Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Review : 'Nashville' : 'Take These Chains from My Heart'

Just wait. 
While watching Nashville this evening, I sat on my couch gradually composing a nice little intro in my head for my recap, something about how the show treats change with relation to its characters. But you know what? That went out the window because ARE YOU KIDDING ME. Details below.

The show opens in a shower in Cincinnati, OH where Dante and Juliette are discussing buying a house together. Presumably after scrubbing behind their ears, they fly back to Nashville where Druggie Mom awaits them at the airport with daffodils and a request to work with Dante again instead of her lame-o new sober companion. Juliette and Dante basically ignore her. Later on at rehearsal, Juliette is lost in Dante's eyes and iPad while Deacon gets huffy about the lack of rehearing going on. Dante butts in, Deacon is like O RLY. "Maybe I just need to be done here," Deacon says threatening to quit. Juliette tells him he's replaceable and Deacon actually does quit. As Deacon exits, Druggie Mom enters, accusing Dante of kissing some random woman on Lower Broadway. Dante ninjas out of it feigning concern for why she's telling lies and apparently stalking him. The house shopping continues since Dante's got some real estate hook ups. They tour another antiseptic house like the one Juliette's already occupying. Fast forward to a show that Juliette and Rayna are doing at the Bridgestone, and Juliette's tracked down the realtor woman to inquire as to her relationship with Dante. "We're just friends!" The woman says because that's the most convincing phrase to use when denying a relationship. Dante had just helped her out of a tight spot once. Fast forward a bit more and Druggie Mom, Juliette, Realtor, and Dante are in Juliette's dressingroom fighting about how Druggie Mom seems like she's on the edge (not of glory, thank you very much) of using again. Dante pulls a baggie of pills from Druggie Mom's stuff and it's all THEY'RE NOT MINE! YOU'RE GOING BACK TO REHAB! If your bullshit radar is buzzing, then you'd be totally justified. Later on, Juliette realizes that there's no way the pills could be her mom's because Druggie Mom is allergic to that flavor of contraband. And just like that, Dante and Realtor slip away on a plane off to wherever with money from Juliette's operating account, never to be seen again. Juliette will never trust again.

Meanwhile in other parts of the city, Rayna takes advantage of a week in Nashville with no kiddos to watch over, to catch up on stuff, namely meeting back up with Liam and Scarlett... not at the same time. That would have made Rayna and Liam's little make out session pretty weird. But yes, Liam and Rayna make out. She says she wants to live in the moment, that she feels free. He's like O RLY. As they kiss, Buckey walks in for no apparent reason. Geeze, Dad. Knock first. Later that day, (or the next maybe?) Tandie and Rayna deliver Lamar back to his mansion, whose interior looks a lot like the Belle Meade plantation (murals in the foyer!), and I would know as I somehow toured that damn thing about five times in 7th grade. "I am neither dead nor doddering," Lamar says as demons far below the Earth dance for joy. On their way out, Rayna tells Tandie about Liam and they talk about how neat-o it is they can be girlfriends. The next time Rayna and Liam are together, they hold hands and he tells her to come away with him to St. Lucia. She is conflicted. Rayna and her conflict bring smoothies by Lamar's place later that night. He's busted out his clipping file of Rayna's career and the two ounces of sentimentality he keeps in a bottle in a safe in the wall next to his heart. "I had a lot of time to think laid up in that bed," he tells her like every wounded/recovering person we've ever seen in a movie. Regardless of the source material, he'd like to start over with Rayna.

Deacon's also trying to start over. He has dinner with Scarlett, Gunnar, and Vet Lady. Scarlett tells him, "Can you keep her because you're happy and she's lovely." Deacon tells Vet Lady he's coming off the road *because he quit because Juliette is a pill* but he doesn't mention that part. At that show that I keep referencing, Rayna and Ian awkwardly run into Deacon and Vet Lady. What's even more awkward is how steamed Deacon gets back stage watching Liam and Rayna get spicy onstage doing one of the "old songs." Deacon abandons Lady Vet to go get water and just doesn't come back. Lady Vet knows what's up. "Do you still have feelings for her?" she asks. "Yeah," he says as the first television character who would choose to tell the truth in this situation. But I'm trying, he insists.

Understandably, Vet Lady needs space. Immediately after, Deacon runs into Rayna who's like, Everything ok? NO, RAYNA. Everything is not ok. He tells her he's never been able to get over her and she's like, I'm going to St. Lucia with Ian. So, call Vet Lady maybe?  Well, that is until she shows up at his door that night. "I love you," she says. "Are you trying to kill me??" He sputters. Ah. Those crazy kids. To the bedroom!

As I am mostly bored with Teddy, I'll blow through this quickly. He's pissed at Peggy. He canceled all Lamar's contracts with the city. Coleman is not stoked. Tandie proposes an alliance with Coleman because Lamar has got to give it up sometime. OR DOES HE.

So, Gunnar's found Jason's journal with some half finished songs. Luke from the O.C. shows up with a freshly booked gig and a motorcycle. Said gig is at Rippy's on Lower Broadway in the middle of the day. The crowd is comprised of women flipping their hair at him and Gunnar in back at the bar. Some random girl gives Luke her number and he reveals himself to be a pig vis-a-vis comment about her boobs. CLASSY, BRO. Gunnar decides that he lacks swagger like Luke has. Luke instructs him in the art of being a douche. This will come into play later. Scarlett meets with Rayna and asks for another chance for Gunnar. Later that night, Gunnar performs at Tootsie's open mic night and tries out Luke's advice by attempting eye contact with the ladies. The song he sings isn't bad... I secretly wish it wasn't from the show. At the bar after the performance, Luke and Gunnar drink and some girl gives Gunnar her number because I guess he has game, or whatever the kids say. A guy approaches and wants to cut the song as a demo. I think he's supposed to be one of those magic people from the music industry who lurk in every bar in Nashville. Luke gets up and OH SNAP Avery's sitting right there. He'd been in the crowd watching Gunnar. He apologizes for prior behavior and Gunnar tells him about Scarlett's record deal. If you've read Harry Potter, you'll remember the part of Voldemort's backstory where he slinked around the dark corners of Europe, a diminished, half dead being after trying to kill baby Harry. That's pretty much Avery at this point. He's a mopey ghost wandering around town with regret and unfinished business. Anyway, the next morning Gunnar gets pissy with Scarlett because she got him the second chance with Rayna and he has zero good sense. Nope. He felt that magic at Tootsie's and now he wants to discover himself as an artist. Who needs a record deal??? That night he and Luke sit weirdly close on the couch as Gunnar confesses the song he sang was Jason's. Feels like bad juju. I chastise myself for making bad jokes in my head about what exactly is about to happen on that couch when Luke makes the misread of the century and tries to kiss Gunnar.

In case you thought this show couldn't try your patience any more for its sheer lack of logic, think again!

I think the writers are just messing with us.

Stray Observations:
+ The local news said that the show closed down an intersection in town to shoot an explosion for the finale, so prepare for even more unrealistic drama.
+ I'm exercising crazy amounts of restraint for not making a Brokeback Mountain joke.
+ Try as they might, Avery will never be a sympathetic character, especially as he plays martyr roadie. Dude should be happy he has a job vaguely related to music.

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