When Stormy Weather, a country character in her own right, watched the first episode of ABC’s NASHVILLE, she knew it was just the kind of show on which she wanted to dish online at opry.com each week. “Fashion. Young love. Old enemies. The potential for a catfight at every turn. Music born in the songwriting rooms of Music City. What’s not to love?” Stormy asks. Visit this page for Stormy’s unbridled thoughts on each episode as the series takes off and as we’re all introduced to Rayna James, Juliette Barnes, and the rest of the characters that make up NASHVILLE.
“Mama’s got a headache.” Poor Rayna James (lead character in the new drama “Nashville”). Cranial discomfort is just the beginning of your problems.
Her career is on the skids and up-and-comer Juliette Barnes (whose onstage wardrobe need only fit three criteria: short, tight and plunging–bonus points if it’s sparkly) is nipping at Rayna’s cowboy boots. If that weren’t enough, Rayna’s domineering daddy, Lamar Wyatt, just convinced her stay-at-home husband Teddy Conrad to step out of Rayna’s shadow and enter Nashville’s seedy (maybe not yet, but it’s going to get seedy) mayoral campaign. And if Rayna didn’t have enough problems, her producer, James, is sleeping with the enemy. Turns out Juliette’s records aren’t the only things James is producing for her.
It’s just the first episode of ABC’s new Nashville, but ulterior motives abound like awards on Vince Gill’s mantle in this drama set amid the country music industry.
Sweeping views of the Nashville skyline and the bucolic countryside and all points in between quickly establish that the city is a lead character, much like NYC was the fifth Sex in the City character. Music City might end up being what Dallas was to the Ewing family in the 1980s megahit. If you’re lucky enough to remember J.R. Ewing, one of the most despicable and brilliant characters ever written, he often met on the 50-yard line of Cowboy Field. Fast forward 30 years, and Rayna meets with Edgehill Records execs, and we see the Tennessee Titans’ LP Field in the distance. As for the meeting, where Rayna makes it known that she has no desire to co-headline a tour with Juliette, didn’t the new label head have a palatial estate somewhere in those rolling hills (featured in several shots) where he could host Rayna for cosmos and conversation?
Instead, Rayna (granted, her career is on a slippery slope), is left to wait in Edgehill’s lobby. The woman has nine GRAMMY and four CMA Awards and practically built the label in her 21-years there, but has to WAIT in the LOBBY? Where’s the private back entrance? Just as nobody puts Baby in a corner, nobody puts Reba, Faith, Loretta, or Miranda in the waiting room, be it the label or the ER. And where are Music Row’s female power brokers? Every meeting, all men … and Rayna. Stormy thinks the country music industry is looking like a boys’ club when we all know better! Maybe Rayna needs a manager or agent who knows how to walk in heels if she wants to step on the runway back to the top of the charts.
Let’s get back to Rayna’s headache. It’s intense, and it’s not going away anytime soon. “Rose Colored Glasses” may be Rayna’s favorite song, but it’s high time she crush those suckers. Plus women everywhere know that anytime they play Miss Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man,” a woman is on the brink of heartache. Some man is about to bring out the worst in Rayna, and the line forms here: her daddy, her husband, her guitar player, her producer, her record label, the list goes on. Heck, even Rayna’s daughters know every word to Juliette’s latest single, and they have the nerve to sing it from the backseat of the car! Children, show your mama some respect!
Speaking of mama, the plot surely thickens in this category. We don’t know exactly what happened to Rayna’s but chances are daddy Lamar was no prize to live with. Meanwhile, Juliette’s mama makes only a brief appearance, calling Juliette for money in a drug and/or alcohol-induced stupor. With so many great country songs about mama’s, you just know both the memory of Rayna’s mom plus the antics of Juliette’s mother will be front and center at some point this year. Can’t you just see Juliette’s mama crashing a CMA Awards after-party or doing something equally distasteful? Wanna bet she’ll be wearing something short, tight, and plunging? Like mother, like daughter…
See you next week, Rayna. See you next week, Juliette. See you next week, everybody.
See you, Nashville!
CLICK HERE for all things Nashville – including more blogs, songs from the show, ways to watch and win, and more.