A Day Late…And Way More Short
Nashville Season 1 Episode 8
I am indeed a day late with this article and it’s one of those things that just couldn’t be helped. But I kind of thought the extra time would help me to mellow out and think about something good to say about the 43 minutes of my life that I stayed off the fast forward button when I could have been whining on Twitter or debating whether I’m ever going to grow out these weird grade-seven bangs that are ruining my life.
I found the following goodness:
That sure was a cute little cherub of a teenage girl, wasn’t it ? I mean, the grin, the sparkling eyes – it’s obvious that she so entranced the director or editor that she got way more screentime than was originally planned. Every time the shot changed, there she was, grinning and beaming like it was the best thing in her life. I don’t know who she is or how they managed to truck her in from the 1980s where the word “wholesome” was still used, but she was pretty damn endearing.
EXCEPT of course that a mother who is that concerned with no sex before marriage and not letting girls of a certain element past the front door would never, ever let her cherubic tween daughter listen to the filth that is Juliette Barnes, but hey, who needs realism?
Here’s the deal. Nobody on this show is a nice person, or a good person, or a person who is interesting, except maybe Juliette, and I never thought I’d see the day when Hayden Panettiere was what I was going to miss about a show.
Yes. I will miss this show – it’s not back until January and I don’t think I will be when it returns. As hard as it is, I’m bidding this show goodbye. Because they had weeks upon weeks to make me care -- show me how truly dramatic the lives of Nashville singers really are -- and all they did was make me mad instead.
I am not going to miss Rayna James, the most boring, inactive woman ever immortalized as the lead in a TV show. Rayna wants things and they fall into her lap without her having to try to get them. Rayna feels bad about things but never bad enough to do something desperate or angry or INTERESTING.
I feel as though her character is being protected. Characters are interesting because of their flaws, because of the mistakes they make that get you cringing when they kiss the wrong guy or tell their boss where to go. Because of the contradictions in them. Nancy Botwin wanted to do right by her kids so she sold weed - interesting! Carrie Mathison thinks the best way to be professional is to sleep with the terrorist she’s trying to capture - go figure! The kind of person you are when you’re down and out is the truest form of you, and putting characters in uncomfortable situations is the only way to test their strength.
Rayna isn’t down. She isn’t out . I’m waiting for the revelation that she had a frontal lobotomy or is on serious mood stabilizers because nobody reacts the way she does to things. You’re getting that album you always wanted, and mildly complained about not having. “Whee.” Your husband is maybe probably cheating on you and even if he isn’t, he kind of is. “Darn.”
Where is the screaming? Where is the crying? Where is the flying out the door to Deacon or the asking Juliette Barnes for a bump of coke or something that indicates that this is any more than a mundane bump in the road in Rayna’s life? It might make her less attractive, but by God, that would make her fascinating, at least! Is that so much to ask?
It is, apparently, because someone is worried that we won’t like her if she’s mean or bad or anything other than goddamn bland. Has Rayna so much as said a bad word?
And so I’m out.
I will miss Juliette, yes. But I won’t miss gross Gunnar being possessive and weird and losing a girlfriend who’s actually interesting. I won’t miss Scarlett aw-shucks who-me I don’t sing or smile coquettishly or want the attention of men, except I totally do. And I won’t miss Rayna’s nineteen brown-haired men lining up to be ineffectual at her. I will probably miss Bucky because we could use more men named that on TV. And, like Glee before it, Nashville will continue to make its way into my music playlist without ever arriving on my TV screen.
It’s too bad, but as Nashville would say, they were playing the Wrong Song. Thanks for hanging out with me, y’all.