Fug File: Nashville

Fug the Show: Nashville season 3 premiere

This episode had an embedded gimmick: three live performances. And for my money, they TOTALLY BLEW this opportunity to get people talking. Remember how vibrant Gunnar, Avery, and Zoey were as a trio, and when Deacon joined them? Remember how moving and lovely it is whenever Lennon Stella sings anything with Chip Esten? Remember even how “Don’t Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet” at least had some stompy attitude to it? Hell, Chris Carmack can kick it up there with the best of them, too. But instead of hooking the live viewers with songs that had verve, the show was too married to stitching together lyrics and plot. And so it served up a deadly bland ditty from Will, a bleak slow jam from Deacon, and then like two minutes of Florida Georgia Line singing a ballad while Chip Esten played guitar. So disappointing. It just wasn’t an advertisement for what this show does best.

Nor, in fact, was the premiere as a whole.

WHERE WE LEFT IT: Luke Wheeler proposed to Rayna, and not to be left out, Deacon popped by and slipped her some tongue and a proposal of his own. Will told Layla that he’s gay, as a hidden camera light for their craptacular reality show blinked unseen from their clock. Juliette got dumped by Avery because he found out she slept with Oliver Hudson. And Scarlett promised to leave town. PROMISED. SHE PROMISED. Sigh.


We begin with an anemic peek into the events of act five. Rayna weighs her two engagement rings – Simple Yet Emotionally and Historically Meaningful, and Magpie Bait — and then Tandy pops by and gives us a very clear indication that she is rooting against Deacon. Because Tandy’s judgment is so reliable. Need I remind you, Rayna, who kept Powers Boothe’s power booth plugged in for so many years? Wait, that came out wrong. It sounded saucy. IT WASN’T. It was a sauceless father-daughter business union.

Rayna then calls someone and says, “I love you,” and promises to show up for him wherever he is. So far, we only know that Deacon is somewhere public: He’s at The Blue Bird, waiting to perform. Luke Wheeler drives up, socks Deacon in the jaw, and hisses, “Why can’t you just let her be happy?” And Deacon retorts, “Why can’t you?” with a confident smile. Oh, Deacon. He who has a shit-eating grin… is a shit-eater.

we also had a makeover, sort of


Fug the Show: Nashville recap, Season 2 Finale (Episode 22)

I had doubts about the music this season without T-Bone Burnett — I mean, generally, life is better with anything T-Bone, except maybe when you’re talking about a type of car wreck —  and it’s true that it’s been only okay at times. I didn’t like any of Scarlett’s stuff, and Rayna’s new single is so blah, and her duet with Juliette is the worst. But Gunnar/Avery/Zoey were awesome together, and G’s stuff is generally still great, and I enjoy Juliette, and “A Life That’s Good” is also awesome but I can’t remember if we heard that one in Season 1 or not. Anyway. The point is, it wasn’t all bad, and yay, season three. ONWARD:

Maddie and Deacon are bonding over their mutual loves of super old country stars, with Deacon doing some subtle name-dropping of all the people who’ve invited him to play with them, because Deacon can make that kind of stuff seem folksy and charming because he’s not Gwyneth Paltrow and he’s not calling Billy Joel “William,” or in this case, Merle Haggard… um… Merlegatroyd.

Oh, and Maddie gave each of them this truly subtle photographic gift adorned with pieces of hope.

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Fug the Show: Nashville recap, season 2, episode 21

When I started the recap, this hadn’t been picked up yet, and now it has — for the full 22 episodes. (And so did Revenge, a.k.a., the cockroach of the apocalypse.) Which is interesting, because my impression of THIS episode is that the writers’ room ran out of steam. HOWEVER, I am thrilled I don’t have to spend next year wondering how Juliette is, or wishing they would put her on Scandal so Olivia Pope could fix her. And now, this show has one more episode to blow our minds with a good finale.


Fug the Show: Nashville, season 3, episode 20

A dreary episode in which Juliette TOTALLY Juliettes herself, maddeningly, and then the threat of addiction and mental illness is swept under the rug like some old dust bunnies. Not exactly the best way to come back from a hiatus.


Fug the Show: Nashville, season 2, episode 19

If you’ve been holding out for a decent Rayna and Deacon scene all season, you’ll get one here. FINALLY. But Sherri Shepherd’s absurdist ’70s fever-dream wig stands in your way.


Fug the Show: Nashville recap, season 2, episode 18

It is bittersweet to write a recap in a post-TWoP world, given that TWoP is where I wrote my first ever TV recap, and where, in fact, the concept of the online TV recap was born. I remember when they had to explain patiently to e-mailers and others that they were recaps, not reviews, and now that term is everywhere. i09 did a nice piece on how much it shaped the Internet, and whatever you think about TWoP’s quality after the founders left, that sentiment is true.

Anyway: This week on Nashville, SECRETS ARE REVEALED. That’s a lazy line I just wrote, but also true.