The song “Jolene” by Dolly Parton is near and dear to my heart. My award winning (dive bar karaoke contest, Savannah GA, 2001) rendition of the 1973 hit brings down the house every time. So you’ll understand why I might feel a bit protective of it. According to Deadline, “Jolene” will be one of the songs featured in the upcoming Netflix anthology series Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings, a show that will dramatize 8 of Dolly’s “most beloved songs”. For the “Jolene” episode, Julianne Hough will play the titular home wrecking tramp and I’m left wondering, where are her flaming locks of auburn hair? Eyes of emerald green? I’m strongly against this casting choice but it seems Dolly’s on board, and she did write the song so I’m just going to have to let her have this one.
Deadline says Dolly will have a role in the episode as well and will play Babe, the owner of a honky-tonk with “a notorious reputation for its scantily-clad waitresses and eclectic crowd”, so a Hoedown Hooters, I guess. Or maybe it’s more like Country Fried Coyote Ugly. Rural Rhinestone? At any rate, Jolene is one of Babe’s favorite waitresses and Kimberly Williams-Paisley plays the previously unnamed narrator of the song, Emily (KWP is married to Brad Paisley and played the daughter in Father of The Bride).
Now, it’s kind of ridiculous to build an entire narrative around “Jolene” with really is just one woman, begging another women, to not take her man, even though she can. But in this show they are making Emily and Jolene friends before Emily’s man even comes into the picture. He will be played by the perpetually mopey looking Dallas Roberts who I remember as Owen, Alicia Florrick’s brother on The Good Wife. In this, he plays Aaron, a “loving husband and father” who is struggling with a mid-life crisis.
Blerg, too complicated! The beauty of Jolene is in its simplicity. She’s hot, the narrator is shook, and the man is obsessed. No need to have Emily start “a new chapter of her life as the president of the Coventry’s Women’s League”! It’s too much. But, since it’s Dolly, I will be watching. The woman has given me too much for me to turn my back on her now.
I hope they do an episode based on “Evening Shade” which is one of my most beloved Dolly songs. It’s all about a group of orphans getting together to murder the house mother. Now, there’s a narrative with legs!