Nashville: Top 10 Reasons Why I’m Thankful For This Show
Nashville is my new favorite show of the fall season. I knew it was going to be good the moment I heard Connie Britton was attached. That woman can do no wrong in my eyes. She will always and forever be Mrs. Coach and I will watch everything she decides to do with her career from now until the end of time. I was also intrigued to see what kind of storyÂ Callie Khouri would bring to the small screen. I knew it would be a character-driven, nuanced show and I haven’t been disappointed yet (although if I’m honest I didn’t love the pilot). Of course anytime you get T Bone Burnett involved, you know the music is gonna be good. But most of all I’ve got to give credit to the network, the writers and producers, and the stars for making me interested in a show about country music. It’s so much more than that, but as I have no interest in country music I thought watching this show might be a struggle. But Nashville is about relationships and dreams and sacrifice and secrets. And here are the 10 reasons you should be watching.
10. The soapy element. This show has just the right amount of soap for me. I like that there are those soap opera elements we’ve come to expect – but that the writers do something interesting and sometimes unexpected with these situations every time. I like it when I think I know what’s coming next and the writers show me something new or different or interesting. It keeps me coming back for more.
9. The location.Â I like it when any show is filmed on location – it gives the show a more authentic feel. I like seeing the city from so many different angles and perspectives. I think I’ve been writing Nashville the city off as just a town for those aspiring to break into country music. But as we’ve seen on this show, the city is home to different kinds of music. And while Nashville the city is mostly associated with music there is so much more to it than that.
8. Politics. First of all, I hope this attempt at a fresh start doesn’t break up Teddy’s marriage. Or do I? Second, I love how this story is evolving. That Rayna had to withdraw her support of longtime friend Coleman Carlisle (the great Robert Wisdom) made things interesting. That Rayna was eventually persuaded to take a more active role in her husband’s campaign could have made things tense all around. Now that Teddy’s ex is in the mix as well, I smell the kind of trouble I like. I’m also curious to see if Teddy’s dirty little money secret will come to light. I hope Coleman’s arrest doesn’t derail his campaign too much because I really want to see these two duke it out to the finish.
7. The supporting players. I’m talking about Juliette’s manager and publicist, Rayna’s sister and her new producer, Avery’s potential manager – and so many more. I like that even people with more minor roles are interesting and layered and maybe more than we’re expecting. That’s the mark of a great show – when the writers/producers care about all the little details.
6. Charles Esten as Deacon Claybourne. Sometimes I want him with Rayna, sometimes I want him with Juliette. Sometimes I think maybe he’d be better without female companionship so he can focus on his music. Who is he without Rayna? He hasn’t given himself a chance to really find out. Would he be good with Juliette? I see potential there but that doesn’t mean it’s right. And I keep forgetting he’s Scarlett’s uncle. I’m looking forward to seeing more of their dynamic. However the chips fall though, I can’t wait to hear more of his voice and see where his story takes us.
5. The music. Have I already mentioned that I don’t really enjoy country music? I mean, I haven’t given it much of a chance. But when you’ve got all kinds of musical talent behind the scenes (and on the screen) let by T Bone Burnett you sit up and pay attention. I think I’m slowly coming to appreciate good music, whatever the genre. And that’s always a good thing.
4. Scarlett and Gunnar.Â I love the way they sing together and now that Avery is kind of out of the picture (we’ll see if the breakup takes or not), I’m kinda rooting for a Scarlett/Gunnar hookup. They just have crazy chemistry when they sing together and I think it could spill over into their personal lives if they let it. I know Gunnar’s involved with what’s-her-face right now. I’m glad he got tired of waiting around for Scarlett, but we all know where his heart is.
3. The writing. I mean, I’ve got to give credit where credit is due. I know Callie Khouri has been writing for the movies for a while but I really do love that she wanted to work on this kind of story for television. And any time Liz Tigelaar is on staff, I’m gonna pay even more attention. I love her, so if she loves something enough to get involved odds are I’ll love it too. But beyond that, I’m really intrigued by these people and these stories. I like that the characters are layered and conflicted. I like that these seem like real people with real problems who speak in distinct voices. I like what the characters have to say and the way they say it.
2. Hayden Panettiere as Juliette Barnes.Â I’m not sure how to express my delighted surprise at Hayden Panettiere in this role. Yes, I liked her on Heroes (even though I didn’t end up liking and/or watching the show much past the first season), but it didn’t prepare me. I love that she’s kind of based on Taylor Swift, but with a darker past and a more uncertain present. I love her complex relationship with Rayna so far – to call it a rivalry makes it trivial and boring. I’m surprisingly engaged in whatever is happening between her and Deacon and I kind of hope it’s not over. I just love that Juliette is multi-dimensional and that her story keeps surprising me.
1. Connie Britton asÂ Rayna James.Â Connie Britton knows how to make an aging country superstar look good. I’m not sure why I’m constantly surprised by this character, but I love that. I like the strained family dynamic, I like that she’s searching for her sound, I like that she’s taking her career back no matter what her label says. Although I wish she had chemistry with Eric Close, the lack of it makes it even easier to root for her and Deacon to resume whatever they’ve got going on. Do we believe Rayna when she tells her husband she hasn’t slept with Deacon since they’ve been married? Should we worry about whether or not Deacon and Rayna will ever sing or play together again? Can Rayna make the type of music she wants to? Will Rayna ever be able to have the type of relationship she wants with her father?
If you’re not watching Nashville, my Thanksgiving Day wish (I know that’s not a thing, but work with me here) is for you to give it another chance. You won’t be sorry.
Nashville airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC.
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