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.


Oh my god you did not say "whoever Pam Tillis is." Seriously?


I LOVE Gunnar and Scarlett so I was so excited that this finally happened...tragedy brings a lot of raw emotion to the surface so I get it.


I thought it was a great episode. only thing i didnt care for was teddy and peggy. but teddy alone i was good. liked the talk between rayna and her daddy. for once there was just love there. im glad juliette took her mom home. i felt a little bad that she didnt get to sing, her mom took something from her again. but very glad to see that she didnt throw a fit. or be as whinny bitchy woe is me about it this time. it was nice hope it stays this way. i feel sad for gunner. now he feels hes the reason his brothers dead. who could jason have made that mad that soon after going to nashville. thought his issues were in texas. i just wish they hadnt picked this time to bring him and scarlett together.


I think your criticism is pretty harsh. To make this an all over interesting hour, I like the political intrigue, the hookups and all the interaction. I do agree that Deacon is definitely the most generous, kind and all over best friend, but I believe that comes from hard times and has to be earned. Love all these characters. Wonderful acting and writing. Look forward every week to the next installment. Hope this series gets renewed.


I love Scarlett and Gunnar and finally FINALLY!! they kissed! (And probably more..) I hope they become a couple because they are so cute and I love it when they sing together, I just can't get enough of those two!
I felt really bad for the kids when the divorce was front and center on all those magazines.
I'm hoping Rayna and Deacon gets together, just not too soon. Let it not be a rebound or something like that.

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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