Being labeled as the most critically praised new drama on television this year, “Nashville” is spicing up primetime on Wednesday nights.
Callie Khouri, The Academy Award-winning creator of “Thelma and Louise,” created the show.
The show stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere as two characters who begin a budding rivalry for the throne of Queen of Country Music. With help from a lot of supporting and secondary characters, the mix is just right for a perfect soapy classic.
Britton’s character, Rayna James, has been on top of the country music world for years and is a legend. Her career is beginning to fade as more females and young girls are listening to the county-pop sound being put out by Panettiere’s character, Juliette Barnes. The two characters draw similar comparisons to Faith Hill and Taylor Swift because of their looks and sound.
To go along with her fading demographic, James has to deal with a damaged marriage and a conspiring and conniving father. Her management team and record label have fears of continuing with her upcoming tour, for her new CD, as ticket sales have plummeted. In the end, they come to the conclusion to ask her to open for Barnes on her new tour. When asked on her decision, James tells the men they can “kiss her decision as it’s walking out the door.”
We learn that her lead guitar player, Deacon, was her former love and current best friend. The sexual tension between the pair is undeniable. Barnes and her scheming ways know the talent of Deacon’s songwriting, and she will do anything in her power to get him on her band and to join her tour.
After many luxury gifts and ambushes, Deacon continues to tell Barnes he is committed to James’ tour and that he’s not going anywhere. Barnes takes his response in stride, but she is not done with him yet. There is also undeniable chemistry between the two of them as well, and it helps that Barnes can write extremely well. This bond over writing soon leads to a physical attraction, which then leads to many sexual escapades.
James is not only a country music superstar, she is the rebellious daughter of Nashville’s former mayor Lamar Wyatt. He is a man who has to control all his surroundings. He is unforgiving, grudge holding and quite frankly a regular ass. He conspires with James’ depressed and lazy husband Teddy to run for mayor against James’ close friend and brother figure Coleman, who Wyatt practically raised as his own.
Wyatt’s right hand man, or in this case, right hand woman, is his daughter Judith. She is James’ sister and is poised to take over the family company. She often plays both sides in her father’s and sister’s fights and tries to help them settle their differences.
In the shadows of all this drama and love triangles is a young group of kids working their way up through the business. They work at the famous Bluebird Cafe in downtown Nashville. The trio consists of Deacon’s niece Scarlett who is a waitress at the cafÃ©. She is also an incredibly gifted songwriter whose songs are promising hit-makers. She works there with her boyfriend Avery, who is an aspiring musician and has bad boy side to him. Third is Gunnar, a kind-hearted and aspiring music singer who has secret feelings for Scarlett that begin to show after the pair begin to write songs and sing on stage at the Bluebird together.
“Nashville” is full of drama, love triangles and great music. The show’s first episode of the season was a ratings smash. The second episode did drop a bit, but there is still time for the show to find its home audience. The writing is as strong as any drama on TV, network or cable, and the acting is pure country perfection.