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Brokaw: ‘Monarch’ combines drama and music

By Francine Brokaw - Special to the Daily Herald | Sep 21, 2022

Courtesy photo

"Monarch" is airing now on Fox.

In the words of Albie Roman (played by Trace Adkins), “Lies are the real Roman legacy.” The new musical drama “Monarch,” now airing on Fox, focuses on the Romans — a legendary family in the world of country music.

Dottie Roman (Susan Sarandon) is the Queen of Country. Her daughter Nicky (Anna Friel) plans on ascending to the throne when Dottie dies or retires. Her son Luke (Joshua Sasse) is the CEO of Monarch Records and runs the business. Daughter Gigi (Beth Ditto) has been pushed to the side her entire life with the legacy of the family riding on the shoulders of Nicky, but Gigi now has other ideas. She intends on forging her own singing career, much to Nicky’s chagrin. Will sibling rivalry destroy these sisters? And Albie decides now is also the time to try and revive his own fledgling singing career.

There is plenty of treachery within the family’s Austin, Texas, home. Another generation of Romans is also taking part in the family legacy, but to a lesser degree.

“I love this family, love this show,” Sarandon said in a virtual press conference. The show was also a change for Sarandon, more known for her work on the big screen than the small one.

“I was so eager and looking forward to meeting Trace and to being able to, you know, wear that hair and the jewelry and find out about a life on the road. And I do know about family; so that was easy. I’ve never been limited by what screen something’s going to be on,” she said.

Sarandon’s real-life daughter, Eva Amurri, plays young Dottie in flashbacks. This is not the first time Eva has worked with her mother, having played Sarandon’s on-screen daughter in the 2002 film “The Banger Sisters.”

For Adkins, he did not expect to star in a TV series at this point in his life. “It was about this time last year that I was getting into Atlanta and about to walk on a television set, and I had no clue what I was doing or what I was about to do; so here we are now a year later, and I’m just hanging on by my fingernails.” His modesty is not necessary. The country legend certainly holds his own.

If you take “Dallas” and combine it with “Nashville” you have the general idea of “Monarch.” With plenty of music in every episode, along with nail-biting family drama, “Monarch” is an interesting and entertaining watch. Just beware of any backstabbing!

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