Nashville Review: Dog Days Aren't Over

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There is the great music, and there is the juicy drama - but one of the main reasons Nashville has been so good in its first season is the fact that Deacon Claybourne is just so easy to love. That was never more obvious than in "Dear Brother."

The someone-doesn't-like-celebrating-a-birthday bit has been done to death in every medium, but the same old story didn't feel so old here due in large part to Chip Esten being so darn charming.

The Tabloids Attack

Whether it was every time he talked about watching Old Yeller on his special day, the fact that he didn't cause a fuss when he showed up to the surprise he never wanted or how concerned he was for Rayna when finding out about the divorce, Deacon was unbelievably likeable throughout the hour.

If I had Kip Moore, Vince Gill, and whoever Pam Tillis is showing up to MY birthday party, I'd be pretty enjoyable too. After smiling once again at Vinny Gill sarcastically calling Juliette "charming," let me introduce you to the rest of the band...

Juliette Barnes
Quietly, in comparison to other episodes, a lot went down for Juliette in "Dear Brother." She spent the entire hour preparing for Deacon's party, which could have been completely generous if it wasn't also a place for her to showcase her new music.

She's a complex little thing. I loved seeing how torn she was in finding her mother back off the wagon. She was upset, but was it more about Jolene's health or Juliette having to miss singing her new material?

I'm not sure I like the fact that this addiction counselor seems to be helping Juliette through some of her issues. I would have rather it be a character we already know who works with her, which would have given her emotional story about the ninth birthday party, and wanting her mom to die, more weight.

To top the hour off, Juliette gave Deacon the cutest puppy I've ever seen. For somebody who couldn't get enough of Old Yeller, he didn't seem to want that dog at all, which made the moment even funnier.

Rayna Jaymes
The intricacies of Rayna's marriage and now divorce have been much less interesting than her musical career.  As much as I feel for her eldest daughter, and what those kids are going to go through, the emotional severity of the situation never really landed.

I was much more taken back by the musical performance at Deacon's party. Connie Britton has become very good at pouring her heart into a song on screen. With momentous events like Juliette taking care of her mother and Gunnar identifying his brother going on during it, that was easily the best musical moment of the night.

Teddy Conrad
So we are back to the political game, huh?  He's appointing Peggy to some job, he's making Coleman his deputy mayor... and I couldn't care less about any of it. Unlike with Rayna, Teddy's trials and tribulations with Rayna have been the most interesting thing about his character. Please don't bring the politics of it all back into the foreground. We were so happy with it taking a back seat!

The Kids Club
Many of you may enjoy yourselves some Gunnar or some Scarlett, but I have never connected with either of them. I wanted to care about what was going on with Gunnar and his brother, but I never did. It all felt a bit forced to me, so when Jason turned up dead, I thought "oh well...moving on."

Avery, on the other hand, continues to interest me. I think Jonathan Jackson is doing a terrific job. In the smallest of scenes, like asking Watty White for advice in the guitar shop, or staring into the Blue Bird in pain, Jackson tells us so much about Avery. The kid is at a huge crossroads in his life, and I can't wait to see where he goes next.


What did you all think of "Dear Brother?" What were your favorite moments? Did you have any least favorite moments? And what movie would YOU watch every year on your birthday?


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (94 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Juliette and her mum when she had a relapse was so touching.
Rayna singing her new song great.


I love this show...for me the highlight is the music...with Music Director and Oscar winner and multi grammy winner, T-Bone Burnett. The Gunner and Bro story line was weak..glad to be done with that...I was very disappointed in Rayna's character when she visited Teddy at city hall while discussing whether he as sleeping with Peggy she (Rayna)implicated her daughter as overhearing Teddy talking on the telephone, talking with Peggy "It feels right to be with you." No parent should involve their children between the adults problems...Love the show..


I'm a fan! One of the best shows on TV at the moment. That being said, I'm sorry to say that the show is doomed! There has not been one TV show that I have really liked in the last 8 years or so that has not been cancelled after one, at the most two seasons. It never fails, I am without question, the worlds best Nielsen Rating or TV show's chance of success barometer on the planet. I've learned to accept it, but it's a fact! If I like a show its not going to be around for long. Shows I don't give a crap about, shows that bore me, shows that make no sense such as America's Next Top Model linger on for 20 cycles or 10 years. I could list 100's of shows that have tortured me by existing for 8 or more seasons. I always hope that I'm wrong.


soso, I am glad for your post, because I am a huge Scarlet/Gunnar fan. I tune in to see them mostly, and then of course Deacon. Rayna also acts on my nerves, so seems we agree on the same thing.
I do like the political aspect of Teddy, and now that he and Rayna are divorcing, I can't wait to see how he takes control and is no longer threatened by Rayna or her success.
While I don't like Avery, I think the diversion is necessary and welcome, and I like to see that interplay with him and Scarlet. I also like to see him and the cougar fighting. Love this show. Disagree with most of what the reviewer says. Unfortunately though, I didn't know who Pam Tillis is, but I do agree that the reviewer SHOULD know.


This may not be the most popular comment, but I've, for some reason, never really connected with Rayna's storylines nor her character. Juliette has been interesting in bits and pieces (especially when she goes crazy - I thought her to be MOST interesting during her Kardashian-esque marriage storyline). But what makes this show interesting to me is Scarlett and Gunnar (I know, in direct contrast with the author, but we all have our tastes). I literally wait, week after week, for more Scarlett and Gunnar scenes and every week all I can think is the will-they-or-won't-they playing in my head. To me, the most heart-breaking scene in the episode was when they finally got together, but it was at the worst possible time. LOVE THE SHOW!


Fabulous show...on all counts, but let's face it ladies...we watch the show primarily for Deacon. Not only is Charles Esten a wonderful actor, but Callie Khouri has created a fascinating character and written a compelling story around him (love the bit about him watching the same movie on his birthday and eating popcorn!)...and he is a dream to watch, as he is gorgeous and a wonderful personality. He should have his own series!
So glad there is more of Deacon coming up...
The Teddy story is boring...and Avery is boring..loved seeing good old Dad (wonderful actor) appear once again in his evil aura, but here he was at least supportive of Rayna.
Am tiring a bit with the way Rayna is handling all this adversity in her life..This is not life-threatening, and she is being portrayed as a victim, which is overkill...get with the program is tough...and people get divorced...and it goes with the territory of being a public persona...
But the one person she has not been fair to is Deacon...good thing she acknowledged that she needs to do right by him, AND SHE DOES...the man has been a stalwart loyalist and devoted business partner for 12 years and in love with her all this time....time for him to have his way, and happiness in his life...AND TO FIND OUT HE HAS A 12 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER BY RAYNA!!!! Can't wait for the next show


This is my faorite TV show.....both the characters and the wonderful music. Hope it Never gets cancelled.


I completely agree about Chip. It's Deacon and Rayna I tune in for. Sometimes I like Scarlett but sometimes her hokie-ness get a little old to me. I am from the south and I don't care for overly exaggerated southern accents but I do agree she really can sing. Juliette ... kind of started to like her in this ep but then she had to show it was about the venue rather than about just doing something nice for a friend. She so desperately needs a does of humility. I hated the Gunnar's brother story and could not care less about the political angle. I'd love to see the little girls do another song though. How can you know Vince Gill & not Pam Tillis????


Ummmm....Pam Tillis is Mel Tillis' daughter.......YouTube Pam Tillis and look for "Maybe it was Memphis"...... LOVE this show.......Deacon is my fav.........


Dan F should not be reviewing a series called "Nashville" if he doesn't know Pam Tillis. Pls TVFanativ at least give someone the job who has basic knowledge of country music.

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Nashville Season 1 Episode 14 Quotes

Deacon's having a birthday party? What are they doing a public screening of Old Yeller?


I'd love to forget about my past but it ain't gonna forget about me.


Nashville Season 1 Episode 14 Music

  Song Artist
Hayden panettiere we are water We Are Water Hayden Panettiere iTunes
Moon taxi mercury Mercury Moon Taxi iTunes
Song I Want Change The Record Company