I know by now it’s old news, but if you missed last week’s season finale of ABC’s Nashville, you probably should stop reading now as spoilers definitely follow. Unless of course you aren’t watching the show, in which case, my advice to you is to start watching asap! Seriously, though, I thought it was by far one of the best season finales I’ve seen in a while, fittingly capping off one of the most compelling seasons of TV drama ever. Ever? Yes, ever. And for perspective, you should know that this is all coming from someone who has:
a) never been a country music fan
b) never been to Nashville
c) relied solely on the lyrics of the Indigo Girls song of the same name for even the slightest familiarity with the musical mecca
Did you give me half a chance
With your Southern style?
And your hidden dance away
You dance away, you dance away
(I digress, but hopefully my fellow IG fans will appreciate that.)
Now, despite my self-proclaimed distance from the whole concept of a country music drama, I put all my indifference aside when the show first aired for one reason and one reason only: phenomenal acting. I knew in my gut that any show starring the incomparable Connie Britton and the ever rising Hayden Panettiere would not disappoint. And boy was I right. Those two could be in a scene watching paint dry and they’d make it compelling. And I’m constantly reminded of this fact with each passing episode when what might otherwise become a cringe-worthy TV moment is instead one of the most sincere and authentic depictions of the trials and tribulations of these two very complex characters. Just when you start feeling like you are watching a straight up prime time soap (which admittedly does happen in scenes NOT featuring the stronger actors in the series), the leading ladies deliver such gripping performances that you are transported back to feeling the real emotion and drama that you are meant to experience. As my colleague and I were discussing the other day, you actually believe every word they are saying and forget that you are watching a fictional story. Not a lot of actors have that true gift, but Connie Britton is certainly one of them. And Hayden is well on her way. Case in point: the scene last week where Juliette (Hayden) is sitting by the open casket of her deceased mother and trying to come to terms with her passing, asking why she abandoned her and left her completely alone. This was the perfect example of how the actress can not only carry a scene on her own, but can turn a potentially cliché moment into a gut wrenching depiction of a child’s grief over losing her mother. I’m getting misty just writing about it.
And in Connie’s case, arguably every one of her scenes can single-handedly prove my point, but last week the moment between her and her daughter Maddie (who had recently found out that Deacon is her biological father) was the biggest tear jerker and another shining example of Connie’s acting prowess.
And before you might paint me a feminist, some of the leading men are also incredibly talented and represent a lot more than just swooning female fans (although I’m sure that doesn’t hurt). Deacon Claybourne played brilliantly by Charles Esten is so likable and relatable (not to mention, hot!) that I was as giddy as a school girl when he and Connie finally got together towards the end of the season. Of course I’m now petrified that this car accident cliff hanger will result in some tragic circumstance at the start of next season (a coma, disfigurement, the inability to play his guitar again) any of which I would dread, but can stomach if I must. However, on behalf of all female fans of the show, I must plead that they’d better not even THINK about killing off his character. I would be beyond devastated and would have to stop watching in protest. You hear me, ABC??
I’m not really sure how I feel about Gunner proposing to Scarlett, but I do kinda like what’s happening with Avery’s character, so I look forward to seeing how those story lines will all unfold. But in the meantime, let’s hope we can get out of the board room and the mayor’s office and focus more on the concert arenas and recording studios because, in the end, that is where the magic happens and I can’t wait to see and hear more of it.
If you haven’t already downloaded the original music from the show, I’d highly recommend it (remember me, the anti-country music fan? If I can do it, so can you!) Let’s spend the summer reminiscing through song in anticipation of what will hopefully be an even better second season than the first.
Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these leading ladies will you miss most over the summer hiatus?