It’s third time unlucky for Nashville, a TV programme about which I can write – well, I can do what I like on this blog – because it is ostensibly about music. I watched the third episode last night and it has quickly atrophied into the most predictable soap opera preoccupations of presenting dysfunctional families, complex romantic relationships, and the simplistic battle of good vs evil. These are, by the way, relative templates too: such conventions can be better done. And it would seem naive to even make these observations, but I had moderate hopes. I certainly preferred the absurdities of the opening episodes where the stereotypes had a pleasingly risible predictability rather than those which simply regurgitate. And my notion of ‘absurdity’ is also relative: last night we saw Rayna Jaymes’ two young daughters perform brilliantly in a talent show, and it isn’t unusual that children of a Country singing star would themselves be musical, nor that such precocious talent can exist at their ages, but there had been nothing in their prior character portrayal that hinted remotely at such a proclivity let alone expertise [this is a later addition: I do now recall the pair singing along to a Juliette Barnes song in the back of their mom's car, much to her plot-annoyance. So that blows one hole through my criticism.....!].
If I continue watching it will be for the music, though that too is a relative term, especially for those who do not like Country. It is interesting to me that most of the cast sing their own songs, and I am trying to find definitive information on the writers/composers. It is because I quite like much of the music, especially the acoustic duos. This is also, obviously, because I like Country, have a high tolerance for the formulaic of this genre, and think this in itself is interesting in how a soap opera can replicate such and thus either underpin its innate qualities, or undermine it in the apparent ease of its replication. Well, that’s not my battle to resolve because I’ve made it clear where I stand.