Fug File: Nashville

Fug the Show: Nashville, season 3, episode 10, “First to Have a Second Chance”

It’s the last episode before a break — we’re off until early February, y’all — and the writers did indeed leave us with a couple cliffhangers amidst a satisfying twist or two. But first, we have to get through Rayna preparing for her wedding to Luke Wheeler, and if you disliked the dress she picked previously, you’re in luck. THEORETICALLY. Because although she scrapped that one — citing paparazzi and “Luke is so traditional” and blah blah blah — the new gown is, in my opinion, WAY worse.


I just think this makes Connie Britton look huge. And if there’s one thing we know about Connie Britton, it’s that she’s long and lean and decidedly NOT a balloon of a lady. So I have no choice but to assume we are watching Rayna’s psyche try and slap her into alertness about how little she wants to marry this guy. “This is the dress he wants, and it’s hideous, so USE THE TRANSITIVE PROPERTY,” her mind is saying.

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Fug the Show: Nashville recap, season 3, episode 9, “Two Sides to Every Story”

All you need to know is that Hayden Panettiere completely won TV in this episode. Forever. Until the next time she wins it. How’s THAT for a teaser?

We begin this hour in Rayna’s house, which is as brimming with Christmas Cheer as if it were all sponsored by Pier 1 Imports.


Which, in fact, it probably is. She and Luke are filming an extended holiday special — which, by the way, in real life ties into the Nashville Christmas album. The whole thing is a bit Easy Listening for me — the big winner is Aubrey Peeples on “Merry Christmas, Baby,” though Chaley Rose sounds pretty enough on a Lite FM cut o “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” that it’ll just make you wish she’d had more solos on the show. Mostly, you need to know that Connie Britton performs “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” and she does so as if Mr. Grinch is getting handsy with her on the sofa and she doesn’t entirely mind. (There may have been some orgasmic-sounding moaning?) REALLY not a good match of star and song. Go preview it on iTunes; you won’t be sorry, except for the ways in which you will be sorry.


Luka and Rayna (and thus their real-world counterparts) do “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” at some point, but this stuff is all the cheesy interstitial blah that makes it feel like it’s all a trick to make you shop at Walmart. And anyone who thinks EITHER of those people personally trimmed every visible inch o that tree with ribbon and balls is out of their minds. There’s a lot of talk about Rayna’s regular holiday stuff, and how great it is, and I hope next week she has an actual tree that’s slightly crooked and unevenly lit, with a melange of ornaments that clearly were purchased over 20 years and/or handmade by her kids when they were toddlers. THOSE are America’s trees.


Did Teddy sign off on using the girls in this thing? Or Deacon? Everyone is suddenly super comfy with Maddie and Daphne flarging around on-camera. At least let them sing, Rayna. Also, I hate to break it to you, but your belt is ridiculous. You don’t need to cinch something that is skintight. Unless it is a ripcord? If you pull it, will Luke get sucked up out the chimney? PLEASE PULL IT AND SEE.

Speaking of The Trees of America:

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Fug the Show: Nashville recap, season 3, episode 8, “You’re Lookin’ At Country”

We’ve reached the night of the CMAs, and one big question remains unanswered: What the hell happened with Rolling Stone? Wasn’t a big part of doing the cover story that it would help her campaign for CMAs votes? I’m assuming that hasn’t come out yet, because Deacon will be super pissed and I suspect Maddie will be too on her father’s behalf. It seems extremely strange that we ended on such a downer note with it last week, only to have this entire episode pass with NO hangover from that — even just in Rayna’s mind, accepting an award, thanking a man she knows she just betrayed. Dot your Is and cross your Ts, show.

You are going to scream at what poor Juliette is wearing.


I would love to know when this was shot in relation to the Emmys, but I’m guessing a month later. She gave an interview recently about how she’s a tiny wee person and so all the pregnancy weight feels that much more massive to her, so maybe she was too self-conscious at this point to wear something as slinky as the silver gown. But unsurprisingly, I hate this. The top looks constricting and itchy, and she looks like a float in an All Souls Day parade. She fusses over it because she’s meeting Avery’s parents, who flew in for the awards because he’s nominated for “Don’t Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet,” and obviously with months of notice they couldn’t have flown in three days earlier and met Juliette in a casual setting at her house specifically to avoid this sort of drama. Let’s assume Avery’s father is a nut about frequent flier miles and so he was working around some VERY unfortunate blackout restrictions. Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Garner have a credit card they’d like to sell him.

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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