Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Genre Trouble

The best-reviewed new TV show this season is probably Nashville, created by Callie Khouri, screenwriter of Thelma & Louise.  I checked out the first two episodes and it's not bad.

Set in the world of country music, the basic story is pretty simple.  There's Rayna James (Connie Britton), an aging superstar who's still very talented but not selling so well, and Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), a talented star whose music is a bit more shallow.  They don't like each other but want what the other has--Rayna has respectability and Juliette has popularity.  Rayna's latest album isn't selling and the record company puts pressure on her to tour--as an opener--with Juliette, but she won't even consider it.

But that's just the nucleus.  There are tons of complications.  For instance, Rayna has a powerful dad whom she hates.  Her sister is on her father's side.  Her husband has been failing in business and her dad gets him to run for mayor even though she supports the other candidate.  Then there's her lead guitar player and former lover, Deacon. He's also a songwriter though she doesn't record his songs.  Meanwhile, Juliette, who worships Deacon, wants to steal him away for her tour, and be his lover.  She also wants them to write song together.

There's also Juliette's mom, who's a drug user demanding money from her estranged daughter.  Then there's Deacon's niece, Scarlett, who's stuck in a love triangle of her own and also seems to be a pretty good songwriter.

There are just a couple problems for me.  First, this is soap opera, and I don't really like the genre that much.  I'm sure Nashville wants to be another Dallas or Dynasty, but I never watched them.  The other problem is I don't particularly like country music, and there's a lot of it on the show.  Sometimes they say it's good, sometimes they say it's bad, but it all sounds the same to me. The ads have tried to sell it by saying you don't have to like country to like Nashville, but it sure helps.  The songs aren't terrible, but the only one I really liked so far was a bluesy number (not so country) that Scarlett sang.

I suppose I'll check it out again, but, as well done as it is, I don't think I'll be in for the long run.


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