Wednesday, October 31, 2012

'Nashville' Review - 1.04 We Live in Two Different Worlds

        On the newest episode of ABC's Nashville, Rayna and Teddy's relationship is tested when Rayna performs with Deacon at Teddy's campaign fundraiser and a woman from Teddy's past (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) shows up with a secret; Juliette tries to burnish her image during an appearance on "Good Morning America"; Gunnar makes a connection with his publisher's assistant; and Teddy and Coleman agree to take the moral high ground during the campaign.

        As a show sets out to determine its episodic and what type of stories it can tell well, it is very typical for the show to produce a very clunker-y type of episode very early on. As much as I love this series, today's episode just didn't work for me at all. All of the drama felt heavily contrived by what the plot demanded and didn't allow the character earnestness that had been so prevalent in the first three episodes.
        This show has done a respectable job so far of handing out character exposition and backstory in a natural way that doesn't detract from the action. However, it was most likely because of the lack of an in-depth knowledge of everything that has occurred between Rayna, Teddy, Deacon and Lamar that makes that pivotal scene before the performance fall flat. Yes, I understand that there is conflict and animosity amongst this core group but we haven't truly seen the emotional depths of the dynamics that make every single character decision so important.
        I also really wished that we could at least get something more out of Teddy. Every week the show just keeps him being shady and trying to keep some devastating to the campaign from being revealed. However, one can only take so many cryptic teases and I have had enough already. Just reveal something more fascinating to the audience so we can have a better sense of urgency with the issue otherwise it will just keep falling flat week after week.
        At the end of episode three, I noted how the closing sequence baffled me with Juliette shoplifting. This hour did a somewhat decent job of handling the fallout of that decision. However, the reasoning behind this plot is so far-fetched that even the better character work left questioning if this was the best and most natural to induce this kind of emotional story. More than any other episode this season, Juliette felt like a plot device doing and saying anything to make for an entertaining hour only to be redeemed in the two closing scenes with her manager and with Deacon.
        I just don't understand the character regression of Avery from episode three to now. Last week, he was so respectful and supportive and this week he is just so mopey and unappreciative of Scarlett's success. Just like that, he turned from a respectable character - with the chance of an interesting side story of trying to get in the good graces of Watty White due to Scarlett's success - to a very annoying one who I couldn't care about at all.
        I also understand that over the course of the show Gunnar would have another love interests than Scarlett but the introduction of that angle just felt awkward throughout the hour. It's almost as if when he sings/interacts with Scarlett he's a great multi-dimensional character but when he's given his own thing to do he's not as compelling.

So what did everyone think of the episode? Was it the weakest episode so far? Do you care about the secret between Teddy and Peggy? Share your thoughts in the comments.