Created by Melissa London Hilfers, FOX’s musical drama series ‘Monarch’ follows the Romans, a family that celebrates country music like no other. Their lives change significantly when the matriarch and country music legend, Dottie Cantrell Roman, is diagnosed with cancer. The series progresses through the consequences and impact of the same on the rest of the family’s personal lives and careers.
As the sagas and music of Albie and Dottie Roman, along with their daughters Nicolette “Nicky” Roman and Gigi Taylor-Roman, unravel, one can’t help but be eager to find out the reality behind the characters and their stories. If you are intrigued by the same, let us share what we know!
Is Monarch a True Story?
No, ‘Monarch’ is not based on a true story. The origin of the fictional show lies in producer Gail Berman’s wish to conceive a country music-themed show for FOX. When creator Melissa London Hilfers came to know about Berman’s wish, ‘Monarch’ was born. “What if we reimagined the Romanov dynasty as a family of country music stars in Austin, Texas?” Hilfers pitched to Berman, as per The New York Times, which became the show’s foundation.
Thus, the House of Romanov, the family that ruled Russia from 1613 until 1917, which didn’t have any connection to American country music, inspired Hilfers to conceive the show. The Romanovs are one of the most intricate families ever to exist. The interpersonal relationships, their association with the infamous Grigori Rasputin, and their startling assassinations are intriguing. Hilfers integrated such intricacies into the lives of the Romans and their relationships with each other in the show.
The tensions between Nicky and Gigi, their brother Luke Roman’s presence in Gigi’s married life with Kayla Taylor-Roman, Dottie’s mysterious death, and Albie’s descent into a murderer became some of the engrossing storylines of the show as well. While the foundational structure of the Roman family reminds us of the Romanovs, Albie, Dottie, Nicky, and Gigi’s lives as singers and Luke’s life as a producer opens a window to the world of country music within its fictionality.
“There can be all the crazy s–t that may never exist in real life, which makes for a great soap, but there has to be some realness — and that, coupled with the music, was really, really important to me,” Jason Owen, one of the executive producers of the show, told Billboard concerning the show’s connection with reality. He wanted the fictional Romans to appear authentic as well. To achieve the same, he brought several real-life country music figures to the cast for them to appear as themselves.
“I wanted it to feel like the Romans existed in our world currently. So I thought it was important in the script, and Melissa [London Hilfers] agreed that we bring in these real characters as themselves,” Owen added to Billboard. Collaborating with real-life country music figures like Owen, whose management clients include Kacey Musgraves, Little Big Town, etc., and the renowned musician Trace Adkins, who plays Albie, seemingly helped Hilfers to conceive her fictional narrative with a connection to the reality of country music.
Even though the show explores the country music scene in detail, ‘Monarch’ isn’t a show that can be appreciated only by country music admirers or viewers from the “middle of the country.” “This is the story of a woman [Nicky] who’s just trying to live her dreams and dealing with her crazy family amidst the most pressure you can possibly imagine. I think that’s something that everybody in any state can relate to,” Hilfers added to The New York Times concerning the show’s relatability.
Read More: Where is Fox’s Monarch Filmed?