Precisely 4 questions we have after watching Dolly Parton's new Netflix show Heartstrings.

Right now, it’s that time of year when lots and lots of interesting-looking movies and TV shows start popping up on your Netflix homepage.

Many of these are Christmas-themed. Some are great, like the Love Actually-esque teen movie Let It Snow and, of course, The Crown season three. Some, like Kristin Davis’ Holiday In The Wild, are truly terrible.

Then, there are the ‘so bad they’re good’ movies and shows like The Knight Before Christmas and Yummy Mummies.

But we’re not here today to talk about all of those. We’re here to talk about a new TV series called Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings.

You can watch the weird and wonderful trailer for Dolly Parton’s Netflix series Heartstrings below. Post continues after video.

Video via Netflix

As the title suggests, Heartstrings is a new Netflix show created by and starring country music legend and Miley Cyrus’ godmother Dolly Parton that the streaming service describes as “soapy, heartfelt and emotional”.

The series features eight short films based on eight of Parton’s famous songs: ‘Jolene’, ‘Two Doors Down’, ‘If I Had Wings’, ‘Cracker Jack’, ‘Down From Dover’, ‘Sugar Hill’, ‘J.J. Sneed’ and ‘These Old Bones’.

Starring some big-ish names like Julianne Hough (who plays Jolene), Ginnifer Goodwin from He’s Just Not That Into You, Kathleen Turner, Delta Burke and Parton herself, the anthological series that can be watched in any order sounded like it’d be a hit.

Having watched all eight episodes, I can confirm… it’s not. In fact, Heartstrings is quite awful. That said, I’m still trying to figure out why I cried through half of the episodes and couldn’t stop watching.

Now that I’ve come to the realisation I’ll never get the eight or so hours I spent watching Heartstrings back, I have some questions that need answering.

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1. Why is Heartstrings so terrible?

This show had everything going for it. Brilliant songs. Semi-decent actors. A prime spot on the Netflix homepage. Dolly freaking Parton.

But still, it’s terrible. While Dumplin’, another Netflix movie based on Dolly Parton’s music, was nostalgic and loveable, Heartstrings just feels… average.

Perhaps it’s the production value, or the cringey music and slightly fuzzy effects in every episode that makes it feel like a bad Hallmark or Lifetime movie. Or an early 90s TV show like Touched By An Angel or 7th Heaven.

2. What and where the heck is ‘Dollywood’?!

If you’ve watched any episodes of Heartstrings yet, you will have noticed they all start the same way – with a monologue from Parton herself delivered from a magical place called ‘Dollywood’.

For those wondering, turns out Dollywood is an actual place.

Yep, Dollywood is Parton’s very own amusement park and resort “nestled in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains” in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

According to their website, Dollywood is the perfect family vacation destination to unplug from the hustle and bustle of the city with some humble country living.

Well, there you go.

3. Why does Heartstrings have an IMDb rating of 8.2/10?!?

Dolly thinking about how surprisingly well Heartstrings is doing on IMDb. Image: Netflix.

This is where things get weird because, as I just explained, Heartstrings is a terrible TV show. Only, somehow, it has a really high rating on IMDb. While I expected it to have a five, maybe a six, Heartstrings has a very respectable rating of 8.2/10.


To put that into context, other shows that have a similar rating include The Crown, Game of Thrones, Chernobyl, Homeland, True Detective and Dead to Me, to name a few.

That said, I think my next question/realisation might explain everything.

4. Why did I cry through almost every episode?

Despite being fully cognisant of just how bad Heartstrings was as I was watching it, I couldn't help but cry as the cheesy storytelling played out relatable tales of family drama, relationships and finding one's self.

I’ll admit, the episode that made me cry the most was 'Down From Dover', a story about a forbidden love between a black army soldier and the white daughter of a small town Reverend set in the deep south in Vietnam War times.

'These Old Bones', a story about a ‘mountain woman’ who can tell the future by reading actual animal bones, is also oddly emotional.

And that’s probably the best way to sum up Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings: cringeworthy and, in some parts, unwatchable. But oddly emotional and heartwarming at the same time.

You can watch Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings on Netflix now.

Have you watched Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings? What did you think of it? Tell us in the comments below.

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