Red State TV

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Feb 27, 2006 7:24 AM

Country Music Television is going through that inevitable adolescent stage in a music station's development in which it gets all rebellious and decides it's not a music station anymore. Instead, CMT now shows videos and original shows.

This is the point in the relationship in which you just have to step back and pray that you've raised your music television station well enough that it makes the right decisions on its own. It just wants to express itself, make its mark on the world, and you can only hope you've given it the values to do so without devolving into programming featuring any combination of whip cream, 7 strangers in one house, and Carson Daly.

I'll admit, I worried about my little CMT, but it's showing promise and maturity. First, it knows the wisdom of sticking with a classic. Hence, the "Dukes of Hazzard" on regular rotation.

Second, a new show, "True Grit," tells the stories of American heroes who exemplified that saying, with emphasis on making a great country soundtrack reflect the story. The first episode was about Ronald Reagan:

In the first episode of True Grit, CMT will examine the life of an American who demonstrated the essence of "true grit," Ronald Reagan. This episode explores how Reagan overcame the most humble of beginnings in Dixon, Ill., to become a Hollywood actor, the Governor of California and ultimately win the most powerful office in the world.

The saying "behind every strong man is a strong woman" is nowhere more accurate than in this American success story. The instrumental source of Reagan's inner-strength, his "true grit," came from his rock solid, storybook relationship with his wife, Nancy. From the very first frame of True Grit: Ronald Reagan, the music and narrative revolves around "Cowhide" and "Rainbow," the Secret Service monikers given to the President and Nancy Reagan, and the strength that classic love story gave the 40th President of the United States.

The next episode is on Junior Johnson, so I'm gonna be looking for that one and the Ronnie one, so I can DVR both.

Another recommended show from CMT's adolescent phase: "Trick My Truck," an "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" for deserving truckers and their rigs. One rig got a fireplace. Seriously.