AN OPEN LETTER: TO NASHVILLE

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Nashville wasn’t new this week, so it seems like a good time to reflect on the show and more importantly the story lines that have been happening lately.  Because frankly, the show is making me crazy!  (and, not crazy in a good way).  So, here are my thoughts Nashville.

Dear Nashville,

I am trying really really hard to love this show.  I really am.  I stuck it through the first season, when things were rough (especially the first half of the first season) and I have been patiently plodding through this season each week hoping that this will be the episode that will win me over completely.  Let me be clear, I am not saying that I do not like this show because I do.  I like you, Nashville, but I want to love you.  You, however, are making it so hard.  In an effort to be completely transparent, here are the issues I am having.

(1)  Where is all the music?  You know what kept me around the entire first season, the amazing songs I got each episode.  I love good music and I love country music.  It seemed like each episode in season 1 gave us a spectacular song.  I still remember Maddie’s and Daphne’s performance of “Ho Hey.”  It was magical.  And, the first time Scarlett and Gunnar performed together.  I mean, come on.  I died.  Just listen to these songs; there were so many to choose from, I literally just spent an hour listening to clips trying to only pick a few.  Hardest thing ever.

The level of music in season 2 has not been the same though.  Now, I am not saying there haven’t been good songs this season.  Maddie and Deacon’s “A Life Thats Good” and Scarlett’s “Black Roses” were two of my favorites.  But, I want more.  I want my show about the lives of people in country music to be filled with country music (or music in general).  If music is what drives these people, then it should be driving the show as well.  It should be the center of each episode.  I want to want to buy a song every episode.  And, that just isn’t happening this season for me.

(2)  Don’t break Avery.  Let’s be honest.  Avery was awful in the first season.  He was a huge d-bag and didn’t serve much of a purpose other than driving Scarlett into the arms of Gunner.  But, you know what, the show did an amazing thing.  It rehabilitated Avery.  It made Avery more than just a single-layered character.  It gave him a purpose and it gave him depth.  Amazingly, I now love Avery.  He is my favorite character.  But, over the last few weeks it seems like the show is determined to make him a jerk again (i.e., yelling at Gunner and acting like he is too busy for a band that he said he wanted to be a part of).  I don’t need Avery reverting back to the “Avery Barkley” of season 1.  Avery as a talented musician and producer, who helps out his friends, and is supportive of his girlfriend is a guy I like, actually a guy I love and one of the only reasons I am still watching this show.  If you want to broaden his story line that’s fine, but there is no point of rehashing the jerk arc that we have already seen.

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(3)  A drug problem, really?  It seems like the show doesn’t know what to do with Scarlett this season now that she isn’t the center of some sort of love triangle.  They tried to make her angry Scarlett, but that just seemed so out of character.  And, now they have given her a drug problem and another broken heart.  Isn’t it possible to have a female character on this show, who is single, who is happy, and who is living her dream?  Apparently it is not.  My guess is that Scarlett’s drug problem gets worse.  Deacon (also an addict) discovers it and tries to help her.  She refuses help and eventually she hits rock bottom where someone, most likely her uncle, Avery, or Gunner, helps pick her back up.  (If it is one of the latter two, then I am sure another love story will emerge).  The only thing that could make this drug problem better for me is if Scarlett has a full on Jessie Spano moment and sings “I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so scared.”  That is the only way to salvage this mess.

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(4)  I am so over love triangles or love squares.  The show apparently isn’t willing to keep anyone together for very long, but now the love triangles are getting repetitive and I am over it.  Last season we had the Teddy, Rayna, Deacon love triangle.  Now, this season we have another Teddy and Deacon love struggle, only this time there is a new girl in the mix (Megan, Deacon’s gf).  It’s the same story though.  Deacon and Teddy fight about a woman.  I’ve seen it, I’m done with it.  (Actually, I am done with Teddy and Deacon literally fighting about everything).  The same repetitiveness is true of the Scarlett and Gunner love story this season too.  Last season, it was Scarlett, Gunner, and Avery.  This season it is Scarlett, Gunner, and Zoey.  No one’s love life can be this dramatic (unless you are a character on Grey’s Anatomy, I suppose).  Let’s just give it a rest.  PS.  Don’t get me started on the completely repetitive story lines of Juliette picking the “wrong” guy for her and then getting hurt or betrayed or damaging her reputation.  How many times has that happened so far?  Probably too many to count.

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(5)  Will, it’s okay to be gay.  Another story I am ready to move on from is the Will can’t handle his sexuality story arc that just keeps going.  Look I get it, Will is gay and he is struggling to come to terms with it and he is afraid he won’t be accepted because of it.  You have been drilling it in my head over and over again.  Here are my particular issues though:  (1) it’s 2014, and I feel like the show isn’t recognizing this; TV and society have gotten a lot more progressive in recent years and I am having a hard time buying that Will’s career will be ruined if he is found out; and (2) even if we want to go along with the story that Will’s career is over if he tries to be a gay man in country music (side note – I am not passing judgment here on whether it is or isn’t, I obviously have no experience in the country music industry, so I have no idea how hard it would be to be a gay man at all), his story isn’t progressing at all, every week we just get Will visibly upset because he is gay; and, whether he is gay or not, this story line is tired.  It’s time to figure something else out to do with Will.

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(6)  I can’t anymore with Rayna’s family – I am so very over Rayna Jaymes’s family drama.  Whether it is the stupid story line about her father or her being upset with her sister for lying, the part of the show that has dealt with the side issues of Rayna’s family has always bothered me.  I want Nashville to be a show about those entertainers (whether newbies or veterans) in country music.  Teddy’s failed projects or struggles as mayor, Lamar, and Tandy (at least Tandy is involved with Rayna’s label now) have always seemed superfluous to me.  Let’s just be glad Peggy and Lamar are finally gone at least.

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So, there you go Nashville.  Those are my thoughts.  I intend them to be constructive, not to be harsh.  Because like I said above, I do like your show.  I just feel like it can be better.  And, I really want it to become a must-see each week.  Right now though, you haven’t hit that mark.

Peace out.

-LJ

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