Picks and Pans Review: Hot Country Nights
NBC tries to get healthy on Sunday nights by hitching its wagon to country music's unprecedented popularity. The only problem is that they oversell the package. Each show starts with a rowdy, barn-burning number with smoke machines, flashing lights and a crowd so pumped up they seem to have wandered over from The Price Is Right. But by the first commercial, the show has settled into a comfortable placidity.
Country artists live in their tour buses. They're not about to act all hopped up just because some network guy with a clipboard and stopwatch says, "Jump down, turn around." Veterans like Clint Black, Randy Travis and Tanya Tucker stick with what got them to the dance. That gives the show a relaxed, confident feel. The segment when all five or six scheduled acts come together for a jam session is particularly kitchen-cozy. This is a likable variety show; just don't believe the hype.