Fug File: Nashville

Fug the Show: Nashville recap, season 4, episode 1

Welcome back, Nashville, which brings us upon its return some bad clothes, weird hair, a fake magazine, some beard-cutting — actual, not symbolic — a lot of crying, and the acknowledgment we’ve all been waiting for that Rayna is TERRIBLE AT HER JOB.


Fug the Show: Nashville, season 3 finale

This episode was weirdly unsatisfying to me, I think because every story seemed so telegraphed by the time we actually got there — with the slight exception of Will’s, which has always been one of my favorites even when it’s repetitive. But I think the real problem I had with it was the lack of proper musical numbers. I don’t know where I would have PUT them, necessarily, but I do think this show runs the risk of letting Empire run rings around it when it comes to threading in buzzworthy songs. So when the music limps and the stories limp…

I mean, we spent a LOT of time having dreams with Deacon:


One minute he’ll be lying in repose, enjoying a sunny day, and the next he realizes he’s in a shallow grave being buried — or he’ll have an anxiety dream about surgery, etc. It makes sense that he’s nervous about the transplant surgery, but we get it. I am not sure I needed more than one of these in the episode. Cut one and let him sing with Maddie for what he might be worried is the last time, and let them both cry. Or, better, let Maddie write him a song about how much he means to her, and let them both cry. Whatever. If you’re going to pretend to kill Deacon, take hard aim at my heartstrings. REALLY GET AFTER IT.

Juliette comes home from another all-nighter at the studio and has this facial expression to offer her baby:

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Fug the Show: Nashville, season 3, episode 21

One left in the season, and the show officially got picked up for a fourth. Laura Benanti is tabbed as “recurring” for Supergirl, which also got the nod, and it IS also for ABC, so… maybe we can hold out hope that they’ll lend her for a few more.

These two are headed for a hard fall, though:


Apparently Juliette has been taking her jet around the country playing guerrilla public shows, and getting fined for it. She’s high on the rush, but note that it’s Emily in the back of the plane snoozing with Cadence on her chest, while Juliette and Avery sneak off into the bathroom. It doesn’t speak that well of Avery right at the moment that he is not the one noticing Juliette’s aversion to their daughter, especially considering that whenever Juliette glances at her, the expression on her face says, “Ew.”


This, by the way, is the storefront — so to speak — for Rayna’s office. It looks like a diner. And the way she burns through money, if you walked in and ordered a full breakfast, someone would probably be like, “Sure, why not. On the house. Have some shaved truffle with it, and a private jet.”

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Fug the Show: Nashville recap, season 3, episode 20

Two more episodes left for us to wonder whether Deacon’s liver might explode. You’ll be glad to now they DO at least make a passing mention here of Rayna not being a match — meaning they discussed it and she was tested during a commercial break — and Maddie being too young even to consider it. That’s very, “Cool your jets, Nashville fans, we thought of it.”

Speaking of jets:


Rayna is on hers, which I guess she can still afford even with her dinky label, flying off to a “distributor meeting” in “New York City” that will go “all day” with “rude” “waitstaff” but “can’t-miss” “steak” “tartare.”

She hangs up with Deacon without telling him her actual destination…


… which is to see Beverly, Deacon’s sister/Scarlett’s mother, who is the only known potential donor and who stomped off in a tizzy because I guess it hurt her feelings that her organs are of more use than the rest of her.

Rayna comes at her multiple times, with infinite patience, trying to reason with her about saving Deacon’s life. Clearly, Beverly is coming at this with a deep ego bruise of some sort, and if I were Rayna I either would have flattered her about what a hero it would make her, and how very grateful and awed Scarlett and Deacon would be, or just flat-out told her that giving up a chunk of her liver would probably make them grovel at her feet for all eternity. But Rayna just tries to go for Beverly’s better nature, and gets nowhere, as we are treated to a series of flashbacks. And you know what that means: anti-aging airbrushing.

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Fug the Show: Nashville recap, season 3, episode 19

So, it would appear my soulmate has arrived on Nashville.


She is Avery’s mother, and she spends most of the episode either drenching Juliette in ocular stink for entirely deserved reasons, or giving Avery some bracing yet supportive real talk. Truthfully, I initially missed that this was Mama Barkley and thought it was last week’s sitter re-hired, so when she started in on the cold hard truth-telling, I was like, “YES! Get-A-Grip Nanny!” But Get-A-Grip Mother-In-Law is good, too. TELL IT LIKE IT IS, Mama Barkley. She suffers no fools, and thus, no Jules.

Christina Aguilera is back this week, and brunetter than ever:

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Fug the Show: Nashville recap, season 3, episode 18, ‘Nobody Knows But Me’

This episode felt a little perkier, thanks to the full-time return of Juliette, and the fact that lots of people who are NOT Juliette had actual adult conversations in mature ways — which is, as you know, my kryptonite.

But first, a beef:


Juliette has named her baby Cadence — whoever guessed “Harmony” in the comments last week was not far off, although I also don’t believe IN A MILLION YEARS that Juliette pulled that one out at the hospital. I sincerely doubt she’d be singing a lullaby with Avery and then think, “What wonderful cadence we have HEY WAIT BINGO.”

Anyway, Cadence is clearly fussy, and Juliette and Avery have been home for three weeks, and she’s starting to lose it. But Avery has band commitments — I guess Sadie Stone’s album was his only job, and now that she left to go have feelings on another TV show, he has to focus on The Triple (E)X(e)s. Juliette is bumming out, etc. But the part that really chaps my knee pits is: Hayden Panettiere and Jonathan Jackson take turns trying to soothe Cadence, and they do so by bouncing her up and down like you would not believe. BOTH of these people are parents in real life now; did NOBODY teach them not to do that? My mom volunteers in the mother and baby ward of her local hospital, and the nurse there begs new parents not to bounce their babies by cracking an egg into a mason jar and then jiggling it very lightly and saying, “See how that messes up the yolk? That is YOUR CHILD’S BRAIN PLEASE DON’T DO THAT EVER.” I’m sure it’s apt that nobody should be taking parenting tips from Juliette Barnes, but still.

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Fug the Show: Nashville recap, season 3, episode 17, “This Just Ain’t A Good Day for Leavin’”

I basically want to blow through the other plots in this episode so that we can get straight to Hayden Panettiere, who was epic and hysterical. I have no idea when she had her baby in real life relative to when they shot this, but… she is a national treasure, y’all. The greatest argument for the continued existence of Nashville is that Juliette Barnes needs to endure, and the greatest sin of its continued existence is that the Emmys ignore her.

But first, yes, Deacon and Rayna are still being cuddlemonkeys.


They stayed up all night talking out all their feelings with Maddie and Daphne, who are now passed out on the couch. The two of them were settling in for a long day of gazing and squeezing until Rayna’s phone rings, and she learns Sadie is at the police station because she shot her ex. Rayna reacts to this the way you would if your brain were sort of slow and fuzzy after a night of crying — she’s like, “Wuh?” — and Deacon reacts to this the way your brain would if you were Deacon (“Huh”). He is a total hothead when it comes to his own problems, but when it’s other people’s drama, he’s so even-keeled that sometimes I want to snap my fingers in front of his face to see if he blinks.


Gunnar’s hair is in a ragingly jealous cloud. I’m going to start calling it a pouffant. He’s carping at Avery about Scarlett being late, Scarlett sleeping with totally random men she just met (because he doesn’t know the absurdly youthful Dr. Pre-K is Deacon’s cancer man, as he looks like he’s only just old enough to be learning lowercase letters), Scarlett not clinging to the hem of his pants and kissing his feet… he’s in a snit. When she does finally show up, totally late and still needing to pack and doing a Walk of Shame, Gunnar is a jackhole to her and continues to give her the cold-shoulder all day — unless, of course, he’s raising an eyebrow about her sexual practices. Because the way to a woman’s heart is to slut-shame her.

In other news, Teddy washed his face:

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