Fug File: Nashville

Fug the Show: Nashville recap, season 3, episode 7, “I’m Coming Home To You”

This week RAYNA DOES SOMETHING HUGELY QUESTIONABLE. I can’t believe it. Do I dare to trust it will have actual emotional fallout?

Also, we got a new song this week, and… I thought the whole point of Rayna’s new album was a fresh sound and creative direction, but apparently not, because this “bonus single” she churned out for Dancing With The Stars sounds like old-school droning honky-tonk. Remember in the pilot, when the show implied that Scarlett and Gunnar singing the Civil Wars song (well, in THEIR world, Scarlett wrote it) was going to be Rayna’s career solution? I wish that had actually HAPPENED.

However, this part of her performance will not disappoint:


Tendrils of joy, right there. This is what I sometimes will THINK I have achieved with my hair, when I’m not actually in front of a mirror. And then I accidentally pass by one and it’s just full-on tears of a clown.


For the completists, here is what Rayna wore on Dancing With The Stars, which is lovely on her and very sexy and ballroom-appropriate, but not doing much to hip up her image. There are times on this show that she wore slinky pants where I thought a frock was more appropriate, and frankly, here, I’d have gone with some leather pants and a better song. NO YOUNG PERSON is going to want to listen to this thing. It’s no one’s jam. It’s not even anyone’s jelly. It’s not even anyone’s fortnight-old compote that’s been left on the counter. It’s mid-tempo and swingy and called “Lies of the Lonely,” all about the things people tell themselves to get through another night alone, or somesuch. You might not expect that song to be Jaunty. You certainly wouldn’t expect someone to sing it looking like this:

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Fug the Show: Nashville recap, season 3, episode 6

This show is getting better, but seriously, “Rayna Is Happy About Her CMA Nominations But What Does It Mean For Her Artistically?” is not a storyline. When your main character has nothing to do with why your show is improving, it’s not the best sign.


Juliette has a pulmonary embolism, and apparently it’s a condition she’s prone to already but only manifested itself because she got pregnant. The doctor doesn’t want her touring anymore, nor traveling, but she’s welcome to finish the movie (which I guess is shooting in Nashville). Helpfully, the show also takes the time to tell us where the hell everyone even is: Juliette is in Cincinnati, Rayna is in St. Louis, and Luke and Will and Deacon are in Minneapolis.

It will irritate you to know that NOWHERE in this story does anyone call Rayna about Juliette, nor does Rayna therefore have any moment where she finds out that one of her two artists on her terrible label just COLLAPSED ON STAGE and isn’t going to finish her tour. I genuinely don’t understand the show’s aversion to having Juliette and Rayna intersect, and all I can come up with is the tired old They Must Hate Each Other, or that Team Connie Britton doesn’t care for TV portraying her as any kind of age-appropriate mother figure for a woman in her mid-twenties, or something. I don’t know. I’m not trying to be stereotypical about it; I just sincerely cannot fathom why else the writer would be so allergic to developing this relationship.


Zoey does at least call Avery, so at least SOMEONE is thinking. Sadly for her, later Juliette does fire her for getting up on-stage and singing in her place — which, really, feels like a proxy for the fact that Juliette SHOULD have fired her for wandering into her dressing room and flipping through the wardrobe racks. Zoey finishing the song at least seemed helpful in the moment. Although, are we going to pretend that didn’t happen? Did she not call Gunnar? Does she not have feelings about singing in a packed arena, solo? GIVE ZOEY SOME FEELS that do not involve Alexa Vega.

Who, by the way, is having a LOT of her own emotions:

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Fug the Show: Nashville recap, season 3, episode 5, “Road Happy”

I regret to inform you that the bright ray of hope that was Glenn’s bald head… has been crushed by the weight of that infernal carpet once more. I know. We’ll get through it together, Fug Nation. I promise you this.

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Juliette is out on tour again, pregnant but in skintight dresses that they have to shoot pretty carefully because Hayden Panettiere is WAY further along than her character is. And in fact, shouldn’t she be due pretty soon? This show is going to be a HUGE MESS without her. They’d better give Rayna some layers really quickly, or else make Sadie Stone crazy interesting.

Anyway, Juliette bursts into her dressing room and frowns about how her dress is super itchy against her bump, which, if it existed, would result in her never wearing that dress in the first place. Confusion. But, that’s not the point. This is all an excuse for her to realize that a little birdie has overheard her:

cheep cheep


Fug the Show: Nashville recap, season 3, episode 4, “I Feel Sorry For Me”

Yeah, fine, some plot happened, but there is BIG WIG NEWS this week:

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Glenn wears a toupee! Now, I’m pretty sure we all wondered, but I felt bad delving TOO deeply into the baffling mysteries of his scalp, because maybe it was his real hair and there was nothing he could do about the fact that it looked like it was cobbled together from Conan O’Brien’s clippings.Now that we have Confirmation of Toupee, IT’S ON. That sucker was not a RUG, it was a bathmat. From IKEA.

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This photo just made me laugh. It’s the face I might make if anyone were to stick a breastplate on ME. Good luck getting that last arrow with Luke’s name on it through THAT sucker, Cupid.

Okay, I’m going to compartmentalize the stories this week, because it might be easier. First up: Rayna.

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Fug the Show: Nashville recap, season 3, episode 3

Imagine that: Slightly peppier music, storylines crossing — or attempting to — and what appears to be Hayden Panettiere’s actual hair. Nashville, are you feeling okay? Because you’re not acting like yourself.


We open with Rayna and Luke doing a publicity shoot for a story about their engagement. It’s VERY Chicken-Fried School Fundraiser Photo Booth.


This one is better. Any lensman worth his salt should know you don’t let Rayna James hide her light — as in, her hair — under a ten-gallon bushel. But the most tremendous and symbolic part of the entire show, editing-wise and everything else, is that over the last shot of Rayna and Will, you hear the dulcet sounds of Juliette Barnes hurling her guts out into a toilet. It’s audio poetry.


Jules is experiencing the kind of all-day morning sickness that makes you wonder what deceitful nimrod coined that phrase. And they clearly let HP use her own hair this week because a) it actually appears to be coming out of her own head, on the sides and not just the part; b) she wears it back the whole episode, and it’s slightly curly, which I think is her natural state; and c) it looks way better. Juliette calls Avery mid-vom to tell him she’s pregnant, and it’s a really well-done bit by Hayden — she does the “Hi, it’s me,” thing, and then decides out loud that maybe she’s not his “me” anymore and that she should reintroduce herself, and the look on her face when she waits a few beats after saying “Juliette” and then specifies that it’s Juliette Barnes is classic. Nobody is talking about her on this show, and everyone should be.

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Fug the Show: Nashville recap, season 3, episode 2

Here is how I feel about this episode.


So much squandered potential. And when you’re a show that was a MAJOR longshot to even GET a third season, you should find all the stops and not so much pull them out as EXPLODE THEM. For about the first six episodes. Just go Full Nutballs so that people actually start having conversations about your show that are not, “Is Nashville still on?” And dazzle them with good music. Lively music. Thus, nothing by Rayna.

Speaking of “nothing” and “Rayna”:

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