Allow me to sing the praises of ABC’s new, must-see drama — then watch the first episode online!
ABC’s Nashville — the story of seasoned country music veteran Rayna James (Connie Britton), and her rivalry with twenty-something pop-country phenomenon Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) — is, hands down, my favorite new drama of the fall TV season. And I don’t even like country music! It’s that good.
I’ve already watched the pilot, multiple times, but I wouldn’t miss tonight’s live airing for the world — and here’s why you shouldn’t either:
1. Connie Britton: It goes without saying that we’d watch Connie Britton star on a TV show about paint drying, so the fact that Nashville is as gripping as it is only sweetens the pot. Every line Connie delivers is perfectly timed and carefully calculated, down to the very last “y’all.” Oh, did I mention she says “y’all” a whole bunch? Friday Night Lights fans, you may now commence your squealing.
2. The reality: The story of a seasoned veteran feeling threatened by an up-and-comer may sound clichéd, but once you see Nashville‘s version come to life on the screen, you’ll understand its relevance. The conflict between Rayna and Juliette is less about their age gap and more about the very real shift occuring in country music today. Methinks big-time country artists will be watching from home, nodding their cowboy hats in silent agreement.
3. The music: Just to be clear, Nashville is neither Glee nor Smash. Though the show features a ton of original songs, the musical performances are never spontaneous — and there isn’t a Broadway stage in sight. Nashville is the story of multiple country artists at varying points in their careers, including two of my favorite supporting characters: Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and Scarlett (Clare Bowen). You will fall in love with them, and their voices.
4. It’s complicated: The truth is, you almost can’t limit Nashville to a single genre of TV. Is it a romantic drama? A political drama? A scripted exposé on the seedier side of the country music scene? Thanks to the many varied people in Rayna’s life, it’s pretty much all of the above rolled into one hour-long pleasure ride. Though some aspects are stronger than others, every one will keep your eyes glued to the screen.
5. You don’t have to wait: That’s right, the blessed angels at ABC put the Nashville pilot on Hulu for all to enjoy — early! So go on, watch the pilot here!
Nashville airs at 10 p.m. tonight on ABC. After you watch the pilot, drop me a comment with your personal review: Has ABC’s ‘next great drama’ scored a spot on your DVR?