Fug File: Nashville

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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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.