Private Lives of Nashville Wives, the new TNT reality television series, premiered on Monday night and the first thing that stood right out was the strong female cast. Based around the Country Music Capital of the world, the show follows this small close knit group of women who are all forceful, focused and determined to leave their own mark on the world. Whether it is making a comeback, moving up in a career, or being the best darned wife in Nashville, these country ladies are going to do it.
The six ladies are Erika, Sarah, Ana, Betty, Jenny and Cassie. Wife number one is Erika Page White, who has been acting professionally since she was 12 years-old. She worked for five seasons on the ABC daytime drama One life to Live as well as other daytime dramas. Erika also worked as a model appearing in over 40 print ads, one of which was a huge Jockey billboard located at Times Square. Erika gave up her career to look after her two sons, Justin who is 10 years-old and Jackson who’s 8 years-old. Her husband is award winning Country artist Bryan White who is currently on tour and working on a new project called Shine. As Bryan has stepped higher into the limelight, Erika has, after a 9 year stay-at-home break as mother, decided she needs to make a comeback.
Sarah Davidson is wife number two. She has wanted to be a singer/songwriter since the age of 11 when she heard Dolly Parton’s self penned hit I Will Always Love You. Since interning on Music Row when she she was in university Sarah has been trying to “break into the business” and she feels it is her turn for that big break. she is married to Dallas Davidson who is, with 16 number one hits to his credit, perhaps the most wanted songwriter in the business. His songs have been hit for Keith Urban, Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan; just to name a few. Dallas is supporting Sarah in the move to make her dream come true.
The Private Lives of Nashville Wives reality series on TNT looks different from other current reality programs on offer. This focus on the country music side of things, including a half dozen strong female role models, is a change from other programs with their emphasis on fame, riches and controversy. Each of the wives in the show, even the one not currently a wife, have a individual personality that is theirs alone. Each couple supports each other in their endeavors and the audience is allowed to see their daily struggles and squabbles.
Nashville lady number three is Ana Margarita Fernandez, who interacts with her twin sister Betty Malo who is wife number, three on a daily basis, and she is married to no one. She is the other half of this Cuban American twin set and can best be described as aggression on two legs. Betty, who is married to Raul Malo; the founding member of the iconic country band The Mavericks as well as groups the lead singer. Ana and Betty squabble as only close twin sisters can and both turn on the charm to get Betty’s loving husband to do things their way. Ana is a single mother, she has two children Christian and Gabriella who are 21 and 11 years-old respectively. She is searching for the right man to enter her life. Betty, who has three children of her own – Dino, Victor and Max age 18, 17 and 13 respectively – is a business woman who has her own jewelry company called Betty Badd Couture which boasts several celebrity clients. Raul Malo; singer/songwriter and record producer has inspired two of his boys to follow in his musical footsteps.
Jenny Terrell, wife number 4, is vice president of a leading Internet business. Married to JT Terrell, who is Nashville’s number one party organizer, she is a hard worker who has worked her way up the ladder of success to become a major factor in the Country Music Capital of the World’s social scene. Husband Terrell co-owns the premiere event company Music City and Events and has organized his business to enable him to be a “stay-at-home” dad for the couple’s one child Hank.
The last Nashville wife is Cassie Chapman. She is married to the legendary Country/Christian singer and songwriter Gary Chapman. Cassie is a real country girl who started out in West Virginia as a cheerleader, choir singer and member of the local 4-H club. She worked as a waitress in the infamous Hooters restaurant. She has also worked as a model. Cassie is Gary Chapman’s third wife and the fact that she is 23 years younger than her husband has made tongues wag and charges of “gold-digging” have been made. Both Cassie and Gary are determined to show doubters and the world that their relationship is the real thing despite the age difference.
The first episode gives an overall look at all the women, their husbands, careers and children. At the offset the show appears to be about support. This is not just the type of helping each other along support of a couple but of a type that bolsters all the members of this little group. Clips from future episodes seem to show that despite the caring attitude between the ladies, there can be fractious occurrences that have to be dealt with. An interesting start that features a “pig” party; a live performance on the Hard Rock Stage and an impromptu jam session involving several of the musical husbands in a near deserted cafe.
As reality television programs go, The Private Lives of Nashville Wives series on TNT not only has a strong female cast it also has a different, more subtle, feeling to it. A more “down-home” type of show where the cast members are powerful women in terms of their lives, careers and focus. Unlike other reality programs which feature instant celebrities who shot to fame via a leaked sex tape, this show promises to show what life is like in the world of Nashville’s country music scene and some of the movers and shakers in the city. The show on Monday was funny and touching as well as a breath of fresh air. The Guardian Liberty Voice is pleased to feature an up-coming interview with Cassie Chapman who wants to show the world that the love she has for her older husband is real and not some opportunistic marriage for money.
By Michael Smith