Like most television and cinematic portrayals of Kentucky, NBC’s new sitcom foray into the commonwealth isn’t pitch-perfect in its accuracy.
“Perfect Harmony,” which airs on Thursday nights, does provide some pleasant laughs, though. Bradley Whitford stars as an Ivy League-trained choral director marooned in Kentucky when his wife dies.
Whitford’s character hilariously takes over a small-town church choir out of spite and finds himself in the sort of hijinks you might expect an Ivy League-trained choral director to in rural Kentucky — that is, if small church choirs in rural Kentucky sang “Eye of the Tiger” and “We are the Champions.”
The show has a sports hook as well. True to life in rural Kentucky, the show’s characters do regularly reference UK basketball — though, unforgivably, a character on the show pronounces “Calipari” as though it rhymes with “safari.”
That is likely evidence that reading the written (and Googled) word will only take you so far, which I quickly discovered in trying to find enough movies and TV shows set in Kentucky, like “Perfect Harmony,” to populate this column.
Playoffs Week 1 Picks
•Ashland 31, Greenup County 14. The Tomcats secondary will watch every move Class 3A’s leading receiver, the Musketeers’ Austin Evans, makes, like “U.S. Marshals.” He may still break free for a few big plays, but Ashland takes care of business at Putnam Stadium.
•Fleming County 42, Pendleton County 7. The Wildcats should unleash a celebratory shout like the “Call of the Wildman” upon arrival in Flemingsburg because they’re playing in the postseason for the first time in 10 years. It will be a short stay, if the Panthers have anything to say about it.
•Ironton 38, Wellston 14. The Golden Rockets aren’t exactly as inept as the “Little Giants” (yes, we took a detour to cinema set in Ohio, for obvious reasons), but the Fighting Tigers have their sights set on Canton and take the first step in that direction without significant trouble.
•Johnson Central 49, Letcher County Central 6. The Golden Eagles set up a district championship, likely against “Harlan County, U.S.A.,” with a no-muss, no-fuss game. It won’t require a trip to the deep, dark hills of southeastern Kentucky, though — Johnson Central is guaranteed to host all the way to Kroger Field by virtue of its top-two finish in the Class 4A RPI.
•Lawrence County 42, Pike Co. Central 35. Bulldogs coach Alan Short is uncle to “A Coal Miner’s Daughter,” or at least that of a former coal miner — his brother and assistant coach Bryan worked in that field before entering education. Lawrence County returns home from coal country with a playoff victory.
•Raceland 49, Betsy Layne 7. No disrespect to the Bobcats, but the Rams could probably run “23 Blast” repeatedly and be fine in this one. That might also be the extent of their playbook, since Paintsville coaches are expected in the house to scout to prepare for next week’s battle royale.
•Russell 28, East Carter 14. Red Devils fans will believe they’re “Justified” in thinking that projected margin looks a little close. The Raiders, though, aren’t having their best season since 2005 by accident.
•Scott 38, Rowan County 21. The Vikings have things going pretty close to “Perfect Harmony,” having won their last three regular season games to ensure their first winning campaign since 2011. The Eagles, meanwhile, lost their last two, but had little trouble with Rowan County in the regular season.
•West Carter 35, Bath County 14. As in “Cheerleader Generation,”* the youthful coach of the Comets is following the pattern of a veteran well-established coach, who also happens to be his mother, and is putting his own stamp on his program. In this case, it’s former West Carter volleyball coach Beverly Barker who has modeled coaching for second-year football coach Daniel Barker, who will record his first playoff win tonight.
*It bears mentioning here that I am married to a cheerleading coach. Do with this information what you will.
Tonight’s radio coverage:
•Greenup County at Ashland: WBVB 97.1 FM, koolhits1057.com
•Pendleton County at Fleming County: WFLE 95.1 FM, wfle.fm
•Wellston at Ironton: WIRO 1230 AM
•Letcher County Central at Johnson Central: WSIP 98.9 FM
•Lawrence County at Pike County Central: WKYH 99.3 FM
•Betsy Layne at Raceland: koolhits1057.com
•East Carter at Russell: WGOH 100.9 FM, koolhits1057.com
•Rowan County at Scott: WMOR 106.1 FM
•Bath County at West Carter: WKCA 94.7 FM, WUGO 99.7 FM
Reach ZACK KLEMME at email@example.com or (606) 326-2658. Follow @zklemmeADI on Twitter.