Netflix’s new release “Country Ever After” follows independent country artist Coffey Anderson and his lovable family in the perfect blend of reality and sitcom. The 12-episode series shows viewers country life served with a side of Los Angeles as singer Anderson channels his Texan roots into everything he does. Trailing Anderson and his wife Criscilla, the show highlights the ups and downs of their journey through parenthood, career, and health.
As an independent singer and songwriter, Anderson works from a home studio, free from the constraints of a record label. In this unique position, Anderson is able to have a deeper connection with many of his fans. When not writing music, he is often making personalized videos for fans, playing the guitar for anything from birthdays to proposals. Finding venues and setting up concerts can be difficult without the backing of a big company but from time to time, Anderson hosts Facebook Live shows to raise money for families in need with his soulful voice. Beyond being his career, music is a form of therapy for Anderson and a huge source of strength as he faces hard times.
At his side is his wife and hip-hop dancer Criscilla Anderson, who has also achieved great success in her career performing with Rihanna, Katy Perry and Britney Spears, to name a few. She grew up in Las Vegas, in stark contrast to Coffey’s roots, which makes for many humorous situations as country and city life merge.
Coffey and Criscilla have made it big in the world, and they refreshingly do their best to raise their kids without splendor. As unfamiliar as I was with the pair, I immediately fell in love with their humorous personalities and their experience with faith. They do an outstanding job of leaning on their faith for strength and support, without pushing beliefs onto their audience. The humble, down-to-earth environment makes this show stand out from most reality television shows. “Country Ever After” is not a show full of catfights, or on the other end of things, a particularly thought-provoking series. It is, however, a great family-friendly option for whenever you feel the need to kick back, relax and let out a few laughs.
As perfect as their family may seem, they are all facing trials and tribulations, with Criscilla battling stage three colon cancer. The cameras accompany her on hospital visits, showing viewers her extensive chemotherapy sessions and the sheer exhaustion that follows. Nonetheless, Criscilla never simply waits in hopes of recovery. She is an inspiring figure. Throughout the series, she is always on her feet, putting together surprises for her husband, giving back to members of their community and teaching her kids important life lessons. With the help of her friends and family, Criscilla finds her way back to normal life and even career growth, choreographing dances and teaching classes at a nearby studio.
Their story lacked the amount of drama that would typically fuel reality television shows such as “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” but it’s arguably just as binge-worthy. The short episodes are not only funny, but also super easy to get through. Best of all, the show was filmed back in 2018, a long way away from the disappointment of a year that is 2020.
With the progression of Criscilla’s cancer and the hazards of having a camera crew trail a family in the midst of a pandemic, it is doubtful “Country Ever After” will return for a second season, but the first is certainly worth the watch.