Country Music

Notes on Nashville: Drama and Deceit In TV's Music City

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  • Nashville's present mayor is retiring, setting up a campaign that will lift the show into the realm of politics as well as showbiz. At his announcment, we meet Lamar Wyatt (Powers Boothe), a local philanthropist and ruthless "captain of industry" (which industry isn't specified, probably all of them) who just happens to be father to Reyna and her sister, the much more dutiful daughter Tandy (Tami Hoag). I will watch Boothe in anything, and here he is in fine reptilian form.
  • Later at dinner, Mr. Wyatt proposes running Mr. Reyna, whose name turns out to be Teddy (Eric Close) -- a businessman who has been wiped out in the nation's recent financial difficulties -- as mayor on the condition that he "grow a pair." He also says things like "fate is what befalls a man who fails to act," which makes me miss Deadwood a little less. The other candidate is some old friend of Reyna's and decent human being Coleman Carlisile, who is probably going to get screwed over sometime real soon... and in fact is by the end of the show.
  • Small wonder, but Reyna cannot stand Juliette. She rankles when the ingenue's current hit single comes on in the car, and especially when her two daughters ask her to turn it up. Juliette's music is "adolescent crap" that sounds like "feral cats" to the Queen. "When are people going to stop pretending she's good?" she wonders later. Both stars have a pretty sharp set of claws thus far.
  • Juliette, hellcat that she is, is after Deacon from the start. She approaches him outside the Bluebird and offers him double what Reyna is paying her to become her new bandleader - but also to co-write with her, which the queen won't do. Her current Achilles heel is of course her junkie mom, who calls her at the studio (strung out, of course), looking for money. Then she starts making out in a closet with Producer Randy. Late in the episode, Randy comes scratching around her door, only to be turned away because she is currently straddling Avery with the Wandering Eye. Wicked!

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray