"Nashville" Series Premiere Recap/Review [Spoilers]

Kristina Carroll ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff

Connie Britton in the series premiere of “Nashville.” Photo Courtesy of ABC/Katherine Bomboy-Thornton.
Country music fans all over the country tuned in last night to the premiere of the new hit drama Nashville, and they definitely were not disappointed by what they saw.  In the first episode, viewers were already exposed to a fierce rivalry between two diva country stars, a love triangle, and a lot of blackmailing.  And of course, we can’t forget about the cowboys.
So far, the show has three main characters whose lives all seem to link together in different ways.  The first character we’re introduced to is Rayna James (Connie Britton).  Clearly an incredible country singer, the once-idolized Rayna is now losing her fame to younger artists who are just breaking into the country music industry.  And her career is not the only part of her life that’s falling apart.  Her husband Teddy Conrad (Eric Close) is planning on running for mayor of Nashville, and Rayna is not too happy about it as he is working with her politician father.  She gets into a very heated argument with Teddy about his campaign, but is ultimately blackmailed by her father and forced to support him.  Thanks to her father, we find out that one of Rayna’s daughters might have a different father.  Terrified about the fact that her father has the capability of destroying her career and her marriage, she has no choice but to let him control her life.
Rayna’s father is not the only person ruining her life.  Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) is a new country sensation, and despite the fact that she is just at the beginning of her career, she’s already blowing up the charts.  She is almost identical to Rayna, in the sense that they’re both extremely talented, they’re both beautiful, and they both have terrible relationships with their parents.  But Juliette is young, something which Rayna is not.  And this is definitely affecting Rayna’s career.  Even Rayna’s own daughters prefer listening to Juliette’s music over their mom’s.  So when their record label suggests that Rayna and Juliette combine tours and have Juliette be the one who goes onstage first, Rayna is enraged and humiliated.  She refuses to comply with her label’s wishes, and adamantly tells them that she will be doing a solo tour.
Now, back to Juliette.  Besides the fact that she is beating out Rayna in the country music industry, we also learn that she is beating her out in the relationship department.  Rayna’s own manager is involved with Juliette, and she also manages to steal Rayna’s lead guitarist Deacon Claiborne (Charles Esten) from her, somebody who Rayna herself has feelings for.  Juliette clearly has an evil streak, but there’s something about her that draws us in.  It will be interesting to see how the audience feels about her in the future.
The third main character that we’re introduced to in this episode is Deacon’s niece Scarlett O’Connor (Clare Bowen), an aspiring country star who is one of Rayna’s biggest fans.  Although she did not get as much camera time as Rayna or Juliette in this episode, it’s obvious that her character is going to evolve into a necessary element of the show.  She, like Juliette and Rayna, also has relationship problems, after she begins to fall in love with musician Gunnar Scott (Sam Palladio).  Why is this such a big deal, you ask?  Because she already has a boyfriend- a die-hard musician named Avery.  In the end of the episode, we see Scarlett and Gunnar put on one of the most breathtaking performances of the episode.
Nashville is already full of scandals, rivalries, and controversy.  It almost seems impossible for it to get any crazier, but based on the preview for next week, I think that it will be (for one thing, Juliette’s mother will be making an appearance…which means drama).  The only thing that worries me about this show is that it only appeals to country music fans.  For those who cannot stand country music, it will be hard for people to stay plugged in.  However, the drama and extremely twisted plot of the show is definitely deserving of an audience.  Overall, it was a great show, and I cannot wait to see what’s in store in the future.
Nashville airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC.

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