Wednesday, October 24, 2012

'Nashville' Review - 1.03 Someday You'll Call My Name

        On the newest episode of ABC's Nashville; Rayna immerses herself in her kids' lives and her husband's campaign but is shocked to learn that her family is facing financial ruin; Juliette offers Deacon an exclusive contract to write and tour with her; Juliette's troubled mother, Jolene, re-enters her daughter's life; and Scarlett and Gunnar's big break with Watty is threatened.

        I love this show and how refreshing its narrative, pacing and characters have become. It has been able to take predictable storytelling and turn them on their heads and handle them in a way that I have never really seen on TV. For example, any lesser generic show would of had Rayna be upset that her daughters performed a Juliette Barnes' song at the talent show. Here, she had the much more realistic and appropriate reaction of being a big, proud parent. The show also continues to use music as an integral part of the ongoing narrative without going overboard or putting it in unnatural places.
        Tonight's episode was the first not to be written by series creator Callie Khouri and it featured two main plots that were largely separate from each other. The first two episodes were immensely successful by how every plot and character was able to bounce off of each other and react to the various other plot threads happening. That was seen less in this episode.
        This was actually a big episode for Hayden Panettiere. For the first two episodes, she felt more like a plot device or just an adversary to Rayna or to make the chemistry between Rayna and Deacon more complicated. She had glimmers of real emotional depth that were tapped in a scene or two. Tonight's episode allowed the character grow strongly whenever she was forced to the deal with the emotional ramifications of her mother appearing all over town. That story actually gives Juliette some weight and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The closing moment of her stealing the nail polish does initial concern me as it's a more return to plot motivation with the character than actual character motivation.
        The political storyline has been the most tangential aspect of the show so far and it is largely M.I.A. in this episode. However, its effects can still be felt amongst the many characters. While I don't like that entire plot, I do enjoy how it is showcasing the relationship between Rayna and Lamar as well as Rayna's family dynamic. Connie Britton and Powers Boothe are absolutely spectacular together. Their scenes together just have this compelling spark rooted and portrayed with convincing psychological weightiness. Conversely, I'm less into this story when it's just cryptic teases about Teddy's past financial mystery/corruptness. I think the sooner the show reveals the larger aspects of that story and character I will appreciate it more.
        One thing that I thought the second episode did very well was showcase the parallels between Rayna and Deacon with Scarlett and Gunnar. That aspect was mostly absent here but because I know the show can tap into that I have more excitement towards the younger love triangle. So far, the show has been building up the Scarlett/Gunnar relationship so the fans would be more likely to root for them - just because of the amount of screentime. Jonathan Jackson as Avery has been one of the more underserved actors on this show but he was able to add some interesting qualities to this dynamic this week. It is so refreshing that at this moment the show is not setting it up as Scarlett has to choice either Avery or Gunnar and the one not chosen would cease to be interesting on the show. Both Gunnar and Avery are able to bring different and compelling things out of her and right now I don't see where she can't have both of them.

So what did everyone think of the episode? How fantastic are Britton and Boothe together? What was your favorite song from the hour? Share your thoughts in the comments.