Happiness is a Warm TV

Review: ‘Private Lives of Nashville Wives’ treads old ground

“The Private Lives of Nashville Wives” debuts Feb. 24 on TNT.
“The Private Lives of Nashville Wives” debuts Feb. 24 on TNT. TNT

TNT’s contribution to the “rich housewives drinking wine in McMansions” television genre is “The Private Lives of Nashville Wives” (Monday, 10 p.m.), a reality show focusing on a group of driven, semi-prominent women in Nashville. Well, the women aren’t prominent, but their husbands are. Or at least some of them used to be.

The wives are: Betty Malo, married to Raul Malo (lead singer of The Mavericks); former soap actress Erika Page White, married to country singer Bryan White; former Hooter’s waitress Cassie Chapman, married to Christian music singer-songwriter Gary Chapman (ex-husband of Amy Grant); up-and-coming singer Sarah Davidson, married to award-winning songwriter Dallas Davidson; and Jenny Terrell, a LivingSocial exec married to JT Terrell, a Nashville party producer.

In the cases of White and Chapman, the husbands are trying to reignite stalled careers. And all the wives clearly crave the spotlight (or they wouldn’t be on this show). In addition to Sarah Davidson’s quest to make it as a singer, Erika White spends a lot of time fretting over whether or not to get back into acting. Terrell, whose husband isn’t famous, spends a lot of time pointing out how important her job is and how much she jets across the country. And just so no one forgets that, she wears a trucker hat with “I Bring Home the Bacon” to a girls-night-out outing in the second episode.

The Malos stand out a bit in the first episode, as they’ve been long-married, and Raul isn’t trying to “make it” and doesn’t seem to be in the middle of a desperate comeback (FYI: The Mavericks play this Friday at Carolina Theatre in Durham). In fact, it’ll be interesting to see how much he shows up in other episodes (in the second, which is as far as I got, not at all). Also, Betty Malo and her Cuban-American twin sister Ana Fernandez provide some of the most fun and most genuine moments in the premiere episode, but turn a bit mean later.

That first episode is interesting enough, but the second episode gets a little catty and the teaser for the show indicates the season will quickly devolve into drunken screaming, name-calling, mean-girl bullying and tears.

In other words, it’s a knock-off “Real Housewives” with a country music soundtrack.