After providing viewers one of the stronger pilots of this TV season, the question now is how many will make another visit to the Music City.
Nashville isn’t a redneck Glee or a country version of Smash. Just as those two shows prove to be distinct in many different ways, the same is said for Nashville. You don’t have to be a diehard fan of classic or modern country music to be drawn in to the appeal of this new drama. You just have to enjoy good storytelling mixed in with a little bit of family struggles, political scandal and crystal clear singing voices that will bring it all home.
In a spoiler-free summary of tonight’s pilot, let’s take a quick look at what this show has to offer. Rayna James (Connie Britton), a bona fide country legend, hits a rough road with ticket sales for her latest tour. As country music takes a shift in it’s sound with up and coming Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), James’s record company, along with trusted long-time guitarist Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten), tries to get the two country superstars to co-headline a tour together. The diva side of Ms. Rayna James will not have that and it’s pretty clear Juliette Barnes isn’t all sunshine and rainbows about this move either. Let me just interject to say that Penettiere and Britton shine in their roles. They provide just enough diva attitude mixed in with just enough vulnerability, that you almost find yourself unable to choose sides. While this diva off could provide enough drama alone, we can’t forget that Music City is known for it’s rising stars who get their start in a small hole in the wall in downtown Nashville. Enter the enthralling voices of Scarlett O’Connor (Clare Bowen) and Gunnar Scott (Sam Palladio) thrown in with the stunning and emotional writing of Avery Barkley (Jonathan Jackson) and you have a recipe for success.
Out of the music world, Lamar Wyatt (Powers Boothe), Rayna’s father, is trying to reel Rayna’s husband into the political realm of Nashville. Teddy Conrad (Eric Close) is tired of being a stay at home dad and is ready to get back into politics, especially with Rayna’s career seemingly quickly fading away. Of course, with Wyatt’s backing of Conrad comes abandoning Coleman Carlisle (Robert Wisdom) who has worked with Wyatt for many years. Carlisle’s new plans and hopes for Nashville doesn’t jive with the successful businessman and Wyatt is forced to take matters into his own hands.
Written by the very talented (and Oscar winning) Callie Khouri, the pilot is near flawless and will provide viewers with everything from scandal to sex appeal to heartache and success, all the while mixing in the appeal of Music City – it’s history, culture, legacy and ability to bring stars out of hiding. Before you use the “I don’t like country music” excuse, let me remind you that this show is about more than just depicting the lives of country artists. It’s about the struggle to make your name in an industry and the heartache that comes with realizing your once successful status is slipping away from the world. It’s about families needing to stick together. It’s about the messy world of politics. Most of all, it’s about storytelling that intertwines the lives of many different people to achieve something we all look for … acceptance and our own take on the American dream. If you couldn’t tell by the glowing review above, YakkityYaks gives this 5 Yak stars. Nashville airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC, premiering tonight!
So, will you be coming back to Nashville? What was your take on the pilot?