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.


Can't wait till the next episode when Deacon hooks up with the new girl on the block, way to go Deek. Rayna is over the hill and he is not into kids.


I can't wait until Rayna dad annihilate Teddy. I thought the whole episode was good and thought provoking. Man this is great show it just need another night. But, I'm a fan and I'll continue to watch.


Everyone knows that Connie Britton can act...and FINALLY the writers are giving her some lines (and a great song!) that she could bring to life. Loved the final scene with Rayna and Deacon...they DO belong together. Deacon is good for Juliette also, but as a father figure....too OLD to be her lover.


Loved the episode. So rich in emotions, loved that we went deeper into Juliette's background. It makes her more likable. You could tell she basically had to raise herself. I was also heartbroken for Gunnar, he's a good person and did not deserve that. Thank god Scarlett was there for him. We finally got that kiss (and much more!) we've been waiting for since the pilot. Hopefully they'll admit their feelings and not pretend it was a mistake. The only thing disappointing is that the ratings diipped tto a new low. People have to watch that show, I don't want it canceled!


Oh, and I am with all the fans who say that Teddy and his mistress are BORING and need to go. The political stuff is deadly dull, and I hope that this show continues to focus on the wonderful music and musicians, and not the political wranglings of that turd Teddy and his heinous father in law.
Rayna is better off without both of them. I feel for her kids, though, that is really tough to see your parents marriage, divorce and infidelity played out in the tabloids. Poor kids.
I was also glad Gunnars brother was killed, because, as many other fans have noted, that was an awful storyline.


I disagree with the reviewer that Avery is at all interesting. He's a slimy little twerp who only cares about himself, and he treated Scarlett like crap. I hope he fails in everything he does. He's not handsome, he is wimpy, and he's a narcissist who doesn't have enough talent to back up his arrogance.
Scarlett and Gunner, meanwhile, are huge talents, incredible singers/songwriters, and just as adorable as they can be. I LOVED that they finally got to make out, as the sexual tension was so thick between them you could have cut it with a chainsaw.BTW, really, reviewer, you don't know who Pam Tillis is? Heck, I am not even a huge country music fan, but even I know who she is! Duh! I loved Deacon's party and I agree that he's scrumptous and charming as heck, but I think he's at his best when he's with Rayna, not Juliette, who has a lot of work to do to deal with her mother and her own awful childhood.


I loved this episode, minus the Teddy stuff and Gunnar's brother. I am also glad they finally got rid of Gunnar's brother. He was completely unnecessary. And I don't like Teddy without Rayna. They need to push him into the background and/or kill him off too. His new girlfriend needs to go with him. I'm glad that Juliette chose her mother over singing for celebs. I'm not sure where the counseling is going yet, but I hope it helps change her personality. She is way too annoying, insecure and bitchy for my liking. It makes her come off very trashy and low class, and she's been famous and rich for a while now.


Thank you thank you thank you for having Gunners brother whacked .....that crapola and annoying story had to GO !!!!


I'm with Serenity -- the writer actually asked who Pam Tillis is?? What, is he 12? You'd think the critic assigned to cover Nashville would know a little about country music. This is one excellent show!


Loves me some Deacon. The entire birthday thing was the cutest. When Juliette is somehow involved with interacting with Deacon that is about the only time she's likeable. He tends to have that effect on most. I'm typically disinterested in the kids. They just don't always have anything solid but I really felt for Gunnar losing his brother. He'll feel guilty and that'll eat away at him. I suspect he'll lash out at Scarlett too even though they're having grief sex..which made me cringe. I'm not all that into Avery or his story either. That was a bold move Teddy made. He is such an ass.

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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