Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Review : 'Nashville' : 'I'll Keep Climbing'

Let's cut to the chase. The opening scene of tonight's episode of Nashville was real weird. I mean, Juliette's torso floating against a background of clouds? I think the Conrad/Jaymes clan was cuddling on the couch at some point, feeling crappy about Peggy's murder, but I was more concerned with whatever out of body experience Juliette was having. ANYWAY. I'll go light on her because she's having a helluva week. Despite the fact that cheating is as familiar to country music as the 10-gallon Stetson, Juliette's attracting a crowd of protesters with a Westboro-type crazy streak. An out-of-context video clip of her seemingly saying that there's no God, leaks online and everything just gets worse. On a scale of "bad" to "Glee slushie," Juliette is in a world of problems. But how much will Layla's stellar, though hard-bought defense via press conference matter? We'll see next week. BTW, everything is stilted and awkward with Avery after she showed up at his apartment at 2 a.m. to confess her love.

Now take a moment to remember how much you hated Juliette last season and question how you got to this new place of sympathy.

Speaking of sympathy (or really, the lack thereof), Deacon's got to crank out some new material. His buddy from the music business tells him that he needs to dig deep. After a montage of Deacon unsuccessfully writing hits at his piano (a montage that also resembles me at my computer circa 2007 trying to write a paper on Hamlet)…

his Lady Lawyer Friend shows up with lots of good will and support. He proceeds to treat her like crap because she's a LAW-YER and she doesn't understand creativity. I have no patience for that fool. After considering jumping back into the bottle, he sits down Lady Lawyer Friend to tell her he's too happy to write music because he's always written from a place of pain. SOUNDS LIKE NOT HER PROBLEM, YA DIP WAD. Whatever. He does manage to write a song with Maddie later on, so I guess there's that.

On the Bluebird front, it appears that no one pays any attention to Will since it takes days for anyone to notice he's been missing. Gunnar finally tracks him down in the wilderness… somewhere. Will is in full on meltdown mode. It's actually pretty sad. He's disgusted with himself. He admits to Gunnar he thought about killing himself and Gunnar get PISSED and tells him they're friends and YOU NEED TO CALL ME if that kind of thing happens again. This is all well and good, but Gunnar's hardly been a friend in the past, so I don't really know why he cares or excepted Will to have reached out to him in a moment of crisis. He also delivers a pretty half-assed speech about how this is the 21st century.

I feel like the show has the chance to make a thoughtful exploration of what it could mean for a male country artist to come out as gay in an industry that's traditionally conservative and rather attached to its gender roles, but I don't necessarily think the show is capable of it.

The next morning, Will seems to be over what was ailing him and Gunnar (whose hair looks remarkably good for having spent the night and most of the preceding day outside in a hoodie) gets phone messages from Scarlett saying that Kelly Clarkson wants to record their songs.

Gunnar and Scarlett perform for Clarkson and do their sad eyes thing with each other, and when Clarkson asks them to write for her, Scarlett decides she can't do this. I want to tell her than if the Civil Wars could get their shit together for a second album, she can too. And if Stax Record's Sam and Dave (who reportedly hated each other) could suck it up and act like professionals, she can too. THINK OF THE MONEY. Scarlett's also bummed because she is a wee bit of suspicious of Juliette turning up at Avery's. Not sure where this is going since Scarlett's going back out on tour and Avery left a message with Juliette that she could come over anytime, day OR night.

Meanwhile in Nashville's mayoral office, Teddy is convinced that there's more to Peggy's murder than the investigators think. He is probably right. There's no way Lamar isn't behind this.

Apart from comforting her grief-stricken ex, Rayna is busy launching her label Highway 65. Nevermind that NO one down here uses the word "highway." Manager Buckey says they've got a website, though!

The rest of Rayna's drama revolves primarily around whether she should trust the market research that says her album has no single. Liam is like TRUST THE VISION. All of a sudden, Rayna understands money. She decides she needs to write a new song.

SO WAIT. Both Rayna and Deacon are having songwriting issues? Wonder where this is headed.

Stray Observations:
+ Zoe loves Gunnar. Erin doesn't care.
+ Maddie and Deacon's song tonight was one of the better ones of the season.
+ Also wondering how long Scarlett and Avery will last now that she's jealous and they've both acknowledged they've changed.

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