October 18

Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings: Eight Episodes You Should Not Miss

In case you missed it, the country queen teamed up with Netflix for a feel-good anthology series you shouldn’t miss. Premiered on the streaming service in November 2019, Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings brought her iconic country music catalog to life and on the small screen.

It came with eight standalone episodes that take inspiration from one of her iconic songs. And in addition to Dolly Parton appearing in the series, either with an acting role or to introduce the episode, the cast also includes some big names like Ginnifer Goodwin, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, and Kyle Bornheimer.

RELATED: Top 10 Dolly Parton Songs You Should Definitely Listen To

So, get ready to stream and expect to be humming along with the entire series.

“Jolene”

The opening episode brought back one of Dolly’s best-known subjects, the infamous man stealer, “Jolene.” The Dancing with the Stars alum, Julianne Hough, took on the role of the iconic red-headed bombshell and her seductive reputation.

Just like the Jolene that inspired the country classic, the film’s Jolene worked as a bank teller but was fired for dressing a little too daringly and for flirting with clients. She then found herself working at the honky tonk, Baby Blues. There she met Emily, an older married lady she became fast friends with. But things hit the skids when Emily’s husband started getting attracted to Jolene.

Parton also appeared in the episode as the Baby Blues’ owner who took Jolene under her wing.

“Two Doors Down”

Episode 2 of Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings is renowned not only because it’s a holiday episode but also because its story focuses on a gay couple, Tyler and Cole.

The sparkling melodrama started when Tyler, a closeted gay man played by Broadway star Andy Mientus, attended his sister’s wedding. However, the picture-perfect event was followed by a revelation of several secrets, leading to a painful clash with his homophobic mother, played by Oscar-winning actress Melissa Leo. It turned out, Tyler was in love with Cole, his mother’s assistant.

The episode absolutely explored the uphill battle of fighting upon the never-changing family traditions and standards.

“If I Had Wings”

The past’s misery and future’s promise smash into this tear-jerking story of a family divided by difference — and reunited by chance.

When three disparate siblings, Clay, Nancy, and Phyllis, were contacted by a woman to reunite with their decades-long estranged father for his 70th birthday party, none of them could resist. The only problem is that the patriarch is not interested in seeing them as it will only make all the pain from his past come rushing back to him. The bonds of blood were definitely tested in this episode.

“Cracker Jack”

Meanwhile, “Cracker Jack” tells the story of four women who have been lifelong best friends – including the power of unconditional love between one of the girls and her dog, Cracker Jack.

When they were reunited for one weekend, now that they’re each facing their own struggles, they pondered about how life was so much carefree when they were younger and when little Cracker Jack was still alive.  

“Down from Dover”

Dolly has penned several heartbreaking songs throughout her career. And “Down from Dover” is undeniably one of those songs, which tells the tale of a young lady who got pregnant out of wedlock and was left by the baby’s father to deal with the public scrutiny on her own.

In this episode, Dolly introduced it, calling “Down from Dover” as “one of my most important songs.” Set in the 1950s, Delilah Covern accepted Lincoln Dollarhyde’s marriage proposal. However, Delilah’s father was dead set against their interracial relationship. Then, a much bigger challenge presented itself when Delilah found out that she was pregnant.

“Sugar Hill”

Dolly wrote “Sugar Hill” in 2002, which follows the story of a couple who were destined to be together. 

Of course, the country legend puts a more romantic spin on this story for the Episode 6 of Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings. Married couple Logan Cantrell and Harper Benning took a road trip back to where their relationship first started, in a magical little place called Sugar Hill. It was a trip down memory lane as they’ve been intertwined in each other’s lives since they were kids and have shared many ups and downs together.

“J.J. Sneed”

Episode 7 of Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings dive even further back to the 1880s to tell the story of a feisty young woman trapped in a dreary existence until she decided to break free of that era’s restraints and live the life of an outlaw – pulling her into the adventure of a lifetime.

“These Old Bones”

Lastly, we have “These Old Bones,” which took Heartstrings into supernatural territory, telling the tale of an old clairvoyant mountain woman forced by a big timber company and a young lawyer to leave her home.

As the episode unravels, family secrets come to light, and they will surely touch fans’ hearts.

Truly, Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings is a fine series to warm your heart. You can stream it on Netflix, and you can really tell that Dolly Parton filmography keeps getting better and better through time.


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