Dolly Parton’s favorite episode from Heartstrings wins Emmy nomination

Dolly Parton in Heartstrings

Dolly Parton in Heartstrings (photo courtesy of Netflix)

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Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings, the Netflix original series, has received a 2020 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Television Movie. 

These Old Bones is the nominated episode, and it just so happens to be Dolly’s personal favorite.

“‘These Old Bones’ from Heartstrings is my personal favorite of all the shows in the series,” Dolly says in a statement. “It’s based on a true character from my childhood.”

“Kathleen Turner did a wonderful job portraying ‘Old Bones.’ Thanks to Ginnifer Goodwin and all of the other wonderful actors who helped bring this story to life. Thanks to the Academy, Netflix, Warner Bros. and especially my partner and executive producer Sam Haskell.” 

Heartstrings is a series that tells eight individual stories, each based on one of Dolly’s famous songs. 

Read More: Dolly’s Heartstrings review: The good, the bad, and the occasionally cringey

These Old Bones
Kathleen Turner plays Old Bones in the episode These Old Bones (photo courtesy of Netflix)

These Old Bones

At the start of the episode, Dolly introduces the story from Dollywood dressed up in what she calls “Hollywood glam.”

“When I was growin’ up here in the Great Smoky Mountains, my family couldn’t afford to go to the theater,” Dolly says in the episode. “And it was years before we even owned a television.”

“Now for me, writing songs was like making my own little movies with my guitar. One of the characters I wrote about was a real mountain woman named Bones.” 

Dolly says Bones lived alone up in the mountains and carried a pouch of bird and animal bones. She would read the animal bones as if she was reading tea leaves.

As a child, Dolly would visit Bones, and Bones would give her cookies and cornbread.

One day, Bones told Dolly that she had a special gift she needed to share with the world. She told Dolly she would do “big things” some day. 

“I took that serious, and I’m humbled that she was right,” Dolly says. 

And now it is Dolly’s turn to tell the story of Bones. 

Dolly personally asks Turner to play Bones

Turner has said in interviews that she wasn’t sure about playing the role at first. Until Dolly herself called her up on the phone. 

Dolly told her the role was very important to her. She told Turner that Bones believed Dolly was “anointed,” or touched by God.

“So you see, Old Bones, she was the first to know,” Turner says in the interview. “And that’s how she told me the story of why it meant so much to her was because Old Bones was the first one to recognize what she was.”  

In classic Dolly fashion, the song teaches us another lesson in not being judgmental. The song goes: 

Some called her “Witchy Woman”
Some said she was insane
Some said she was a prophet
Still everybody came
Just because a body’s dif’ernt
Well, that don’t make ’em mad
They’ve crucified a-many
For the special gifts they’ve had

These Old Bones
Ginnifer Goodwin stars in the episode These Old Bones (photo courtesy of Netflix)

Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings 

This Netflix original features eight stories in total that celebrate family, faith, love and forgiveness. Each tale is inspired by Dolly’s iconic music.

Throughout the series, Dolly herself appears on camera in addition to being the singer/songwriter and executive producer.

Read more: FIRST LOOK at Dolly’s Netflix series Heartstrings

The other episodes include: 

  • Jolene
  • J.J. Sneed
  • If I Had Wings
  • Cracker Jack
  • Sugar Hill
  • Down from Dover
  • Two Doors Down

Dolly many achievements and awards

Dolly is no stranger to winning awards. In fact, her website has about 13 pages worth of them.

Specifically, her nomination for Heartstrings marks her third Emmy Award nomination. Her first was in 1978 for Outstanding Continuing or Single Performance by a Supporting Actress in Variety or Music for her role on Cher…Special

She was also nominated for Outstanding Television Movie for Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love

Read more: Ain’t nobody doesn’t like Dolly; 6 reasons we love our Appalachian queen

The 72nd Emmy Awards will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and will broadcast on Sunday, Sept. 20 from 8 pm to 11 pm EDT on ABC. 

We’re rooting for you, Dolly! 

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