Mamas and their Baby Girls
Nashville Season 1 Episode 3 recap
Country music, y’all! I am loving getting all your mail and reactions to Nashville as we all get into this world and what it entails together. I regret to inform you all that we’re about to have a fight though, I think.
I got more than a few emails telling me that Scarlett and Avery are trying their best to stay protective of their relationship and that it’s okay if you’re afraid of hurting your partner because you get something they want and etc. I guess I could have understood, at the end of last week, how this was a way you could see things.
And yes, I guess I can understand, after watching this week’s episode, how Avery is more than just a dick boyfriend. Maybe not much more – after all, the shattering sound of his keys landing on the table might as well have been a glass breaking – but I see that his jealousy about the fact she’s songwriting with another dude is separate from his jealousy that she’s singing for Watty White.
But I cannot care about her, or be interested in her, a girl who wants absolutely nothing unless he wants it for her – a girl who’s messing up the sounds in her early takes because her mouth won’t face the microphone because she’s too busy watching him. If these are the beginnings of an artist and her Svengali story, I can understand that, I guess, except that why do I care about Scarlett at all if she can’t be bothered to care about herself? I know the answer should be “that damn haunting song at the end”, but I actually am beginning to find it hard to believe that this girl with no desires beyond making Avery happy has these feelings inside at all. That might be a little too simplistic, but Lord, with the dresses and the wide eyes and the Oh No Mister I Just Couldn’t Interrupt Your Busy Day Mr. White, she’s insipid, and Gunnar isn’t much better but at least he has an outward goal and a not-all-that-well hidden inward goal of winning Scarlett’s heart. Scarlett’s just all out there on the surface, and she is the epitome of Make Your Boyfriend Happy Barbie, and I can’t handle it.
In fact, plastic, manufactured Juliette comes far closer to being a real person that the supposedly “down to earth” Scarlett. In a manner of speaking, that is. I think everyone agrees that Hayden Panettiere has been the early surprise of this show, becoming quite…watchable? Her glare at her assistant when she says the whitestrips really worked is just enough. Half-boss, half-friend. I thought it was interesting how much she said “please” last night, even if she was mostly irritated with people when she spat it. She was, in a way, brought up right? Or dragged up, as my mother would say.
The thing that’s so alarming here is I think we’re still supposed to think that Juliette is young. Maybe not sixteen, but certainly no older than 23 or 24. How long has she been estranged from her mother? How many times have they done this dance? You mean to tell me she hasn’t sent her money to ask her to leave her alone before now? I know that this is, sadly, a really common story – the leeching parent on the successful child. Leighton Meester is the one who keeps coming to mind here. So fine, Juliette needed her mom and she wasn’t there, and now she’s back in her life, and I get all this. She’s desperate for Deacon in her life because she needs musical validation and a Daddy, and you’d think he’d be a little more cautious about getting involved with her because I bet you cash money this is not the first or even the fifth time he’s run into a musician with a complex. But Deacon has Demons Of His Own (and let’s talk about those – I’m sure we’ll find out more, but wouldn’t you think if Rayna was the love of his life that the drug problems would maybe come later? Seeing as addicts can’t love anyone but themselves?) and I’m really worried that they’re going to try to make her ripping off of a nailpolish, caught on camera as a parallel to how he, too, is damaged, and then I might have to kill myself. Because, here’s the thing…
This show is not exactly the most subtle.
Rayna’s story is my least favourite this week. I…what now? Okay, so if Rayna’s tour isn’t selling that well, and she is burning through money, and she hasn’t yet learned how to manage her manipulative father all these years later - like, twice an episode she hisses at him to get out of her life but she keeps on talking to him – and she’s fluttering between two men who are still pretty weak options then…what’s she good at, exactly?
I know, she’s still supposed to be a successful artist (I found it interesting that she didn’t sing this week) and logic says she’s a good mother, because those daughters are adorable; I particularly loved the joy in the line “That’s a dollar!”, and rewound it a couple of times. But then I started looking at Rayna watching her daughters perform (for the uninitiated, they are real-life musical sisters, originally from Canada, and they have a ‘flip-cup’ video that rivals the one from Pitch Perfect).
Mamas seem to disappoint their babies on this show, or at least on this episode. We learned this from the incredibly heavy-handed conversation Rayna had with her sister out of the blue, as if they wouldn’t have talked about this a million years ago. The following phrases were actually uttered:
“He Hates Your Career Because Of Mom.”
“It was like…the two men together somehow made a whole marriage.”
So through those rather on-the-nose pieces of information we get that Mama was not the woman Rayna thought she was. I figure it’s a matter of time before she’s not the woman her children think she is. Before singing, and the careers that will inevitably be offered to them, she will disappoint them. Maybe when she has to yank them out of their private school because of no money, because her pride is so important? Maybe when they find out she’s stringing Deacon along, and has been for years?
I watched that last scene with Rayna and Deacon several times. She’s holding hearts in her hand, but hers is in pieces, but she should be saying something that she isn’t? She should be saying that it’s all over but he and music are the same? Given that we’re supposed to understand Rayna’s been faithful since Maddie was born, I guess, what exactly does he get from this noncommittal woman? I do think he cares about her – there’s something in the way that he calls her Rae. And
my phone ring is just a supercut of Coach Taylor saying “I tell you what” over and over again. The first time Deacon said it to Rayna tonight, something in my heart broke, just a little. But I don’t know what he’s getting from standing incessantly beside a woman who’s all “oh hey, don’t go but also don’t love me or look at me that way”.
Rayna’s childish, and part of that is probably that she assumes her husband is a well-behaved lapdog and isn’t totally keeping financial secrets from her that I’m sure will never come out. I don’t mind that quality in a main character, but…but. Given that she’s apparently not going on a big tour and seemed momentarily to be contemplating not going on a small one, and that she only seems to love Teddy when it’s convenient, and thinks that constantly turning off songs on the radio will turn off the feelings in her head, I need her to DO something instead of just reacting all the time. Even if it’s a bad decision.
I hope it’s a bad decision.