Nashville Review: Condemned to Repeat It

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There are so many great things about Nashville that it's unfair not to mention the issues that are preventing it from being a great show in its first season. 

Like most hours of the country soap, "Why Don't You Love Me" included wonderful music, fantastic work by Chip Esten and even a few surprisingly interesting moments.

But like any episode that includes political story lines, this 42-minute run time became roughly 34 minutes of plot I could actually pay attention to. The record may be broken, but it's a serious issue that the writers either need to figure out how to work in their favor...or completely drop.

Thankful To Be Nominated

Another problem lies in the fact that even the more engaging stories are struggling these days, mostly due to lack of growth.

Watching Nashville, it feels like Juliette is facing the same issues over and over again. Her rep is a problem, her mom is a problem and she hasn't seemed to learn much over the course of this first season. The more they keep coming back to the same things, the less interesting it becomes.

Similarly, the Deacon/Rayna relationship, while recently taking a slight move forward, still feels like something that can't quite get going as a story arc. Both characters have gone back-and-forth many times on whether or not they could actually settle down on this idea of being together - and it's frustrating to watch.

The history is there for both of them, and they certainly love each other, but I can see this not working out again, and then everything will return to where it was. Only now, Deacon will have ruined everything with Stacy, and the dude will be all alone. 

Unlike our three leading characters, Avery Barkley has traversed so much ground as a character during Nashville Season 1 and it's been fun to watch.

From jealous boyfriend of a talented singer to up-and-coming star, and then down-on-his-luck roadie to band leader for Juliette Barnes, he has had quite a ride. All along the way, Avery has become more and more likeable, and Jonathan Jackson has proven to be a terrific actor.

Also terrific in "Why Don't You Love Me?" Esten as always. His best was definitely that scene in the limo when Deacon decided to tell Rayna that he knew she was hiding something from him and he didn't care. With eyes just on the cusp of tears, Esten is so good at playing the hurt soul.

Not so terrific was Sam Palladio in that morning after scene. I understand it must have been awkward for Gunnar to keep that momentous event from Scarlett, but the acting performance wasn't just awkward by Palladio, it was tough to watch. He does much better with happy scenes, so let's cut him a record and get him moving to bigger and better things.

What did y'all think of "Why Don't You Love Me?" Was it a step in the right direction for Nashville? Or did you have trouble enjoying it like me?

What were your favorite moments? What were your least favorite? Will Juliette's drinking become a problem? When will Rayna's Maddie secret come out? And what are your predictions for the final two episodes of the season?


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (88 Votes)

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


catching up...geez... Who would have thought that a show with Connie Britton would be carried by someone else? Chip Esten just NAILS everything he does, he doesn't waste a second of screen-time. From his argument with Rayna to their reconciliation in the car...even the way he looks at Rayna is different from how he looks at every other woman he's been with on the show. Somebody give that man an Emmy. Totally agree that Avery is the character that has shown the most growth. And Juliette - goodness, has she made ANY smart decisions on this show?


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Glad show got renewed. Avery was such a douche but now is cool.


Her problem is she doesn't love him its just one of her crutches of life. As said before she is her mother all over again and has done the same thing she did.
Lamar is not her father, good old mom played the nasty on tour years ago and stayed with Lamar whom she loved. Rayna is doing the same thing so don't be surprised when Teddy gets back in the picture again.


I love this show. I think something is going to happen to Jolene trying to kill Dante. I think Rayna is having a hard time keeping the secret about Maddie from Deacon (maybe she realizes he probably will never talk to her again and what about the biggest pain in her life TEDDY). Hopefully, it will turn out better than I expect. Please let me know has anyone heard Deacon tell Rayna he loves her (he shows it but I never heard him say it). She has told him several times.


Rayna is supposed to be perfect but she is not. I don't see any chemistry with Deacon. She was better with Liam. Connie Britton is a good actress but her signing is lacking; very boring. Hayden P. can sing but needs acting lessons. The guy who plays Avery is a really good actor and the plot needs more of his story. Gunnar is good looking but boring. Scarlett is a great singer but the hoky "southern" accent is really bad. I live in the South and the show needs to hire some actual Southern writers to get the true flavor of the region. By the way, Charles Esten is one of the best looking men on TV.

Sarah silva

Prediction: Juliette will get a gun and kill Dante and his fiancée and her mom will take the fall to prove that she is finally there for Juliette!
I have not seen the previews, I just read what will happen in the next 2 episodes.
I love Deacon and Rayna!
I wanted to slap Teddy, he has no right to tell her anything let alone what to do and what not to do about her relationship with Deacon.
I hope Rayna wins the CMA.
Juliette was good for awhile now she is back to her old self. Yes having someone steal money is awful, but she is partially to blame for latching on to him and shutting out everyone else.
I like the idea of her and Avery, once she gets her head on straight.
Gunnar has become some one I do not like.


Adding one note. Now that Rayna and her father have connected let's let them unite to battle a common enemy. It would add some depth to their story line.


I love the Juliette character and Hadyn Panettierre 's portrayal is outstanding, including her musical performances. The story line with her mother rings true for me as kids often repeat the mistakes of their parents. I would like to see a story line where she and her mother unite to defeat Dante.
Don't like Gunnar and Scarlet as a couple nor was she a good match with Avery. Hope the writers can find her a partner where she can portray optimism and strength-and get into some upbeat music. We have seen her perform that kind of music in a previous episode. Let's see more of it. Sweetness is good until it becomes cloying.
Writers need to let Rayna and Deacon get together or put a period to the affair.
Let's see more of Rayna's sister. Judith Hoag as Tandy Wyatt is doing a great job. Her anger and her father's recent rejection was pitch perfect.
finally I love Powers Booth as Lamar Wyatt. He always puts in a powerful performance even when he has only a small part of the story line. Put Rayna and Lamar together fighting a common enemy. They have finally connected. Let's keep that momentum going.


After watching several episodes not all I have come to the conclusion that Rayna is following in her mothers foot steps, being a country singer on tour where she had an affair that might be the daughter of her guitiar player and not Lamar. This could end up being a complete mess if she goes through with it and Maggie finds out her mother has been lying all these years.
I forsee the writers won't let this happen and faze Deacon out as her lover and move on with his life. He should of stayed with the Vet and forgot Rayna, she was the witch who kept coming back at him to fill in her empty space.

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Nashville Season 1 Episode 19 Quotes

All that mundane stuff, that's pretty much just what I've been waiting for.


Honey that perfume you're wearing is 80 proof.

Rayna (to Juliette)

Nashville Season 1 Episode 19 Music

  Song Artist
Nashville cast gun for a mouth feat sam palladio Gun for a Mouth (feat. Sam Palladio) Nashville Cast iTunes
Nashville cast used feat hayden panettiere Used (feat. Hayden Panettiere) Nashville Cast iTunes
Nashville cast the end of the day feat connie britton and charle The End of the Day (feat. Connie Britton & Charles Esten) Nashville Cast iTunes