Sunday, 10 February 2013

My prime time soap :D

Music City
I now know how old ladies feel, calling each-other feverishly after every episode. Buying the cheapest of the cheap magazines to find out the *slightest* bit about what's coming ... I'm DYING to know what's gonna happen in the next episode. Even though I'm badly bummed for seeing no more of Liam M. (Michiel Huisman), I really really wanna see more of Rayna/Deacon now that her annoying husband is out of the frame. He is sobriety personified and sobriety and art just don't go together. And I'm not talking fermented intoxication either. You can't be creative and tame at the same time.

Love everything about this show. Love. Am not even gonna go into the music. I love the costumes. I love the scenery. I love the "corners" in which they put the scenes.  Love almost all characters regarding music - and, as was very well intended - hate everyone regarding politics. The politics bit of this show is awful and I hate it and want it out. Unfortunately, you can never have the pretty, pretty songs without the cogwheels of powers and shadows turning behind it. That's how it is. SMASH did a good number on that. Everyone likes the guitars and stage lights of Nashville, but far and thick around it are the companies and interests of the bookings people.

The characters are lovely. There are almost none of the 'crazy, stoned, wild, short-lasting, bright-burning enfants terribles like Doors or Rolling Stones would be, driving their fans into banshee frenzy. This is country. People work hard to get where they want to be and the game is constantly changing, so they also have to work hard to stay there. Fame is just fame. Career is something different.

I love Juliette's pose in this one. She is trying so hard t stand out, something she is trying so hard thororugh the entire show and, probably, her entire life.

And I like the mood of the city. Lately quite a lot of directors are attempting to cast locations into the narrative. (The Brave One, New York. Drive, Los Angeles. Gone, baby, Gone, Boston. End of watch, South Central. Deja Vu, Savannah-After-Katrina....) There's Blue Bird and places like that - where no matter how great you are, you are always welcomed and at home. The little places. Beside Blue Brids there are 'playing for beer and pizza' places, and of course the big rodeos.

The cast - the three blond ladies:
Rayna (Connie Britton) is the latest greatest thing to the city - but her star is in inertia. She is awesome, very beautiful and a really nice person, smart and talented, but like it's said, fans are fickle and she can't fill an arena anymore. Which blows in several directions. She also has a complicated private life, because her father is a weasel politician, her sister is trying to keep up, and she married a nice man to have a nice family. She did this purposefully, because the one man she was destined to be with, the love of her life, couldn't stop swivelling down into the gutters of stage life. Problem is, he cleaned up and they are still such close friends, they are both constantly reminded of the deep connection they have. (Also, now they kissed and Rayna's husband asked for a divorce, so we'll see how that tumbles.)

Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) is Rayna twenty years ago. She comes from the trailer trash, junky mom background, which is constantly haunting her. She is also very smart, very talented and very beautiful, but people aren't taking her very seriously, because she's young, blond and appeals to teenagers in her music. In every episode, she attempts to make herself a more serious performer. She knows that being a super pop star in sparkly pants is what made her rich and independent, but it's not what she wishes to be her pinnacle - she's only worried that she may leap and miss. Which is something her managers and contractors are constantly warning her about.

Scarlett (Clare Bowen) is the antithesis of Juliette. She is very young and pretty, and really really talented as a singer and songwriter, but she shyes away from the limelight. She begins the tale of woe by dating a fame-crazed little shit, who envies her and although she's Deacon's niece and can handle her own, and seems to be destined for fame, doesn't really like that and much as she simply loves music. I read somewhere Rayna asks her to come along with her on the songwriting detail, but twelve episodes in, I'm still waiting for this. It would be nice, as I wish all the best for all of these girls. She is heard by a famous 'discoverer' Wally, a somewhat ghost of famous future.

The men:
Deacon is the unwilling leading man. He is a calm, thin guy, very good at music, but very bad at everything else. Although he has a lot of good friends and is a good friend to many of them back, he cannot seem to put his head up again. His career always suffered for his addictions and he probably never would have had any, if Rayna didn't keep him so very close. He is very good without even trying, but music is the only thing that constructs his soul. He pairs with Juliette to get closer to Rayna, although he is also very protective of Juliette and her only real friend.

Glenn (Ed Amatrudo) is Juliette's manager and humble father figure. He has her genuine interest and well being in mind, but is also very safe. He worries every time Juliette steps out of their fan zone and never agrees with her ideas. But you can see, like when he confronts Deacon, that he is truly devoted to her and without him, she's fail a long time ago. In the beginning Juliette is almost mean to him, disobeying and fighting him on every occasion, but when he wants to leave her, she cries and begs him to stay. Juliette also has a polite assistant and a bodyguard - all of which dub for a family she never had.

Avery (Jonathan Jackson) is the little bitch of Nashville. Although he is not a mean person per say, he is a spineless fame-whore. He is lousy to his girlfriend, until they break up, he destroys the band that got him where he was, he beds his agents, all the while hating himself for it. The hour he spends on the stage with fans cheering doesn't weight off the wide circle of loneliness he's created around himself to get on charts. His contrast, Gunnar, is a decent guy, just as talented and even more in love with Scarlett, but respects their friendship and their creative process, whereas Avery tanked Scarlett (and snobbed Gunnar) on every occasion. I loved it when Scarlett sang his song with his old band and did a much better job of it.

Other interesting figures are also Marshall Evans, the label owner, who schemes his stars into, oddly enough, great success; Rayna's agent Bucky, who is always there, though he doesn't seem to have to do much but wrap up deals and is good friends with Rayna as he trusts her decisions. Liam McGuinnes, who helps Rayna find her new edge, but unfortunately betrays her; and I like the black dude in Avery's Exs band, though I don't remember his name :D