By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal ®
Okay Nashville, listen up. I already have one musical show I’m watching as it makes its march towards its series finale. That’s right. I’m drinking the champagne, dancing and ignoring the iceberg straight ahead as the Smash sinks.
I don’t know if I can take another show not living up to the promise of its pilot and disappointing me in every episode. In the words of Chandler Bing, I couldn’t be more Nashville’s target audience. I love country music. I love singing on television. I love big, sweeping prime time soaps. I still think there’s a chance I can be Connie Britton when I grow up. You couldn’t find a viewer who wants to love Nashville more. But lately the show seems to be taking that sentence as some sort of dare and testing the limits of exactly how much I can take before I quit the show.
The rocky first season Nashville proves how utterly challenging it is to produce a consistently compelling TV series. I don’t want to break up with Nashville. So I’m offering up my six point plan for saving the show.
- Stop coming up with annoying characters. Just stop it. We all know I can’t stand Scarlett with her wide-eyed naiveté, exaggerated accent, penchant for lacey white clothing, desperate whininess and bad hair extensions. I would love to see a show where Jimmy from Smash and Scarlett run off together and never return. But silly me. I thought Scarlett was the worst Nashville could come up with until it introduced Dante. Seriously, what is with this guy? He went from being a sober coach to a controlling Svengali in one episode. Not only is he annoying, HE MAKES NO SENSE.
- Slow down with the plot lines, please. Plot lines ricochet around with seemingly little purpose. How many times have Rayna and Deacon decided they aren’t friends? Juliette got married, had that marriage annulled and she’s already on to her next disastrous relationship. Scarlett and Avery broke up. She finally got together with Gunnar. And now Gunnar’s going to become some sort of danger junkie? No thank you. Gunnar is one of the show’s best characters. Don’t you dare ruin him.
- Let the dream go.We aren’t going to care about the political plotline. Believe me, it hurts me to say it. I love Eric Close (have since Now and Again) and I want to care about Teddy, really I do. But you make it so hard. I mean how much am I supposed to care about a land deal? And, honestly, am I supposed to care that Peggy betrayed him by leaking the story of his divorce.
- Figure out what you are going to do with Avery: For most of the season, Avery has been marooned in his own story line and moved around like a chess piece. Often, it feels like the show only checks in on him because of some contractual obligation to do so. Making him a roadie on Juliette’s tour doesn’t solve the problem. Nor does the fact that he’s a different character in every episode. Is he Juliette’s dastardly ex-boyfriend? A man willing to sleep his way to a career? A musician with a strong sense of artistic integrity? Don’t know and, most of the time, don’t care.
- Give Juliette a purpose: Hayden Panettiere’s poor little rich girl act is getting old fast. I love a bitchy Juliette. She’s fun to watch. But so far there’s still not that much to Juliette.
- Stop wasting Connie Britton: Britton is one of the best television actresses around. She’s managed to make me still care about Rayna amid bad writing and poor plotting. But my love for Mrs. Coach can only take me so far.
What do you think can be done to save Nashville? Talk about it below.
My thoughts exactly! Speaking of Friday Night Lights, a guess spot from Taylor Kitsch would definitely excited me! haha, I know, not likely. I am glad I’m not the only one either who is driven INSANE by Charlotte. Please. Make it stop. 🙂
Yeah I don’t get Dante either …how does he go from coach/counselor to calling the shots in 10 minutes? or the new neighbor who seems to be up to no good?
Nailed it. Exactly on target. This show is obviously mired in some kind of infighting and writing by committee…which is a damn shame (say it with a southern accent) because I actchoolly do NOT lyke cuntree music becawse of the ugly dikshun. But being desperate for something …anything to watch that wasn’t so unbelievably stupid on American television (I’ve watched everything decent that the BBC has to offer by now) I let myself get hooked on performing eye candy – since I’m actually a vocal performer and songwriter — I figured I’d give it a tumble. It was the music that hooked me. I overlooked some things that I thought were a bit of a stretch because they actually had some excellent song writers and produced the music fairly simply – always, always making a clear distinction between that evil overproduced garbage and real acoustic music with real instruments. THANK YOU T BONE BURNETT. Then, suddenly, like out of a dream, J.D. Souther walks into the Blue Bird Cafe and gives an incredibly real performance by just StANDING THERE! Or sitting there saying very little. He was my favorite character…yes. true story. I even really like the way Connie Britton sings because it’s very honest and her delivery is understated and believable. AND I – LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Chip Esten from “Whose Line”. (can you say….brilliant and humble?) After they did that incredibly moving scene at the end of episode 2 where they sang “No one will ever love you” – I started to believe that maybe civilization as we know it might last a little longer. Yup – thar I wuz…cryin my eyez out in my darn liven room…settin on the couch with my dawgs….(who are extremely sympathetic to an arteest lyke myself). But then…..I sort of got, like, all confused (think Scarlett)…yup…when ah…thangs started hapnen – and (shrug shoulders over and over) and it was like, kind of crazy, you know? Ok. I can’t keep that up any longer. But I couldn’t agree more, TV gal. Some of these characters are lost in space, outside of time and it’s like watching several different shows at one time but sometimes, I’m not even in the room anymore because the character/plot time warp has been breached and I’m floating in outerspace….hanging onto my tether. Then, suddenly, something honest happens and the Stella girls start singing and I’m sucked back into my living room and they’re breaking my heart again with the purity of their little hearts. Ugh! What is happening to the artists on the show is definitely happening to the real artists who are trying like hell to keep this ship afloat and do something real. It’s a show within a show right now and I caynt hang on much longer……