‘George & Tammy’: How True Is Showtime’s Country Biopic So Far? (POLL)

Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon in 'George & Tammy'
Spoiler Alert
Dana Hawley/Courtesy of SHOWTIME

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for George & Tammy Season 1, Episode 1, “The Race Is On.”]

Everyone likes a good biopic, but oftentimes dramatic moments are played up for entertainment. Is that the case for Showtime’s new title George & Tammy? The series about country legends George Jones (Michael Shannon) and Tammy Wynette (Jessica Chastain) kicked off Sunday, December 4, airing simultaneously on Showtime and Paramount Network, with the premiere episode “The Race Is On,” and already the drama is insane.

The installment tracks the first time Tammy and George meet and the romance that quickly brews between them, unveiling some shocking, but true details about the public figures. So, how much from the first episode was really true? Tammy is introduced to George in what appears to be a motel room where he’s flanked by two women and half-drunk in bed. While George was a known drinker, according to facts, the pair met at a recording studio in Nashville.

Michael Shannon in 'George & Tammy'

(Credit: Dana Hawley/Courtesy of SHOWTIME)

Despite this shift, much of the premiere episode sticks to reality. In the show, when Tammy meets George, she’s married to Don Chapel (Pat Healy), a songwriter who is eager to pen a tune for the country crooner. Ultimately, the installment shows Don presenting “When the Grass Grows Over Me” to Jones, a song he did in fact write and Jones did perform.

The premiere also includes George’s reported habit of eating raw potatoes, the belief being that the vegetable would soak up any alcohol in the body. As the show followed Jones and Tammy’s working relationship, the premiere eventually leads to a rather tense moment. Inviting Jones over for dinner, Tammy cooks a meal and welcomes the singer to her and Don’s home, introducing him to their blended family.

Jessica Chastain in 'George & Tammy'

(Credit: Brownie Harris/Courtesy of SHOWTIME)

Don is in a blatantly sour mood, jealous of the connection George and Tammy have formed. While she has the family sit down, Jones traps Tammy in the living room, indicating to her that he’s just been divorced and hinting at the potential for them to be together. Once they join the table, simmering emotions flare as Don tries asserting his dominance and then outright asking George if he’s going to have sex with his wife.

George then says he’d like to, leading to some further nasty comments from Don. That sets off a rage in George, who turns over the dinner table and begins throwing things. He confesses his love for Tammy and collects her and her three daughters before driving away. For those less acquainted with the real-life country stars, this story is primarily true.

Although we can’t confirm that every word uttered was factual, the confession and drive away is fully true, marking the start of a romance unlike most. But what did you think of the premiere? Did it get George and Tammy right? Let us know your thoughts in the poll and comments section, below, and don’t miss the rest of the season as it airs exclusively on Showtime.

George & Tammy, Sundays, 9/8c, Showtime