Nashville Season 1 Episode 7 recap

Welcome to Nashville, where women argue and men dictate their sexual behavior! It’s a super-fun place to live and work, if you’re not that interested in work. Of course, there are entire lines of work that are mostly focused on smiling ruefully at women who are in the process of disappointing you, so there’s that.

This episode of Nashville had a lot going for it, relative to the others. I really don’t like that I have to list its good points to bolster myself up to write about it. I mean, this is not Glee.

But before I get into my…I don’t know, disappointment …at where the show isn’t, I want to acknowledge what’s real, what I’m loving. I really do feel like these people care about music, and I so relish seeing Deacon at the Bluebird and other places performing, as that’s how I understand working musicians, like working artists of other types, to be. They’re always out there trying to do more. They make a point of it. The (far too long) scene where Avery’s band dances around after seeing their name up in lights felt right, too. This is what they’re working for all this time, so I didn’t mind seeing them so excited.

To this end, I have to say, Juliette is winning me over week after week with her fraud complex – hoping she can be good, musically, worrying people are going to find her out if she isn’t. She was overwhelmed when she first took in the house…anxious (and praying!) in her dressing room right beforehand, and had some obvious, (if, you know, obvious) anxiety before going onstage. I love that she was so take-charge when they were songwriting, and despite everything that’s irritating about her (“I’m NOT kryptonite”, and she almost stamped her foot), I feel like music is important to her.

Like, as important as stardom.

Is music important to Rayna?

You guys, seriously. Really. Yes, she’s songwriting with a new dude – ANOTHER TALL SKINNY WHITE BROWN HAIRED GUY, which together with Juliette’s new squeeze brings our total to one million – but I don’t ever get the impression she’s into music, you know? She doesn’t sing when she’s doing stuff with her kids, though this might be about Connie, and the desire not to have her sing without assistance; she doesn’t talk about the new stuff she’s been listening to and how great it is; she doesn’t talk about how, in addition to missing Deacon, she’s gonna miss the music. You know?

Is Rayna James kind of a narcissistic jerk?  

When they did the thing, weeks ago, where she had a “diva dip”, I thought she was going to be this type of person: the type who is adored by fans but secretly kind of a nightmare. And then again maybe someone who has moments of clarity, like that smile at Juliette. Who actually knows, despite being kind of oblivious, that there are career milestones that are important and that was one of them – for both of them. 

But sometimes she’s all tiger-mama about her music, and then sometimes she’s kind of lackadaisical about losing her collaborating partner, and then again sometimes she’s kind of all into her new producer (and I’m pretty sure she’s about to be into him, also, because they’re hitting us over the head with that one)  -- why can’t I get a read on who the lead of the series is?

I know who Juliette is and I love her despite myself. I know who Scarlett is and I hate every second of her face, and of the various men who can’t deal with the idea that she might get to enjoy herself on her own terms. (Also, just as all the men are brown-haired, apparently all women on this show have to be blonde to be actual characters. The brunette women just stand around, thanklessly delivering information or plot devices so the blondes can have character development.)

So why is Rayna still a cipher? I can’t tell if she’s had a jealous or a lustful or an ambitious thought during the entire run of the show. I have no idea what her furrowed brow means where Teddy’s concerned, since she gives him about the same look you’d give to a grandmother who was prone to leaving the stove on:  concerned, but not angry or loving, per se. Even the imaginary love scene between her and Deacon was sanitary. Is she a real person, or a bit…lobotomized?

I …know it can’t be Connie Britton. It can’t. I know what she can do with material that’s worthy of her. And I know that there is another version of Nashville, where there’s not a crazy political story that makes me think she and her father have some sort of incestuous thing going on. I don’t know who’s pushing and pulling which way to make the show we’re currently seeing, at times.

But right now it makes me feel like the show has an overall lukewarm temperature. It’s as though they’re trying really hard not to make me mad at Rayna yet…but Lord, would I welcome that by now.

P.S.  Scarlett. Seriously. Who likes her? No girl I know is dumb enough to think that having those two yokels caveman over her is desirable, and no dude I know is interested in that simpering little voice and aw-shucks posture. Who is she for?  Also, how come they haven’t written a hit since they got their job as hit songwriters? Just wondering.