Nashville: The Complete First Season isn’t the type of show I’d usually watch. In fact, I would stay far, far away from it if a review copy hadn’t shown up at my house a few weeks ago. But, upon giving it a chance, I was actually pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable the show was.
ABC took a familiar plot line with the show and just gave it a new setting: the country music scene. The basic plot is that the aging country star Rayna James has a career on the downward curve. In order to make herself relevant again, her label teams her with current country star Juliette. Of course, the show would be boring without conflict, and conflict there is: the two hate each other. To further complicate matters, both are vying for the attention of Rayna’s guitar player Deacon. As you can imagine, hilarity ensues.
Look, on paper, it really seems like this is just another soapy drama show. But honestly, given a chance, it turned out to be more than that. ABC was wise enough to use the show to look at both ends of the spectrum: from the superstars who are extremely popular all the way down to someone whose career is just starting out at the very bottom rung. Scarlett, who happens to be the niece of Deacon, is getting discovered and on the road to stardom. It’s a nice juxtaposition between the famous and those not yet there.
Oddly enough, I was surprised at how well acted the show was as well. Connie Britton as Rayna really knocks it out of the park. And Hayden Panettiere as Juliette matches her scene for scene, really showing off her acting chops here. Color me impressed.
Of course, the show is littered with original music, and it really shines. I’m not a country fan, but even I couldn’t resist tapping my foot along to some of these tunes. Kudos to the song writers for that.
I’m glad that the show stood out, because the extras included on the disc are unfortunately very dull. A handful of deleted scenes and bloopers, a featurette about the titular city, and the music behind the show round out the package. It’s OK, but nothing ground breaking.
Regardless, though, I’m happy I gave the show a shot. It surprised me!
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And you can win a copy for yourself! I have a copy of Nashville: The Complete First Season to give away to one lucky person. Just leave a comment below, and Ill choose one next week to win a copy.
Also up this week is The Neighbors: The Complete First Season, another ABC show. To be honest, I hadn’t even HEARD of this show before it showed up to review. The basic gist is that a family from New Jersey (my old stomping grounds!) moves to a gated community that is made up entirely of aliens. From space.
Yes, that does sound like a pretty formulatic sitcom story right there. But surprisingly…it works. The show has a lot of SMART laughs, which most shows these days don’t have anymore. Taking a page from Third Rock From The Sun, the show does a lot of pop culture references, but does them right, and it makes for some hearty laughs from me. I’m surprised this show didn’t get more play on ABC because it really is better than most other stuff on TV right now.
Regardless, I definitely recommend the show. It really is one you can watch with the whole family, because as cliché as it sounds, it does have something for everyone.
While it doesn’t have a lot of extras, it does included a gag reel and some deleted scenes that are likely to keep the family busy for a bit after finishing all 22 episodes in the season.
By Jeff Heimbuch
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