Binge-Watching Guide: Nashville
The country music show Nashville was recently cancelled by the ABC network after four seasons and a huge cliffhanger that left the life of a main character hanging in the balance. But now fans will be able to see what happens next thanks to the American channel CMT, who picked up the show for a 22 episode fifth season. The hashtag #BringBackNashville, which was supported on Twitter by its cast, worked! But if you’ve never seen the show, here’s the rundown of what it’s about.
Number of seasons: 4 (86 episodes)
Where to get your fix: While E4 show new episodes, full seasons are available on Amazon Video and iTunes.
Story line: Washed out country music star Rayna James (Friday Night Lights’ Connie Britton) attempts to revive her career. On the suggestion of her music label Edgehill Records, she is forced to take Juliette Barnes (Heroes’ resident cheerleader Hayden Panettiere), an young star who’s poised to rule the country music landscape, on tour to sell tickets. A bitter rivalry between Rayna and Juliette begins to form, but they soon realise they must work together to get what they want.
Best character to follow: Rayna’s professional and personal life takes centre stage of the show. While she’s in the middle of reviving her career to what it used to be and juggling her narrow-minded bosses at her music label, she has to deal with having her home life scrutinised in the public spotlight. Her husband, Teddy Conrad (Eric Close) decides to run for mayor while her controlling father Lamar Wyatt (Powers Boothe) disapproves of her career. Rayna tries to keep her daughters Maddie and Daphine Conrad (Lennon and Maisy Stella) away from the music industry, despite Maddie wanting to follow in her mother’s footsteps. She is by far the most interesting character, and is sometimes forced to make logical decisions to protect her family over her career. Her character takes an interesting turn in later seasons as she puts herself before the needs of her music label. Plus, she has the sassiest lines.
Song of the series: A song that appears in the very first episode, If I Didn’t Know Better is performed by Scarlett O’Connor (Clare Bowen) and Gunnar Scott (Sam Palladio), two characters whose musical chemistry and on-and-off relationship form the heart of the show. Originally written by and performed by The Civil Wars, the song is a symbol of the start of Scarlett and Gunner’s journey. Watch the song here.
Why you should binge: Nashville is an easy watch with likeable characters and songs that are fit for country music fans and non-country music fans alike. While commenting on the treatment of musicians in the music industry, Juliette is perceived to be the epitome of success. But in later seasons, her personal life takes priority over fame and music, exploring how her career affects her relationships close to heart. Juliette is an interesting character who changes the most over the course of four seasons, to show what’s more important to her. Power politics are easily at play between Rayna and Juliette, who are pitted against each other in a fight to see who’ll come out on top. For her music label, it’s all about ticket sales but for Rayna, it’s about providing for her family.