Reba succeeds on many levels, and let’s not waste any time in breaking it down:
Reba the human being: She’s everything a star should be – and more. She employs her celebrity for frequent charity events (and a lot more that no one knows about). She was devastated by losing her band manager and six band members and paid tribute to them in 1991 with a hit album, For My Broken Heart. She then heralded in a new age of talent representation by having family members manage her career. She is also dearly loved by her peers, and remains an inspiration to them (a pre-superstar, free-spirited Faith Hill once shouted at a McEntire concert, “I love you, Reba McEntire!”)
Reba the singer: Ain’t nobody sings like Reba McEntire – and she has the pipes and the talent to back it up. Combined with her awesome charisma, and down to earth charm, and the country-singing icon is simply unstoppable.
Reba the songwriter: She not only sings those hits, but she writes most of ‘em, too.
Reba the actress: Her crimson-colored locks, vocal talents and natural theatrical ability earned her an Annie Oakley starring role on Broadway, which ultimately lead to her taking the lead in hit, now iconic TV sitcom, Reba (screened four times daily on Lifetime).
Reba the character: The multi-talented performer plays Reba Hart, a Texas soccer man who divorces her cheating (though charming) husband Brock Hart (played by Christopher Rich, formerly of Murphy Brown and a short-lived but brilliant The Charmings). Together, Reba and Brock produced three children: 17-year-old Cheyenne (Joanna Garcia) - who marries Van Montgomery (played with manic genius by Steve Howey) after he gets her pregnant, the tranquil and ever-wise little seven-year-old Jake (Mitch Holleman), and Kyra (Scarlett Pomers, formerly of Star Trek: Voyager and That’s Life). Into the mix is Barbra Jean, Brock’s new wife (played to the hilt by Melissa Peterman, who somehow managers to cross-pollinate Gomer Pyle with Georgette -via The Mary Tyler Moore Show), and makes “the other woman” as appealing as she’s ever gonna’ get.
Reba the show: This series does for the contemporary family comedy what Bewitched did for supernatural sitcoms (and everyone knows how much I love Bewitched). The characters on Reba interact just like real people. They actually get mad at each other, forgive one another, move-on, and deal with it (just like we all do – or should do).
Everything about the show is top-of-the-line. From the opening theme song (I’m A Survivor) - to the show's writing, which is as crisp and comedic as you're gonna' get, as is the directing.
The issues in Reba’s family are real: unplanned teen pregnancy, childhood sweethearts divorce after years of bliss, and teen angst – each experienced, on one level or the other, by Reba's Hart – who holds the brood’s brew-ha-ha together, moreso than any TV mom ever could.
So to reiterate, Reba succeeds on many levels.