Tag Archives: Nashville

TV State of the Union

 

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The second half of this TV season is upon us and so I figured that a hangover-ed morning was a great way to catch up on all of the TV I’ve missed lately. Today was that day. It’s been a busy couple of months in the entertainment industry. A lot of content to consume in order keep up with, well, everything. The award ceremonies, the water cooler talks, the artistic expressions of our favorite filmmakers, and, of course, the FOMO. After casually keeping up with my favorite shows amidst all of my movie going excitement, it seemed like the right time for a Bryan’s Not Lyin’ TV State of the Union.

While I have pared down what I watch on a weekly basis substantially, my TV time is still way above the average viewer. This includes not just what my DVR records, but sporting events, Netflix and Hulu and Amazon and HBO binges (aka my Apple TV playland), as well as the youtube videos of hilarious late night tv antics. There a lot going on and I need to see it all. It’s a blessing and a curse. Mostly a curse, sometimes a blessing. (Curse, let’s be honest.)

So below, I’ve written a few blurbs on what I’m currently watching and how I think their current seasons are fairing. Note: SPOILER CITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Not like an actual city, but there are a lot of spoilers below.)

Once again: Next Stop, Spoiler City! (Like I said, not an actual city…)

Arrow

It’s much better than last season. Much, much better. Now, it’s been well documented that fJIcdG2this show takes itself waaaay too seriously and while this season is no different, there’s a bit more character empathy. The reason? Neal McDonough as Damien Darhk. Not only is his baddie more engaging to watch then Matt Nobel’s Ra’s al Guhl from last year, but his ruthlessness and relentless raises the stakes of everything Team Arrow takes on. Some plots I’m down on (aka Speedie’s bloodlust), but mostly Oliver and Felicity’s current situation is incredibly watchable. They’re the characters I am most drawn to and Darhk brings out the most interesting storytelling.

The Flash

It’s convoluted, ridiculous, and out there, but damn is it so much fun. Every character (minus Caitlin and Jay) are clicking on all cylinders. In a way, The Flash season two has done an interesting flip flop. At first the emotional lives of the characters, aside from Barry, were shallow and based on the fact that The Flash’s secret was being kept to frustrating means. Essentially, Iris and a few other characters didn’t pop off the screen well and
the-flashseemed like filler or at least a forced obstacle for Barry and company. The fun bad guys, silly quips, and good TV special effects were the reason to stay. Now the show borders on (or sometimes crosses over into) the absurd, but it is grounded in such wonderful human moments. Now that all of the core characters know that Barry is the Flash, we don’t have any super cliched plots that just don’t read to the audience. That has allowed us to connect more with the plights of these people and be affected by their hardships. Iris and her mother. Barry and Patty. Harry and his daughter. I look forward to hanging out in Central City every Tuesday nights (and when they are in Star City for crossovers with Team Arrow.)

Supergirl

I’m really enjoying what this show is dishing out. The Berlanti DC TV shows are very strong across the board and Supergirl, in its first season, has only strengthened his hold on the Stronger Togethersmall screen comic book landscape. This show is earnest, heartfelt, and melodramatic in a way that the other shows can’t offer. Some characters are more likable than others, for instance, I enjoy an episode with less James Olsen and more Cat Grant. The addition of The Martian Manhunter through a Hank Henshaw fake out is brilliant and adds a whole new DC layer to the show that it needed. Especially to act as a mentor and foil to Melissa Benosit’s wonderful take on Supergirl. (The gchats with Clark Kent weren’t exactly cutting it.) It’s a really fun way to end my Monday nights. Jeremy Jordan is also pretty dreamy.

Nashville

Yes, I still watch it. Why? I JUST DON’T KNOW. The music isn’t as good, the plots keep getting more and more insane, but I can’t not watch it!

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

It’s truly impressive how in it’s 11th season, this show is funnier, more gruesome, and smarter than it has been in what would be considered it’s best years. It’s rare for a halfstatic1.squarespace hour comedy to come back from some lesser quality seasons, but the past three seasons have done that like 30 Rock in it’s last season. Granteed, there have only been a handful of episodes so far into the season, but Mac, Dee, Frank, Dennis, and Charlie are delivering left and right. RUM HAM!

New Girl

It still consistently cracks me up. Now that the cast has been streamlined again (and the title card), it’s back to what I enjoyed before Nick and Jess got together. Semi-plotless, but new-girlso much fun and the one-liners kill. Everybody’s friendship chemistry is profoundly real and palpable. The show refound that their characters and those relationships are why the show works in the first place, so they’ve relied on that in a major way.  Cece and Schmidt together works better than any other pairing of ‘lovers’, so to have that solidified for the moment adds a lot of comic value. I love these people and the crazier Winston is, the more I love everything and everybody.

Billions

I’ve watched the first two episodes and can’t get enough of Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti, Maggie Siff, and even Malin Akerman. The story itself isn’t the most engaging I’ve ever Billionsseen. If anything it’s retread of the usual bad boy, super smart hedge fund CEO and the questionably moral government employee out to get him. But simply put: the scene work, writing, and acting is top notch. As of now, I like it a lot, I just hope that it can stay the course and not become the same old same old banker vs government story.

The Big Bang Theory

It delivers exactly what it promises: nerd laughs. This season has had some extremely solid The Raiders Minimizationepisodes, all character based, which is both nice and unexpected for half hour sitcom. The types of character pieces they’re building around Sheldon/Amy and Leonard/Penny tell a much more interesting story of friendship and growth, so our time investment in these lives is rewarded. This season is enjoyable on multiple planes (or Sheldon’s favorite thing: trains).

 

 I’ll hopefully have more TV related reviews up in the next few days, so stay tuned!

Keep On Watchin’!

-Bryan

Nashville – Tomorrow Never Comes (S2, Ep10)

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OMG GUYS! WHO IS GONNA DIE?!

As much as I wanted you to laugh at the sentence, I actually am interested.  This episode actually reinvigorated my desire to watch this show, but it also highlighted just how lame the music has been.  90% of this episode took place at a music festival and we barely got any music.  I mean, we got that wonderful Avery and Juliette moment, as well as a hint of Deacon/Gunnar, but overall, I wasn’t digging it.

The drama on the other hand ranged from I Don’t Care to OOoooo, Give Me More!

I could care less about Gunnar and Zoe and Scarlett.  They are stupid and they’re acting stupid, which I guess is normal.  I just still don’t accept Zoe into the group.  Sorry.

Scarlett, Avery, and Juliette on the other hand got really good as the emotions and relationships are genuine.  Their last moment was pretty outstanding.

Rayna starting up Highway 65 for herself is probably a terrible idea. – Kinda care

Deacon with a solo career? I’m in!

Will DYING!?  – Ballsy, but interesting move.

Peggy Dying!? YES PLEASE!

I’ll definitely be tuning in again, but they’re Walking the Line.  (See what I did there?)

Keep on Watchin’

-Bryan

 

Nashville – I’m Tired of Pretending (S2, Ep9)

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Nashville is most definitely getting more and more interesting every week, as long it  continues to stay more focused.  Letting the drama build through the characters is way better then throwing some outrageous twist on us to make us feel something.

The Lamar court room drama was pushed back into the spotlight.  I like that they haven’t focused too much on it because if they spent too much time on it in previous episodes, it may have felt too redundant.

The Deacon/Teddy/Maddie issues are heating up and that is what draws my attention the most.  I understand that Teddy is hurt and scared, but these men need to, well, man up and deal with this like adults.  As Rayna can see, this is hurting Maddie more than anybody else.

The younglings love stories headed into a more interesting direction.  If they are framed by the tour plot, the making out and love fits into an effective dramatic story.  This week, while predictable, was still bearable.

On the other hand, I am so sick of Juilette’s ridiculous love affairs that I need something new in her corner.  The Avery/friendship characterization was working so well, so I hope that it continues.  It’s nicer to see Juliette on a more human level.  Her jealously and bitch mode with the tour’s “little miss newbie” is more engaging than anything else, so at least she got that going for her.

And, as I’ve said… bring back the good music…

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

Nashville – Hanky Panky Woman (S2, Ep8)

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It definitely feels like season one a bit more, but realistically, it’s not even close.  The story lines are just as dramatic, but let’s face it, the music isn’t as good and the character depth can be found in the kiddie pool.

We haven’t seen Lamar or Will in what feels like a lifetime and while all of these new characters and set pieces are flashy, it doesn’t feel like the show that I signed up for with out the music.  The drama isn’t enough.  I’m not having the fun I used to have.

This week, Deacon actually showed up big time for Scarlett. The Rayna/Deacon dynamic is always interesting, so finally they added Scarlett directly to the mix.  Gunnar couldn’t get any more boring, but at least they’re attempting to implement him into a scenario that could benefit in drama for our viewing pleasure.

Avery and Juliette are a great dynamic, now that they are friends and sharing with each other.  It feels more real and grounded, opening up Juliette to be able for us to understand her more.  The situation that got her into the discussion is absurd, but keeps me interested.

Notice how all of the people I mention are our original characters? Yeah, let’s keep them main stream and exciting.

Other thoughts:

The Peggy/Teddy stuff is so ‘paint by numbers’ TV plot that it’s not even remotely interesting.  It doesn’t help that it couldn’t be executed in any more of a more mundane manner.

Jeff has become such a “twirl his mustache” bad guy that he isn’t interesting as an obstacle any more.

That cliff hanger was just… come on. Try harder. Please?

I did love seeing Rayna attempting to save Scarlett.  We forget how much true power she holds and including the crowd to show that every once in a while helps.

Keep on watchin’!

-Bryan

Nashville – She’s Got You (S2, Ep7)

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Can we talk about that ending first? I mean, this show is out of control now.  It is full blown Grand ole soap opera-y and without the good music.  I just don’t know how long I can watch this show.  It isn’t nearly as interesting or engaging as it used to be.

I guess the end at least got me invested in something, regardless of how ridiculous it is.  Will’s hidden feelings aren’t doing it for me, as it is the same old gay closet story, while Gunnar is just like watching paint dry.  Especially, since they’ve tried to shoehorn Zoey into both my life and Gunnar’s.

What I do like is the Avery/Deacon team-up.  This could work well… who knows.  Avery has had a great up and down arc over these two seasons.  I hope they do him justice.  Also, the girls played at the wedding.  Even if it was only for a minute, I’m into it.  The Maddie and her fathers story is another one that gets me too.

So, all in all I’m half invested and I want more music!

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

Nashville – It Must Be You (S2, Ep6)

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Aside from the lame love stories of our young artists, Nashville is mostly getting back on track.  The high drama of the adults is quite engaging, as the fall out from the out-of-control finale still lingers.  It’s still not nearly as good as season one, which is due, in a large part, to the faltering music.  It’s just not catchy or placed well with in the show.  Most of the episodes hold the one or two songs until the end and they aren’t engaging or only used over a montage.  Oh well…

Some Other Thoughts:

  • Deacon has been a great character.  After his initial struggle in jail and coming back home, I’ve lost interest in him.  They’ve side lined his battle with his inner demons for his love story with this lawyer we haven’t been given the chance to feel for, so it detracts from our experience.
  • Also, he’s a terrible uncle for not going to Scarlet’s big night at the Bluebird.
  • The Avery/Scarlett scenes were lovely.  I’ve really enjoyed his transformation.
  • Gunnar is the worst. Literally one of the worst characters on TV.  They’ve tried to do some much with him, but have half-assed it the whole way.  Whether it was attempting to make him a bad boy or an empathic/sympathetic heartbroken artist, it hasn’t fully worked.  Is that the writers or the actor to blame?
  • I didn’t miss Will AT ALL.
  • The Rayna and her sister dymanic is an interesting one that I’m excited to see play out, even if we know how it’s going to end.
  • Oh Juliette… always getting into trouble.  Blah. I’m over her shenanigans, but I’ll hold out for this story line and see what the writer’s do with the wife’s discovery.
  • I. Don’t. Care. About. Zoey.

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

Nashville – Don’t Open That Door (S2, Ep5)

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Nashville! Wednesday Night. Best Night Ever! Rayna. Deacon. Scarlett. Will. Gunnar. Teddy. Super crazy Peggy. What will happen this week?

Okay. Okay. Fine, I’ll tell you.

Deacon and his Life: After deciding to leave the music business for his own good, Deacon finally finds himself in a solid place. He’s still dating the doctor and as happy as he could be after he recent car accident past. People recognize him as the “Deacon Claybourne,” but he only says that he used to be that guy. Juliette approaches him, asking for him to return as her band leader for her newly devised tour. He declines, admitting his hand isn’t better and that he no longer wants to live that life style. Juliette lets it slip that Rayna is having trouble singing and getting back to her old form. Deacon is shocked by this information, so he visits her to talk. When these two get together the chemistry always flows. In the episode’s best scene, Rayna and Deacon tell each other that they can’t give up on the music industry that they’ve helped to shape. There is no other choice for these two musicians. Deacon uses this pep talk to influence his advice with Scarlett later on. She wants to give up, as she isn’t keen on the non-music aspects of the business. Deacon attempts to convince her to stay in the game, as she’ll miss it too much, as he is beginning to realize.

Rayna and her Voice: Rayna is still trying to course correct her vocal issues with vocal instruction, but isn’t making much progress on the mental aspect of her recovery. She’s so afraid that is won’t heal, that her voice isn’t healing as fast as it normally would. Her life is full of stress and tension at this point, as Edgehill is pushing her to finish the record and only see her label as a side project to help artisits that the big conglomerate will eventually sign to a contract. Rayna then asks her father for the money to buy out her contract so that she can make the album she wants with no outside hands harassing her or her music. Later at the concert, Rayna makes a surprise appearance to invite Juliette to join the Grand Old Opry, but it’s really just a ploy to get her onstage. When she is basically forced to sing, her fear takes over. After the audience and band leader help her by singing along, she gains the courage to finish the song. Boy does she nail it. Now, with her voice and confidence back, she called Jeff out on spreading the rumor of her voice disappearing and reveals her plan to leave Edgehill for her own record.

Scarlett and her Naiveté: Will, Layla, and Scarlett are prepping for the music school benefit performance. The show features the “youngsters” of the Edgehill label, so they are all being taken in for media training. Scarlett, who isn’t the red carpet type like Will and Layla are, is told to condense her story and be more direct about it. She can’t alienate her fans by saying she “fell into” a singing career. As Layla and Scarlett are preparing to head out onto the carpet, Layla suggests that she ditch her notecards, just be herself, and wing it during interviews. Scarlett does this to with no success. Edgehill’s Jeff watches her crash and burn, so after the tense argument, he sends her away. Luckily this distraught singer/song writer goes home to her uncle for a little pep talk. When she goes home from the event, Will sees Layla smiling and calls her out on sabotaging Scarlett. Will, holding a little grudge with Layla, is asked by Edgehill to create the illusion that they are together, as the fans love it!

Juliette and her Pride: Even though Juliette suggested that Layla open for her revamped tour, she’s already over the annoying new pop princess. In an effort to shorten Layla’s set time, she negotiates with Jeff to pick and Edgehill male to play with the two girls. Juliette picks Will (who is grateful to his ex-lover/PR guy for the opportunity), but still needs a band leader. At the concert, she is surprised to see that Rayna is onstage, but is shocked when she’s asked to join the Grand Old Opry. This is a tremendous honor for the young star. As she is backstage with her manager, they over hear Rayna discussing how her invitation was just a ploy to get Rayna at the event. Seeing that even close people can’t be trusted, she apologizes to Avery, who is thankful for her apology, but also turns her deal, to rejoin the band, down.

Gunnar and Friends: Gunnar and Avery have teamed up to write music. Now that they both work at the Bluebird Café, they have time to sit and create during the day. After Avery suggests that their new song needs a female voice, they bring in Zoey to fill in the vocal blanks. This, of course, leads to Gunnar and Zoey hooking up and causing a whole new web of issues. Zoey sneaks away in the morning, unsure of what just happened in the context of their friendship.

Lamar and his Daughter: Lamar meets with Teddy in an attempt to settle their differences once and for all. Lamar offers to be a sponser on a Nashville music festival that Teddy is trying to put up, but is denied. He wants no part in Lamar’s want to get back into the financial circus that is Nashville city development. After learning that her father may have been behind the death of her mother, Tandy turns her dad into the Federal Government. In order to receive immunity, she is not allowed to mention what she has done to anybody. Just and Tandy is about to confess to her father, the episode ends with Lamar swearing his revenge on Teddy, who he believes is behind this all.

After a few weeks of uneven storytelling, this episode is more along the lines of what we want from this show. Plots and characters have settled and begun to develop, but the music is still lacking. I did, however, enjoy Avery and Gunnar’s new song. Now that the larger puzzles are falling into place, I expect this show to cruise nicely through this nice season.

Keep On Watchin’!

-Bryan

Nashville – You’re No Angel Yourself (S2, Ep 4)

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Finally, an episode with some spunk!  Mystery, intrigue, backstabbing, weird dates, and a missing kid.  Got to love it all.

Some other quick thoughts on this week’s Nashville:

  • Connie Britton is an incredible actress.  The last moments of the episode were heart warming.
  • I forgot how much I enjoy her kids.  Lennon and Maisy are outstanding and the final song was probably the best of the season.
  • Rayna opening up with Maddie and the transition that is going to take place with Teddy and Deacon should be interesting.
  • The “father killing the mother” story is insanely over the top standard soap drama, but it is working for me, so I can’t complain.
  • Juliette, while still a pushy spoiled brat, is actually handling her situation with more poise.  It’s nice to see a little bit of growth.  Don’t worry, she’s still a bitch.
  • Deacon on the date was a little odd.  The lawyer opened up, REALLY quickly.
  • I don’t know if Gunnar is doing the right thing, but at least he’s doing something.
  • Scarlett and Zoey’s scenes were kinda lame, but they’re attempting to build the latter character’s Nashville cred.
  • Peggy, you’re the worst.

As much as I enjoy watching this show for certain aspects, lots of these characters and plot lines are getting old.  At least here they hit a better balance of family issues with music business issues.  The moments that came from these problems were quite lovely, so bring on the moments!

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

Nashville – I Don’t Want To Talk About It Now (S2, Ep3)

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TGIT.  Thank God It’s Thursday! (Cause we can talk about last night’s Nashville, duh.)  Rayna and the gang are back to their old southern soapy shenanigans and we get to watch!  Let’s cut the introduction short and just get right back into it because it’s been a long week without a healthy helping of a scheming, eye rolling, and jealous Juliette Barnes.

Episode three finds Rayna and Teddy finalizing their divorce.  After all of the talk, it is finally official in a civil manner.  Remorse is conveyed, but the two realize that it’s not going to work anymore and their kids are better off.  Jeff Fordham, the newly introduced head of Edgehill records meets with Juliette, apologizing for getting off on the wrong foot.  Juliette, still upset over Jeff’s new youth star hire, refuses to sing at the shareholders showcase along with Will, Rayna and Scarlett.  She has a previous obligation to sing at a fan’s private five-year anniversary party.

Rayna, wanting out of her Edgehill contract, meets with her former album producer and lover, Liam McGuiness, to try and get her old record back on track.  After refusing her, Liam changes his tune, as he agrees to help Rayna finish her album only if she apologizes for leaving him at the airport late in season one.  The chemistry is still hot and heavy!

Elsewhere in Nashville…

Teddy visits Peggy, dropping off money that takes care of her during, what he believes to be, her pregnancy.  Peggy, desperate to get Teddy back, tries to lure him in by showing her soft family side.  Gunnar, obsessed with perfecting his new song, once again tries to ignore Will, who believes the song to be great.  Even though he has a song writing contract, he seems to be stuck in a rut, as Will and Scarlett’s careers keep rising.  These two ‘rising stars’ are treated to a stylist session for the showcase, where Will asks Zoe to attend the concert with him.  She agrees, but finds out the she, Scarlett, Will, and Gunnar will be going all together (In an Edgehill limo nonetheless!).

Taking a backseat this week, Juliette and Avery are in Maryland for a private concert for a wealthy family’s anniversary.  Olivia and Charlie Wentworth have paid a lot of money to have Juliette to perform, so when Charlie asks to play guitar along side of her for a song, she happily agrees.  Avery and Juliette have been getting closer as of late, so when she refers to him as somebody “just on payroll,” he gets offended.  During the performance the tension is felt, especially when Charlie is onstage.  Post concert, Avery and Juliette have a blow out that ends in his firing.  Once again, Juliette is alone by her own undoing.

Her first former guitarist is dealing with demons of his own.  Deacon, after deciding to get help from the doctors to manage his hand pain, has returned to AA.  Coleman, his friend and sponsor, reveals to Deacon that he’s moving away to escape the drama of Nashville.  Before leaving, Coleman expresses his love for Deacon, but warns him to deal with his father issues.  Until he can come to terms with that aspect of his life, he can never handle the Maddie situation with clarity.  After visiting Teddy, insuring him that Teddy will always be Maddie’s dad, Deacon goes back to AA to finally share his past.  In their talk, Teddy opens Deacon’s eyes.  Maddie will never unlearn the information of Deacon’s fatherhood, so she will always be watching him and his choices.  In a very moving scene at AA, Deacon exposes his childhood through a story about how his mother was beaten by his father in front of him.  He is afraid he’s already become his drunkard dad.

Rayna’s Surprising Revelation…

Jeff speaks with Rayna about performing at the showcase.  She hesitantly agrees, but when she’s at a recording session, we find out that—

BOMBSHELL: Ranya can’t sing! AHHHHH!

Her voice hasn’t been the same since the intubation and she doesn’t know if she can rerecord the tracks for her new album!  She can’t sing at the showcase either!  Liam agrees to try and delay the album until she can possibly recover.  Then they make out and sleep together because, well, it’s Nashville! Also, their chemistry is through the roof!

Finally, all the missing music comes out to play at the shareholder’s showcase.  Will, who decides to play Gunnar’s song, is a big hit.  Gunnar, after starting angry, finally comes around, secretly enjoying the  success of his song.  It’s that he’s not into the help from Will.  Rayna, following up Will, deceives Jeff and introduces Scarlett who performs instead of her.

Where We Are For Next Week…

Rayna and Jeff have aggressive words with each other.  Jeff is slowly realizing that Rayna wants to split, but doesn’t know of her vocal condition.  Teddy, missing the idea of a family, ends up kisses Peggy, who is getting exactly what she wants.  How’s she going to explain the non-pregnancy?  And finally, poor, poor Juliette.  As she stumbles around drunk after the concert, Juliette runs into Charlie, who kisses her.  Per usual, she makes the poor decision and closes her door with him inside.

And that’s your Nashville for the week.

Something is missing from this season.  I’m definitely not having as much fun as I once was, but it’s more than that.  Sure there’s less music and more convoluted plot, but it comes down to character building.  It seems like the characters are only hitting plot points and not earning the relationships that intertwine with them.  For instance, we haven’t spent enough time with Avery and Juliette bonding for us to care about their fight.  The writers are banking on the fact that we like them from season one, so we’ll buy into it all.  Same with Gunnar, Will, Scarlett, and Zoe’s love quadrangle.  Zoe is a newly random character who we have no attachment too and Gunnar’s been such a downer that we’re apathetic to anything he does.  We haven’t spent enough time caring about everybody, so why would I care what he or she does or who he or she is kissing?  When the characters suffer, plot is obsolete.  “Real” heartfelt moments are being sacrificed for “GASP” moments and it’s not working.

Other Thoughts:

  • Charles Esten is doing some excellent work on this show and that should not go overlooked.
  • I am so over all Juliette making the same mistakes over and over and over and over again.  Better shows have their characters move on and make new mistakes.
  • Gunnar needs to change immediately.  It is not fun to watch somebody mope for an hour with no purpose.  Why have him as a character if we’re not going to have fun with him!?
  • I like Will, but they need to give him more to do. He’s getting way too one dimensional, but still more fun than Gunnar!
  • Rayna has healed incredibly well and insanely fast for somebody recently on the brink of death.
  • We need more music throughout the whole episode.  By keeping it all for the end, the show has no time to breathe.  We get plot overload for 45 minutes and then 15 minutes of too much stop and go time!

Let’s get it back on track Nashville.  I believe in you! Until next week…

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan

Nashville – Never No More (S2, Ep2)

MIFpLVc20ltlYou can stay here and read below or check it out in a fancier format on haveuheard.net!

Are you having a tough time getting through this work week?  Well, have no fear because it’s Wednesday and you know what that means!  Music, Lights, and Diva Star Power!  We have Rayna James and company to get us just past that midweek hump!

After last week’s somber episode answered all of the season one cliffhanger questions, let’s see if episode two has a spark to light the way to a more energized hour.  Rayna is out of her coma, Juliette needs a hit album, Deacon is getting out of jail, Gunnar wants Scarlett back, and Will wants only stardom.  There’s so much going on in Nashville this week! What could happen next!?

Well, you’ve come to the right place because I’ll tell you what happened next…

THIS WEEK ON NASHVILLE:

We open with Juliette making a guest appearance on ‘Conan’ to promote her album, “Inside the Dream.”  Of course she’s asked about Rayna, who has been released from the hospital into the care of Teddy.  She’s back at home with her children, of which Maddy is still very upset.  Juliette is quite resentful that on her media tour all she talks about is Rayna, Rayna, Rayna!

Edgehill Records has a new boss in town, Jeff Fordham, who is shaking things up in Nashville.  He’s a man who only sees numbers and the business side of things, having very little interest in the art.  Juliette feels threatened as her sales are down.  On the other hand, Jeff has an encouraging meeting with Rayna, pledging his allegiance to her smaller label and work.

Nashville is in for a little two-step shake up!

Things may be going well for the country diva on the business side of life, but her home is another matter entirely.  Maddy and Rayna attempt to have a conversation about all that has transpired.  Maddy won’t hear it as she’s confused and upset, for good reason, of course.  There is no solving this situation in the moment for Rayna.  While this aspect of Rayna’s home life continues to get worse, her car accident ordeal seems to be bringing Teddy closer to her.

Deacon, returning home from jail, has a new caretaker: his niece Scarlett.  His anger has taken over his being, but Scarlett won’t have it.  She takes him to see the doctor Juliette set up for his hand.  The stubborn Deacon can’t forgive himself for what he’s done to Rayna, so he opts to have his hand put in a cast.  This, of course, will make it much harder for his hand to fully heal, not allowing him to play the guitar.  Deacon is punishing himself for his sins.

Jeff seemed like a nice enough guy in the early goings, but shocker, he’s not!  While watching Will rock out at a bar performance, Jeff offers him a spot as a new emerging solo artist for Edgehill records, which would poach him away from Rayna.  And, in another twist: Jeff’s PR guy? Will’s ex-boyfriend! AHHH! (I may need a Nashville family tree for this episode.)

Moving onto the sales hungry Juliette Barnes:

During Juliette’s trip to her old trailer park stomping grounds in Alabama (I know, I know. That’s not Nashville), an old neighbor surprises her with a quilt.  Apparently this neighbor was a big part of her young life when her drug-addicted mother wasn’t around.  Juliette quickly rejects the quilt; a reminder of the past.  As Juliette wanders her hometown, she has a hard time keeping her emotions in check, blaming it on her attempt to sell more albums.  Her filmed origin story will manipulate her audiences into buy her new, heartfelt record.  Avery can only watch as she struggles through her past for marketing purposes.

Rayna, having felt the forced affection, confronts Teddy about living together in the wake of her accident.  She believes that it confuses the kids, as they aren’t getting back together.  Teddy just wants his family back, acknowledging that he knows they’ll never be together again.  In another move to clean up her newly messy life, Rayna approaches Will about his possibly leaving her label for Edgehill.  She genuinely seems to care about Will, his choices, and his future as an artist, siting that Jeff will not have his back in the long run.

What’s happening with Gunnar you ask? Well, let me tell you.

Gunnar has hit a major wall when it comes to lyrics.  He’s in his head about Scarlett and frustrated by the world. He snaps at Will, ignoring him, even though Will seems ready to open up about the decisions that he has to make.  Luckily Gunnar is interrupted by Zoe, Scarlett’s best friend.  Although she only comes to pick up some items for her BFF, Zoe helps Gunnar through the darkness by giving him some worldly advice.  Later, at the Bluebird Café, he premieres his new song, about the pain of his brother’s death.  This brilliant, heart wrenching song makes Will realize that he’ll never be as talented as his roommate.  Also, cue longing stares from Zoe.

In the episodes’ most anticipated moment, Deacon calls Rayna and they meet near the site of the accident.  Deacon didn’t know what else to do, but call his ex to help him through his struggles. Rayna has no choice but to reject his camaraderie.  This is a new beginning for her and they need to save themselves, not each other.  In a heartbreaking instant, she returns the original engagement ring, kept as a memento/reminder all these years.  Deacon tosses it into the flower shrine in defeat.  He wants nothing to do with music anymore, so he decides to sell his guitars.  Scarlett, however, grows an even bigger backbone and calls her uncle out on all of his excuses and negativity.  He reveals the reason he broke thirteen years of sobriety: Maddy.  In an amazing moment, Scarlett tells him that it isn’t worth throwing what he loves the most away: Music.  Deacon, finally seeing the stupidity in his actions, has a reversal and attempts to saw off his cast.

And now for the Edgehill party:

After being assured by his ex-boyfriend that his secret is safe, Will agrees to join Edgehill as a solo act.  He doesn’t see himself as an artist with Rayna, only a front man with Jeff.   Juliette proudly attends the party, as her Country Music TV special gives her reason to brag.  Her numbers are up on iTunes and can flaunt it in Jeff’s face.  But as we’ve learned so far this episode, Jeff’s no good!  It turns out that Jeff has signed a 19 year old singer, who didn’t even win her reality show, to cater toward Juliette’s fading tween demographic.  She even sings a Juliette Barnes song at the party. Rude!  Rayna sees that Jeff is undercutting Juliette, so she wants out as soon as possible.  She wants nothing to do with the label that she helped to build.

Woo! Now this is the Nashville I know and love.  This week brought more of the drama, backstabbing, and genuine feeling.  Rayna, having missed a week last episode, was on an extended screen time rampage!  It was really nice to have her back, as this show can only go so far with out her.  And did she look good after her coma or what?!  It’s like she was never in one to begin with!

What I liked about this week is that with all the new characters and plot we were thrown, we were still treated to a nice sprinkling of character moments.  That’s why we come back week after week, right? For those relationships and wonderful character chemistry.  Rayna and Deacon still have it and their scene, for me at least, stole the show.  Behind all that hurt, there is still an immense amount of love, and that always shines through, regardless of circumstance.

The writers seem to be moving away from the fallout of the premiere pretty quickly with all the new characters and stories.  I hope the ramifications of the cliffhangers linger through the season further than the first few episodes. But, this week we were treated to some really enjoyable plot developments, which, I assume, will make this season all the more interesting.

Some other thoughts:

  • Maddy is turning her sister against the family. Oh my!
  • Lamar and Peggy were left out this week, but I’m sure their time will come.  Honestly, I forgot about their plot lines, as I am not as invested in their cliché nature.
  • The songs this week were a little lackluster, but as forgettable as they may be afterwards, I always enjoy them in the moment.  Gunnar’s performance was the definite standout musically.
  • The Avery and Juliette friend dynamic seems genuine and interesting.  I hope that is explored more before they hook up again. (I mean, come on. It’s going to happen.)
  •  Zoe and Gunnar are just asking for trouble.
  •  I LOVE that Scarlett has developed a real feisty spirit since day one.  Her new backbone is encouraging.

Have a good week and try not to miss Tennessee too much!

Keep on Watchin’!

-Bryan