Nashville: A Bright Shining Star in a Sea of Average

29 Oct

Well, pardon my absence from the blog. Looking at this site I realize it’s been close to two months since I’ve written anything. That is largely because, soon after finishing my last post, I got a new job, writing voice overs. As such it’s been a super exciting couple of months, but strangely when you write all day at work, it’s harder to get it together to write at home.  But while I haven’t been writing, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been watching. In fact as it’s my favorite time of year, pilot season, I’ve been watching more than ever. It’s like a magical fairyland filled with a whole bunch of new shows, ready to become your new favorites.

Unfortunately there hasn’t hasn’t been much new stuff to praise though, in fact I might even say that some of the summer series had more promise. Sitcoms have been a particular low point. ‘Guys with Kids’ ugh don’t bother, and ‘Ben and Kate’ though sweet doesn’t really have much of offer either. ‘Go On’ with Matthew Perry is perhaps the most promising offering but it’s similarity to Community makes it feel like little more than a inferior alternative. These shows are nothing to rival the early promise of ‘New Girl’ or further back down the track ‘How I Met Your Mother’.

As for dramas, the comic bookish efforts of the CW’s ‘Arrow’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ both feel a little shallow. They are both missing the chemistry and empathetic characters that the show they is clearly emulating ‘Smallville’ had in spades. If they could just counter act the cheese with some sex appeal or genuine emotion, they might have winner on their hands but alas they have neither. ‘666 Park Avenue’ is well done but a little lacking in the sticking factor. Unfortunately being so dark and not that legitimately scary that it doesn’t really make you want to keep watching. I did get into ‘Made in Jersey’. A show about a girl from Jersey rising the ranks at a prestigious New York law firm but it was cruelly cancelled after just 2 episodes. New writers take note it’s a cut throat world out there.

The best show by far of the new is season is Nashville. Written by Callie Khouri, the writer of ‘Thelma and Louise’ and ‘The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood’, this show is a bright shining star of the pilot season and the US ratings agree. The writing is polished and intriguing and there is just the right amount of music and soap to make it appealing to a very broad audience. Khouri has never written for TV before and brings a grandeur and scope to the show similar to big Hollywood film. But at the same time appreciates the little details that distinguish TV as a medium.

I have to admit I’m a little biased in my love for this show as I am a big fan of country music.  A medium not that appreciated here in Australia and not particularly well done locally . But this show is packed to the gills with quality originals and covers from my favorite genre. And if you don’t like country, you may not have really heard the good stuff, give this show a watch before you decide.  The first episode boasts over 10 songs. If you watch Glee they only have 4 or 5 songs an episode and nothing original so this show is bang for your buck and the quality of the song writing is outstanding.

The acting in Nashville is top notch and Connie Britton is particularly impressive as the country queen getting dethroned and returning to her roots. Hayden Panettiere is a bit annoying as Juliette Barns, the Carrie Underwood/Taylor Swift ingenue but is impressively multi faceted character and has a great voice. The supporting cast look great, sing great and act great but the real star here is the writing.  This show does for Country what ‘Smash’ did for Broadway and if I had to guess, I reckon it will do it even better.


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