Last night, NBC premiered Coat of Many Colors, the first of many TV movies about the life of Dolly Parton they plan to produce over the next few years. The film was essentially a two-hour sermon, broken up by commercials for Target, and I fell asleep more than once.

Though Dolly is one of the country’s best and most captivating personalities, this was a painfully written, overly embellished interpretation about her childhood that felt as inauthentic as this wig:

But a film’s lack of authenticity doesn’t necessarily mean a lacks the capacity to entertain. Every attempt at poignancy failed in a near-majestic way, and below are all the ones I didn’t sleep through.

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On how to dress in heaven:

Dolly’s Preacher/Grandfather: Ain’t you interested in going to heaven?

Young Dolly: I sure am, but not if I have to look like hell before I get there.

On where pretty starts:

Young Dolly: I like lookin’ pretty.

Dolly’s Mother: Pretty starts on the inside, Dolly Parton.

On what nobody can take from you:

Young Dolly: I know i’m gonna be a big star one day.

Dolly’s Mother: What you know can’t nobody take from you.

On the most powerful thing on earth:

Dolly’s Mother: Don’t you ever wish you hadn’t loved, baby. There is nothing more powerful on this earth than love.

On dreams:

Dolly’s Mother: I had a dream last night. Something’s coming. Dark and devouring.

On thinking:

Town Bully: Think you’re better than us? Think you can sing? And think you’re gonna be some big star some day?

On love:

Dolly’s Mother: Love, it ain’t just a feelin’. It’s an action.

On friendship:

Strange Neighbor Girl: We’re friends. Friends fight for each other when they need to.

On love, again:

Dolly’s Mother: If you don’t remember anything else from the bible, remember this: love never fails.

On white trash:

Town Bully: You act like royalty, Dolly Parton, but you’s white trash, just like me.

On moving to the barn:

Dolly’s Father: Until I can find more accommodating shelter, I’m moving to the barn!

On how it feels when daddies move to the barn:

Adult Dolly (Narrating): It broke my heart when daddy moved to the barn.


Contact the author at bobby@jezebel.com.

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Images via screengrab.