March 5, 2013

Better Late Than Never? Part #1 - Nashville

There are a few dramas on ABC which I did not watch from the beginning but suspect might be worth my time. In this series, "Better Late Than Never?" I watch a few episodes of a show and let you know what I think as a latecomer. Was I better late than never?

Part #1: Nashville

Overall impressions: I have watched the past three episodes of Nashville, and I'm hooked. In "I've Been Down That Road Before," it was the song Consider Me that glued my eyes to the screen. What's great about this show is the fact that it's willing to take a hard look at the entertainment industry, but in a new way. Not as reality trash, or as a CW soap, but as a well-scripted, masterfully-acted drama. By the time the plot really got moving in "There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight," I was invested in the characters' lives. And that's thanks in no small part to the stellar acting from every member of the cast. Hayden Panettiere and Connie Britton deserved those Golden Globe nominations. And in my opinion, Nashville is worthy of an Emmy nod as well. You may be thinking that a show about a rivalry between a seasoned professional and a young star isn't for you. What if I told you it wasn't about that at all?

Biggest asset: The music, which is no surprise, since the show's musical director is T-Bone Burnett. Buddy Miller is one of the music producers as well. To be honest, had I known those talents were behind this show, I would have started watching from the first episode. Nashville's soundtrack is already in my Amazon cart. Panettiere and Britton's musical chops make their whole characters entirely believable. But it's Clare Bowen that really wows me. Listen to this:

What I missed as a latecomer: Some relationship set-up. Because I didn't see what held it together in the first place, I lack a little bit of context as Rayna and Teddy's marriage falls apart. Similarly, I'm a little lost as to why I, as the viewer, am supposed to care about Avery's storyline. It seems to be peripheral to the plot that matters. 

The Verdict: Better Late Than Never? 
Definitely. This show has become a staple of my weekly TV schedule. Not only that, but I hope to catch up on what I missed over the summer. I'm thrilled that I found this show during its first season. I'll admit I am nervous to get too excited. ABC is quick to drop shows that are this expensive to produce. I learned that lesson the hard way when I fell for Pan Am. I can only hope that more viewers find, as I have, that this show is worth watching, even if they haven't been watching it up 'til now. 

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