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TV Series Review

“Loving, yet pushy,” is an excellent phrase to describe the choir members of the Second First Church of the Cumberlands. And right now, these small-town Kentucky church singers are pushing toward just one goal: to beat the choir of the Church of Perpetual Praise (the megachurch up the road).

Enter Arthur Cochran, the former chair of Princeton University’s music department. And while he is said to be a brilliant director, he also is known for throwing chairs …

Arthur only came to Kentucky to honor his wife’s final wish of being buried in her hometown. Lonely and confused, he isn’t sure what to do with his life now that she’s gone. In fact, he’s not even sure he wants to go on with life. But after overhearing a truly horrific rendition of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” by the Second First choir, he steps in: “This will not be the last thing that I hear on Earth!”

“Delicate Snowflakes and Poor Chair-Duckers.”

While he succeeds in whipping the choir into shape, Arthur’s sarcasm and general cynicism can be a bit bracing. “Don’t be mean,” says Ginny, the choir’s kind and passionate leader. Arthur sees her kindness as a weakness, but she sees it as a strength and uses it even when confronting her soon-to-be-ex-husband, Wayne.

Most of the characters keep their language clean—probably because the majority of them are Christians—and when curse words do make an appearance, they’re often covered up by substitutes, interruptions, or just flat bleeping them out (as is done with presumed f-words). And while some unsavory innuendos might go over the heads of younger audiences, anyone with a general understanding of pop culture will likely catch the drift.

Arthur insists that he’s only helping the choir to spite Pastor Magnus of the megachurch (who apparently dated Jean, Arthur’s late wife, before she met Arthur). But Ginny comments that “God works in mysterious ways.” At this early juncture, it’s unclear whether Arthur believes God’s hand is at work, but the positive attitude of the choir and their willingness to forgive him for being so difficult gives him new purpose, and it gives the show itself a light, sweet and inspirational melody.

“Let’s use this precious time that God has given us to make some beautiful music,” he says in the pilot episode. It’s a good word for us, too—even if we can’t carry a tune.

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Episode Reviews

Sept. 26, 2019: "Pilot"



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Bradley Whitford as Arthur Cochran; Anna Camp as Ginny; Will Greenberg as Wayne; Tymberlee Hill as Adams Adams; Rizwan Manji as Reverend Jax; Geno Segers as Dwayne; Spencer Allport as Cash; John Carroll Lynch as Pastor Magnus






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Emily Baker

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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