Thursday, September 26, 2013

Nashville 2.01 Review: Anger is a Mask for Guilt

Let’s keep this short and sweet. For all those that have yet to watch last night’s season two premiere of Nashville, entitled ‘I Fall to Pieces’, and wish to do so devoid of spoilers, now would be the time to turn away. As with all my previous reviews, there is always a chance that there are spoilers below. THIS BLOG MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! You’ve been warned.
That was definitely a pleasant season two premiere. It wasn’t all that edge-of-your-seat excitement some premieres can have, but overall it was good. I liked that there was real drama I could grasp my fingers around, while still having the taste of music this series is built around.
I particularly liked Charles Esten and Hayden Panettiere’s performances as Deacon and Juliette, respectively. Esten did remarkably well playing Deacon as this angry, and obviously guilt-stricken, man that finally took it upon himself to take the blame for his actions last season. His battle with alcoholism is a sickness, and I hope that he tries to stick to the path of redemption this season. And Panettiere’s representation of Juliette was on the mark this season. Illuminating her need for fame and stardom, while balancing real emotional issues she has from where we left off last season, was quite well done. Her selfish need to do well with her album was this mask that she needed to not deal with her mother’s death. It was all so very well done and put together.
The way Gunnar and Will’s friendship has blossomed into being roommates is so much more interesting than what they had going last season. The two seem much more comfortable with each other than they did after Will tried to kiss Gunnar. I’m glad that they’ve kind of pushed that aside and are more friends, while Will obviously struggles with being gay. He’ll definitely need a friend like Gunnar as he deals with who he is. I do have to say that I miss Scarlett and Gunnar being together, and the transition with Gunnar losing his brother just made that something I didn’t care for last season, but I hope that he doesn’t give up on her. Saying yes to his question was definitely not the right way to go, so I like that they didn’t go there, but I don’t want this to be the end of their relationship. Last season wasn’t good when Gunnar got all dark because it was almost a complete flip of the switch, and we had so little in the way of clues to transition us to where this would be believable, so I hope they begin to redeem his character.
I definitely liked the way the flashback, or memories for Raina as she’s in her coma, sequences were filmed. The bright, sort of surreal texture to these scenes were well thought out, and the quick steps through certain memories of her and Deacon were well executed. I did have issues with the fact that this is supposed to be fifteen years ago, so it’s not all that realistic that these two would look so much the same to the present day. People never look young enough for flashbacks that long ago. I get that there was no way around this, except for casting lookalikes, but that’s always a little more complicated. Perhaps that’s the reason for the brightness in these scenes.
Overall, the episode progressed the series along well, and I look forward to the season ahead. It’s interesting the way they’re going with Teddy, and I’m wondering how Peggy is going to work in her miscarriage. She’ll probably string Teddy along until he comes back to her.
My rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Best Lines:
“It’s hard enough to bust out of this tween demo, now I have to compete with a Saint in a coma?” – Juliette, showing her struggling colours.
“I’m nobodies father!” – Deacon yells at his niece, demonstrating his guilt towards the crash with Raina after he found out he is her firstborn’s biological father.

All right, I’m off to watch The Crazy Ones now, then review that. After that is the two hour season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy, then it’s this weeks rendition of Best Performances.

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