Nashville: Review



More4, 14 February at 10pm

I was half hoping that I would be asked to have a look at the new Country Music based drama now airing on More 4. Not because I am country and western fan ( I don’t hate it either) there was just something about the adverts for it that made me think that it could become some off the wall, bat shit crazy, high camp, wonder soap.

And after watching a couple of episodes, though it’s currently quite tame, I have faith that it will become what I want.

The show revolves around Rayna Jaymes “Queen Of Countryâ€? (Connie Britton); she is troubled by the failure of her latest record and the rising star of country pop princess Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere). On top of that she has family/politics problem with her bankrupt husband running for Mayor and by the end of episode two, she has realised she is still in love with her reformed (for now) junkie ex-lover Deacon Clayborn (who has also been banging Juliette Barnes).

This is married to some rather kitsch writing where the drama seems to arise from one person misunderstanding and over reacting to the intentions of others and exploding into a volcano of anger and crackling indignation. All the while their friend/lover/business partner does nothing to alleviate matters and just looks mawkishly on as they run out of the door.

If this was real life, it would go a bit like this.

A. “Would you like some coffee?â€?
B. “No, tea is fine please just had some coffee.â€?
A. “What! You think I am ugly, untalented and old. Why don’t you go fuck yourself. I HATEâ€? YOU!! Exits room.
B. Wow, that was weird yet perfectly also perfectly understandable. I could easily clear this up but I won’t, instead I will just look sad whilst staring into the middle distance.

All round the acting is pretty dodgy. This is often the case with new shows as not only do the actors have to find their feet and learn how to play their new roles but the writers have to respond to the audience’s reactions and craft parts as appropriate.

Yet something tells me this may not be the case with Nashville, especially the lead Connie Britton. She just has this dead eyed, low energy style of saying words (I can’t really call it acting) that make every utterance sound like that of a slightly stoned yet mildly pissed off teenager.

The rest of the cast are a bit more lively but still they all have the airbrushed perma-tanned feel of the American day time soap star. They might look good but they all have a streak of purest wood running through their “talentâ€?.

Hayden Panettiere could come out of this unscathed as she seems to understand the high camp melodramatic possibilities of ‘Nashville’, spouting “What do I have to do to get Deacon Claybourne in to my bedâ€? with all the spoilt expectation you would want from a future country music diva.

It could go either away really; it might slicken up or remain trashy. From the above you can see why I have belief in the latter, and it could become the new Dynasty.

And at least it doesn’t have Christian Kane in it.