I loved watching Nashville last year, which surprised me at first because I don’t really like country music. But as every Nashville fan knows, the shows about a lot more than country music. There’s drama and there’s Connie Britton’s hair and there’s Luke from The OC and there’s basically everything you want in a soap. Plus two incredibly talented young sisters, Lennon and Maisy Stella. But at some point between the first season and the second season, the show completely fell apart. It went from being an enjoyable soap to an absolute mess. While I’ll lay some of the blame at Lamar’s overly villainous feet, I’ll lay most of it at Maddie’s.
And I’ll preface this whole rant with the fact that I think Lennon Stella’s a great actress and a great singer. I love watching her perform on the show. I just hate her character Maddie. I hate her so, so much. Now, in Maddie’s defense, it’s rare to have a likable teenager on a drama. Look no further than Homeland’s Dana Brody or Game of Thrones Joffrey for proof of that. And in their defense, teenagers in general are the worst. Have you spoken to one lately? If so, sorry. If not, avoid at all costs. They have the magical ability to make you feel bad at yourself even if they’re the ones with unruly skin and gangly limbs. So I guess what i’m saying this as much biology’s fault as Maddie’s fault. But I’m a popcultureologist and not a biologist, so that’s the end of my apology for what I’m about to say. (Also, not an apologist)
At the end of Nashville‘s first season, Maddie found out that her dad wasn’t actually her biological dad. To add insult to injury, she found out that her biological dad is actually Deacon — a man who’s always been a part of her life. IWhile in real life I know that this would totally turn a person’s world upside down, in TV life I think it merits two episodes, three tops. Maybe a mention here or there about her being in therapy over it, but no more than that. However the powers that be at Nashville don’t agree with me. They turned this entire season into The Sad Saga of Maddie Conrad. Seriously, I’ve seen paternity test drama go down on Maury that’s more uplifting than what we witnessed this season.
It felt like almost every single episode, we had to deal with Maddie moping around about her two dads. “Woe is me. I have two fathers in my life who love me very much and will do anything to keep me safe and make me happy. Wah wahh. Also did I mention my mom’s famous and I’m rich and I’m talented. Because that might help you feel even more sorry for me. Also I’m going to run away. But not before I rip out my dad’s heart by making it clear he’s the boring dad and Deacon’s the cool dad. Get up here on stage with my family Daddy Deacon!” Get over yourself girl. Also while you’re doing that, try multi-tasking and not being an idiot. Maddie Claybourne, really? REALLY? Not to rip-off Rayna, but c’mon! What were you thinking uploading that video? Oh right, you were only thinking of yourself. #ClassicMaddie.
Since we were stuck with Maddie every single week this season, we didn’t get to see almost any good character development with formerly important people like Rayna or Juliette or Tandy. Just kidding, no one cares about Tandy. But the other characters seemed to get these super rushed story lines that were over and done with in two episodes. Scarlett’s a hit! Scarlett’s addicted to drugs! Scarlett’s in rehab! Scarlett quits music! All in all, I think we got seven minutes on that entire story. Or worse than the rushed story lines were the stupid love five-sided triangle story lines that I don’t care about. Looking at you Gunnar, Scarlett, Avery, Zoey and Juliette. (And ugh, now Jeff.) How about you all sleep with each other at the same time and then break up with each other at the same time and call it a day.
Honestly, the most interesting relationship on the show is the fakelationship between Will and Layla. Maybe I’m just saying that because I love fakelationships, but at least it’s exploring something we don’t see on TV very often. As well as something that’s likely happening right now in country music. Unlike all the other relationships on the show, I don’t know how it will end. Or I should say, I don’t know how it will play out when Will gives an emotional speech about coming out during sweeps next season. What will Layla say? How will she react? I don’t know! And if Maddie gets her way, I’ll never know. Because I’m sure that scene will take place off camera while we’re subjected to hearing Maddie fight with her father again about guitar lessons with Deacon. Ugh, I’m already over season three.