When I started recapping Nashville last week, I was surprised that hardly any of the main cast sang since, you know, this is a show about aspiring and successful country music stars. But ABC calmed my fears and gave us episode 1×05 “Move It On Over” where basically everyone who was on-camera sang at some point. Seriously, I’m surprised that Juliette‘s bodyguard didn’t get a solo.
What Nashville has done well so far is to show artists at different tiers in the recording industry. And this week, we saw that those on top were starting to falter, as Juliette dealt with her alcoholic mom Jolene and Rayna had to juggle the ignominy of shooting a commercial with Deacon fighting back against the lyrics they’d changed for this sell-out. But then you had songwriting/singing team Scarlett and Gunnar, who seemed on their way to impressing some producers before her boyfriend Avery butted in.
The one downside is that I can’t find most of these songs on YouTube! That’s a dumb move by ABC, since I really liked a lot of what I heard. The titles that are hyperlinked lead to iTunes, where you can buy the song. (So, maybe a smart move from the network.) Otherwise, let’s jump into the drama this week.
“Yellin’ From The Rooftop”
Performed by: Hayden Panettiere (Juliette)
Juliette is recording her new song in the studio, and all seems to be going great. As much as they make her seem like a bratty upstart, what I appreciated about this scene was that you could see how comfortable she is here. Being unable to trust her parents — or anyone, really — at least she’s in control in the recording studio.
Performed by: Connie Britton (Rayna)
As much as this song is supposed to represent Rayna selling out, and yes, it sounds like one of those insufferable Cotton: Fabric Of Our Lives commercials… I still liked this song. It brought to mind old-school Faith Hill. But of course, Deacon is still smarting from Rayna’s rejection last week and wants to fight her in court over the lyrics they changed for the commercial, even though he agreed to do the commercial. Anyway, it’s not like he’s the one who had to wear a white dress and look like he cares about whatever she was shilling.
“Loving You Is The Only Way To Fly”
Performed by: Sam Palladio (Gunnar), Clare Bowen (Scarlett), and Jonathan Jackson (Avery)
Scarlett and Gunnar sound just wonderful together. I don’t know if it’s intentional, but the way that Clare Bowen plays Scarlett as this wide-eyed ingenue makes me expect a reversal somewhere down the road. I could see her getting really cruel and manipulative when she needs to be.
But back to the song. In defense of Avery’s jealousy, she and Gunnar are really selling the whole love thing. The song is pretty enough, it’s not necessary. Also, it’s bullshit that the producers later decide that Avery’s guitar improvisation ruins the song. The writers just want more reason to drive a wedge into this trio. Though it was great to see Scarlett stare Gunnar down and say, “Nothing is happening between us.”
Performed by: Dirty Guv’nahs
Then again, Scarlett shouldn’t get too uppity thinking Gunnar’s still in love with her, since he and Hailey are having fun making things all “complicated.” Of course, this will come back to bite him in the ass somehow. Probably when Avery splits and Scarlett — remember what I said about manipulation? — decides that she needs some company from her main man.
Performed by: Charles Esten (Deacon)
I really liked this song from Deacon at the Bluebird, probably because Charles Esten reminds me of Jared Leto. You should definitely give it a listen on iTunes; it’s rather creepy. I figure he’s singing about Rayna, though now that he’s been helping out Juliette with getting Jolene into rehab, who knows if his affections have shifted.
“Down In Tennessee”
Performed by: The Cadillac Black
Then Deacon gets himself in a bar fight. I’m curious if it’s because a guy in the audience said he likes Rayna’s singing better, or because the heckler was drunk. I could see Deacon — who’s rattled by the rehab smells and almost succumbing himself — could resent someone else using substances as an excuse for asshole behavior.
But when Deacon makes his one phone call to Rayna in the middle of the night, she doesn’t go to help him. You know who’s there the next morning instead? Juliette. Yep, I so want these two to sleep together.
Performed by: Connie Britton (Rayna)
Rayna’s decided that she wants to write her own music without mean ol’ Deacon, and her first song isn’t bad at all. Of course, this is right when he decides to back down about the commercial, but she clearly doesn’t need him anymore and he’s got a new blonde country star to obsess over.
Also, the subplot not set to music: Turns out I was wrong about Teddy and Peggy having an affair. Instead they’ve been embezzling $2 million, which many would argue is a lot worse. He comes clean to Lamar, who ties up the whole thing with a pretty little bow. Too bad there’s a private investigator stalking Peggy and Teddy’s late-night meeting, and he snaps some photos that certainly make it look like they’re shtupping. Seriously, guys, why not meet at a restaurant, or anywhere other than an abandoned bridge? And how they don’t see the camera is beyond me. But this show needs its drama, so I’ll go along with it.