Nashville is my favorite show on television right now. Period.
That being said, some fans have expressed displeasure with the direction the show has gone in. Personally, I’m anxious to see where things go. There’s isn’t much that I am really displeased about. However, in reading some of the complaints from my fellow “Nashies,” I will admit that there is some validity to them.
So I’ve decided to be a little more constructive in my opinions of the show. Here are a few aspects of Nashville that I feel could be a good way to go. Of course, this is merely one fan’s opinion and I say this with great respect to those involved.
Here are 5 things I would like to see return to the show:
1. A Rivalry
Probably among the biggest aspects that drew me in from day one was the “rivalry” between Rayna James and Juliette Barnes, and I’m willing to bet this was the case with others fans also, while I could very well be wrong. Of course, Rayna has passed away, but this was the classic “old school vs. new school” rivalry, which in my opinion, never gets old. From one generation to the next, it will always be a discussion. A “clash of the titans” even (no pun intended, as the National Football League team residing in Nashville is in fact, the Tennessee Titans). The earlier generation against the later. Both sides have something to bring to the table and you probably couldn’t find five people in a row who would pick just one side or the other.
What made this rivalry special for me was that it wasn’t “catty.” Think Jerry Springer in its prime. Sure, they didn’t get along at times, but there wasn’t the perverbial “pulling of the hair” and things of that nature. You just felt it between them. It could very well be because of actresses Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, but when they were in the same room together, they almost didn’t even have to speak. You just knew something was about to go down between them.
I think that some of the steam was lost once they came away from this. My wife and I began the series over again during the break last year and as early as the end of Season 1, Rayna and Juliette began to get along with each other. I understand that they wouldn’t fight all the time, but it just didn’t feel like a rivalry at that point. From then on, they sort of sprinkled it in, but it felt like a little bit of it went away. I feel like maybe there needs to a rivalry again. Not only because it makes for an interesting show (the same way we as sports fan can’t get enough of that type of competition), but we get to see two different aspects of how things are done; in this case, in the music business. I feel like that added so much to the show.
2. The “Regular” Folks With Big Dreams
We know that Scarlett and Gunnar are much further along as “The Exes” than they were in the beginning (as shown here), along with how far Avery has come, but I can’t tell you how much I rooted for them and other characters who were once on the show, as some of them had big dreams of dominating the country music world. I know Scarlett wasn’t huge on that at first, but I think that as most of us fans are “regular” folks, it is always great to have characters we can relate to on the show. Don’t get me wrong; we love the Raynas and the Juliettes of this fictional world, but give us a “regular” person, one like us, and it draws us in. At the beginning of this season, I thought “Clay” may have been it, but that may not be the case right now. But as fans, we love the underdog or the “regular” person. And Scarlett was (still is) so incredibly lovable. It was difficult not to want her to succeed.
3. The “Villain”
How can any of us forget “Jeff Fordham”? You may be wondering, why in the world would anybody want THIS fool to come back?
Well, it’s like this. Jeff was the character many of us loved to hate. He was shady. Slimy. And when he showed up in any scene, you paid attention, because you KNEW something was about to happen. He was that character who, when you saw him, you thought, “Uh oh.”
No one like that jumps out at me where Nashville currently is. Of course, Jeff died as well, but I just feel as though maybe a character like this who really just has nothing but ill intentions as he or she disguises them as otherwise would be an interesting addition to the show to throw that “monkey wrench” into just about everything. Sometimes, they win and sometimes, the characters we love get the better of them. But in my opinion, as with rivalries, we just can’t stay away from the train wrecks that are the Jeff Fordhams of the world and on television and movies, they’re even harder to stay away from.
4. The “Political” Side
Okay, stay with me on this one. I am personally NOT a fan of politics. However, one aspect I was impressed with in Nashville’s earlier days was how this was injected into the show. Not only did it not have that feeling of weighing down the show with politics, almost as if you have to wonder if you accidentally switched the station to CSPAN, but it remained tied to the rest of the show and some of its characters. “Teddy Conrad” was of course, Rayna’s ex-husband and biological father to one of Rayna’s daughter’s, but he was also the city’s mayor. Now, the stories gradually distanced themselves from the rest of the show to where fans grew tired of the characters involved, but I feel this gave the show a different “piece” to go along with what everyone expects. In other words, when one hears “Nashville,” there are certain thoughts and stereotypes that come to mind. The political piece they added helped to provide a balance. As lovers of the city of Nashville (my wife and I plan to move there in a few years upon our retirement from the Army), as she is country and I am city, what we love about being there is that there’s a little bit of everything. Even if politics isn’t added as it was in the beginning, I feel that some aspect away from music kept our attention as well and shows what the city is about.
5. The MUSIC
This is a bit of a tough one. I will confidently say that “Wrong Song” was what made me say to my wife, “Oh…we are definitely watching this every week.” I am a city boy to the core, and while I love just about all the songs that have been featured on Nashville, that is easily my favorite and what has helped to open my mind to country music probably more than it has ever been.
However, the reason I say this is a tough one is because I believe that it may be more difficult than we realize for music to be featured on the show as frequently as it once was. I certainly won’t pretend to be an expert and the show absolutely has that covered already, but I added this because I know many of the fans have missed that as well. Personally, I’m pleased with the music that has been featured, but there has been a drop off, not in quality I don’t think, but as far as how often we hear it. This one is more for the other fans who have expressed that they would like to see and hear more of this.
Again, this is just one person’s humble opinion. I love the show. I know that things change and we need to change and adapt with them. But actor Ed Amatrudo (who plays Juliette Barnes’ manager “Glenn Goodman”) suggested to us fans that rather than to complain about what we do NOT want to see, we should express what we would like to see on Nashville. Again, there isn’t much that I have a huge issue with. But this made me think more constructively about what I believe worked in the past in combination with what I’ve seen many of the fans speak about most recently. I say all this with great respect and as a fan of the show until the end, whenever that is. One guarantee is that I will be there.
Thanks for reading.