This became my most anticipated new show for fall with the combination of Connie Britton and promises of soap trashiness. It wasn’t quite the glorious entree I was hoping for, but dang it did hit the spot. Britton, who I recently became obsessed with after my Friday Night Lights binging, stars as a Reba-esque country singing legend whose career is suddenly faltering with the emergence of genre hopping Taylor Swift-like new talents. Such a talent is portrayed by Hayden Panettiere, a sultry, auto-tuned, nouveau pop deity, who will seemingly hump on anyone.
Ever since she ruined Beth and Phillip’s renewed romance as a wee tot on Guiding Light, I have never liked Hayden. However, she competently plays this blend of aggressive sexpot and damaged little girl. Giving her a junkie mother as a backstory is pretty obvious but she needs something sympathetic in her corner to temper her rudeness. I feel that giving her three potential suitors within the first 30 minutes was too much (I’m counting Jonathan Jackson, who only glanced at her but we all know wazzup) and that will have to slow down.
As for Britton’s Rayna, I’m not yet convinced on why she let her guitarist/collaborator with whom she still partners to this day, get away. They have explicitly said that they wish they had been with each other from the start. Nevertheless, Rayna is paired up with a bland Eric Close whose character is being corralled by Father Rayna to run for Nashville mayor. I haven’t decided if the Rayna-Mayor marriage was always by convenient design or if love bloomed long ago. I wonder if this is what Gwen Stafani and that other No Doubt guy go through. Rayna’s bluster, like Hayden’s arrogance, was brought down my daddy’s interference and diminishing of her success. Ladies, you both have parentally inflicted demons. Don’t fight. You have so much in common. Cue season finale.
I was mostly worried that the show would be too laden with country-fied musical numbers. While there were actually more original songs dropped that I had imagined, I was surprised to find them quite entertaining. Who knew.
I will now anoint Nashville with a season pass on my DVR.