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.