George Jones and Tammy Wynette were two of the most influential country music artists in the 60s and 70s, and their effect on the genre carries forward to this day. A look at history might make one think that their relationship, which lasted about half a decade, was definitely not the most important thing about their lives or their careers. But it was something. A romanticized outlook would have us believe that it was the short journey of two sad souls who briefly found companionship in each other. A more realistic version, one that we gain from reading history books, would let us know what sad souls they were, but who only managed to wreak more havoc in each other’s lives. It remains to be seen which route this series has taken. Let us go through “George & Tammy” Episode 1.
When Tammy First Met George
It is 1968, and George Jonas must come to perform on stage for the audience, but he is drunk out of his mind and is tearing up money bills to flush them down the toilet. He has canceled multiple shows due to his alcoholism, but the fans are still crazy for him. One of them is Virginia Pugh, aka Tammy Wynette. She meets George Jones when he is in a less-than-presentable state and tells him that she wants to be the opening act for him. George is impressed by her and agrees to it. While they are going to a concert on a bus, with Tammy following behind in her car with her family, George shoots the roof of the bus for some “ventilation,” which causes an accident. Luckily, all the members are safe, and George travels with Tammy for the rest of the journey. Her husband wants George to look at some of the songs he’s written, and he takes this opportunity to tell him that, despite Tammy asking him to wait.
Later, at the practice, George is quite taken by Tammy and her song. He flirts with her later when she is fixing his hair, but Tammy is a “good Christian woman” who does not entertain adultery. George even tells her that his marriage is as good as over, but that is not enough to sway her. Unfortunately, this conversation is picked up by Tammy’s husband, Don. In a fit of anger, he tells the band to leave before Tammy’s performance, but the day is saved by George, who brings around other musicians for her. He joins her on stage when she sings, and it proves to be a performance worth watching. After all that, it is evident that the two have feelings for each other, but Tammy refuses to act on them. When she goes back home, an angry Don is waiting for her, but she tells him that she has just spoken about his song. It is evidenced further when George comes to visit Tammy at her recording studio and agrees to sing Don’s song. His interest in Tammy is unmistakable, and even Don has no misconceptions as to who all of this is happening for. We would say it is clear that Don is not a very nice man. He has never been supportive of Tammy, and he only regards her artistic talent as a crutch for his songwriting skills. Her success infuriates him, and he makes sure to remind her that it is all because of him. That is why George’s interest in her makes him so insecure. Because he knows that his wife has feelings for George as well, and she has absolutely no reason to stay back with him. We do not know how much of this fiction aligns with fact. In George’s autobiography, a very different version of the dinner is mentioned as compared to the one shown in the series.
‘George & Tammy’ Episode 1: Ending Explained – How Do George And Tammy End Up Together?
In the episode, when George comes for dinner, Don tries to show himself as the man of the house by trying to discipline his children. George gets a little cheeky here, and we felt that it was crossing a line, especially when you are in somebody else’s house. But reason was on nobody’s mind that night, and Don gets offensive by making a derogatory comment about Tammy. The autobiography mentioned a different insult, but the result remained the same—George flipped over the table in anger. He straight up asks Tammy whether she loves him, and she says yes. And since that is the case, Tammy takes her children and leaves with George in his car. We are all about two lovers riding off into the sunset, but we can’t help thinking that Tammy has taken on a world of trouble with a man like George, who has proven that he can’t be faithful or sober. We are going to see more of that in the coming episodes of “George & Tammy.”
Final Thoughts: What Works For the Series?
The pacing of “George & Tammy” Episode 1 was excellent. There was so much of the story packed into it while being wonderfully overlaid with the music of the two artists and its significance to their story. Some creative liberties have definitely been taken, but the extent of their disruption of history remains to be seen. Can we also add that, while we know that this is a true story, we are so tired of seeing the trope of the man who is a slave to his own vices being rescued by a woman who he has fallen in love with because he senses that she can do tons of emotional labor for him? Why are there so many stories with the exact same tired sexist trope? And for that reason, we wish that this series would stay closer to the actual events rather than glossing them over with romanticism. “George & Tammy” Episode 2 will definitely see the pair making music together, along with facing the inevitable problems in their marriage. We can tell that this show has a binge-able quality, and we are eagerly waiting for the next episode.
See More: ‘George & Tammy’ Episode 2: Recap & Ending, Explained: Does Tammy Get The Photographs Back From Don?