One more pop culture commentary — Nashville



I didn’t want to do it, but I can’t stop myself. I feel a rant coming on.

I like the show Nashville. I like it a lot. I like it because it’s about my home, well almost my home. I like it because it’s about my passion, music. I like it because it’s about romance, you know, romance like adventure and dreams.

What I don’t like is that the show seems to focus more and more on a different kind of romance, that of sordid love affairs, LOTS of sordid love affairs–not love. Whatever happened to quality triumphing quantity? I’ve lost track of who is with whom each week. Good grief.

Come on, writers. You can do better than that.

I’ve been a fan of Charles “Chip” Esten for quite a while. He’s talented. He’s funny. If you’re a Whose Line Is Anyway fan like me, you’ll remember him being a regular guest and singing the improv songs.

I thought it was super cool when he was cast in the role of Deacon Claybourne, the long-time love interest of mega country star Rayna Jaymes. There seemed to be a connection between the characters–if only the writers had chosen to develop it instead of exploit it.

Watching Rayna and Deacon jump from one intimate relationship to another kind of ruins it for me. That’s not love. It’s nothing. I don’t see how constantly replaying the same scene (insert a different actor or actress each week) can sustain ratings.

The original storyline was intriguing. Rayna and Deacon met years ago as songwriters in Nashville. Cool. Real enough. Rayna went on to become a star, and Deacon became her band leader. He never pursued the solo career he was capable of creating.

But they fell in love. Deep, passionate, irresistible love. And then it all fell apart. But why?

Previous episodes allude to Deason’s self-destructive alcoholism and Rayna’s marriage to a stable, status-driven man. But the way the story is told is similar to info dumping in a poorly developed novel. It’s just info. The story leaves the readers with questions, but not the kind that intrigue–the kind that irritate.

Writers, I feel like you should have explored this angle a bit more. Yes, I caught the hint early on that Deacon was the real father of Rayna’s older daughter. But I would have liked to have seen the drama build, starting with a stronger connection between the daughter and her biological father.

But rather than let this story simmer, viewers are rushed through a traumatic crescendo with a car wreck that leaves both Deacon and Rayna in danger of losing their lives and their careers. And then everything is back to normal again. And, oh yeah, Deacon and Rayna hate each other again. And guess what? They’re off with somebody else–again.

The writers have had Rayna and Deacon falling into the arms of so many new people that I’m starting to wonder if these characters know ANYTHING about love. Now I’m questioning the whole premise, the story line behind Deacon and Rayna, the story line upon which the entire show is built. Maybe they didn’t love each other at all. 

And thus the whole show goes up in flames–a plotline built on something viewers can’t trust.

Writers, here’s the beef I got with you. By having Rayna and Deacon hook up with so many different “interests,” you cheapen the relationship that once (and still) exists between your two main characters. You are painting pictures of two totally shallow human beings that we the audience members are supposed to identify with.

You are destroying the romance of the show, and that’s what I imagine the city of Nashville having been built on. But then I’m just a dreamer.

Is the music industry in Nashville really like this? Probably.

But this is MY rant, and I can rant if want to, rant if I want to, rant if I want to.

If there are other viewers like me who are tired of  the shallow, lust-driven characters who float in and out of your storylines, you writers may find yourselves out of a job.

If the storyline doesn’t make the viewers feel longing, angst, or passion, they will change channels. If cheap thrills that exploit other human beings are what you’re trying to sell, why don’t you just create yet another reality show that banks on the degradation of the human soul. Let us dreamers enjoy the hope for a little while. That’s what Nashville offers to every wannabe singer, songwriter, musician, writer, poet, artist, etc.

I still dig the show. I’ll be watching next week. But I have to admit I’m getting a little bored with the musical chair love affairs.

Writers, give us something REAL. These superfluous relationships you’re creating certainly aren’t.

Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.  ~ Robert Heinlein

It’s a crazy town full of neon dreams / Everybody plays, everybody sings / Hollywood with a touch of twang / To be a star you gotta bang bang bang /Bend those strings ’till the Hank comes out / Make all the drunk girls scream and shout / We love it, we hate it, we’re all just trying to make it /In this crazy town ~ Recorded by Jason Aldean, written by Bret Jones and Rodney Clawson




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2 thoughts on “One more pop culture commentary — Nashville

    • :-) This show has so much potential. It’s a shame that the producers are relying on the gimmick and brand of Nashville rather than well-crafted storytelling. I think people want something more. I don’t think a lot of people understand what they need, but how could they when the media feed them junk 24/7?

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