Proof that TV Can Offer Happiness
One of the best things about being home for the holidays is that I get to watch a lot more TV. And my parents just got this new chair/ottoman set that may as well be dubbed the Insta-Nap, so don't even think I'm moving away from the tube. (Plus, it's rude to leave your chair if the cat is sleeping on you. Everyone knows that.)
Anyway, the ancillary bonus of watching a lot of TV in Chattanooga is that my parents get CMT, or Country Music Television. That's not a channel I get in New York, which means it wasn't until today that I saw "CMT Giants: Reba." That's right. An all-star tribute to Ms. Reba McEntire, in which literally every famous person in the history of ever got on-stage to praise, cry over, or sing the songs of the Red Headed Pixie With No Upper Lip. (As my dad calls her.)
And I love Reba. How can you not? She still seems so down to earth, and she's got more charisma than any three members of most boy bands combined. On "Giants," she was telling girlhood stories about making people pay money to hunt deer on her "grandpap's" farm. Amazing. Hers is the kind of affectless warmth that makes me love the South in spite of its persistently hate-filled politics. (I know Reba's from Oklahoma, but close enough)
Anyway, here's the point of this story. There was a moment when "CMT Giants: Reba" presented me with the most deliriously perfect experience I could ever expect from the television.
Kelly Clarkson stepped on stage to introduce Reba's "idol and inspiration," Dolly Parton. Then Dolly sang a Reba song. Then she forced Reba to get on stage and sing with her.
Kelly. Reba. DOLLY. Do you see how this is the perfect storm of down-home diva greatness? The only thing missing was Sissy Spacek and Loretta Lynn parasailing into the orchestra pit to lead an audience singalong of "Is There Life Out There." And that might have happened. I took a little nap in the middle of the show.
Oh... and even though it was Reba's shindig, Dolly managed once again to prove that she is the shining platinum standard of... everything. First of all, she sounded great on the song, which was a honky tonk number called "How Blue." Plus, she said the following things:
(1) When commenting on Reba's dress (pictured above): "I bet you didn't buy that at Dillard's!'
(2) At the end of the her number, before pulling Reba on stage: "If you think you're gonna sit out there on your country butt and do nothing, you've got another think comin'."
(3) After Reba sang with her: "Good. Now sit your ass down!"
All of this, of course, was punctuated by her squeaky laughter.
If I had CMT at home, I would DVR Dolly's time in Reba-town and watch it 30 times a day.