people. Kathleen Turner was indeed good as Bones, and Ginnifer Goodwin, best known for “Once Upon a Time” and a standout on “Why Women Kill,” was well-cast opposite her as the lawyer returning home to represent her law firm and its imperialistic client. Kyle Bornheimer tends to be cast more in comedic roles like on “Perfect Couples” and “Romantically Challenged,” and he was recently a fun part of “Avenue 5.” He did well enough here too, supporting a story that was dependent on some supernatural elements but ultimately was about the relationship between two people who never had a chance to get to know each other. It was definitely captivating, and though I’d be shocked to see it win, it does boast strong production values and features a deeper plot than I would have initially thought at its start.

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