Meredith Tells Liz What Happened in “Nashville”
In the city of Nashville, it is really easy to become a superstar singer. You just need to go there and then get a job singing — and you will immediately get a contract. That actually may not be true in the real life Nashville but in the television version it is. They have everything: illegitimate children, drugs, alcohol…it’s like they have a list and it’s all set to country music and also everyone is ridiculously attractive in Nashville, because they just are and that’s just what happens.
We’re talking about the show Nashville on ABC, just to be clear.
First, there’s Juliette, who is like a complete drama queen because she grew up in a trailer park with her drug addicted mom, Jolene who now calls all the time to ask Juliette for money for her drug habit because Juliette is all rich and famous. Juliette does not want any contact with Jolene but that doesn’t work because you have to take care of your drug-addicted loved ones especially when they want to extort money from you because if you don’t, then who else will?
Oh and okay, when Jolene comes back she brings this really sketchy dude named Dante. Yes, like the inferno but they don’t mention that on the show but it’s kind of a symbolic name because Dante ends up making a whole fiery mess of Juliette’s life. See what I did there? Dante convinces Juliette to fire her whole team because she wants a more mature sound. Think Taylor Swift turning in Miley Cyrus after the tragic death of Hannah Montana. Then Juliette finds out that Dante is giving Jolene drugs and then blackmails Juliette and tells her that if she doesn’t give him ten million dollars, he will release a sex tape of her. It’s what happens in Nashville!
Well, Juliette is all, “fine, okay, whatever…” and she’s all prepared to give the money to Dante but Jolene is like “uh, yeah no” and kills Dante and then kills herself before the tape can be released. Apparently, she felt super guilty because she wasn’t all that present when Juliette was growing up so she thought this would make up for it. Personally, I would prefer diamonds over murder-suicide but, you know, to each their own.
After mourning the death of her mom (which only takes a couple of episodes), Juliette’s asked to join the Grand Ole Opry — which is a big deal if you’re a country star. She’s also kind of crazy because she’s branded a homewrecker when she hooks up with this married rich guy. People also are talking about how she doesn’t believe in God, because she said something in an interview and it was edited by paparazzi to make it seem like she hates God. So Jeff (this kinda douchey guy who is the head of her record label) tells her she needs to apologize when she is inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, but she doesn’t and sings instead and then the label drops her.
After this, she takes comfort in the arms of Avery, who kinda reminds me of Dylan from the original Beverly Hills 90210. He likes to be mopey and stuff and talk about how no one gets him. He’s not an artist.. he’s an ar-teest, which I think is supposed to be better but I don’t really know the difference. Anyway, Avery and Juliette start working on music together because everyone in Nashville is working on music together and if you don’t and they catch you, they kick you out. (Once again, I may or may not have made that last part up.)
Juliette is soon signed by Rayna’s new label, Highway 65, but because in Nashville you are not allowed to have a boring life, if something is going well you have to find a way to mess it up. It’s in the rules. So Juliette then sabotages herself by sleeping with sleazy Jeff who is just sleazy. She sleeps with Jeff and then Avery gets pissed and moody because he enjoys that emotion a lot and then he dumps her. Then Juliette gets pregnant and it turns out the baby is Avery’s and not Jeff’s like originally thought. Juliette tells Avery this news in the classiest way she knows how, by text because that’s always how you should break pregnancy news.”Hey, what’s up… can you get me a sandwich. BTW, I’m pregnant and the kid is yours… oh, and extra pickles.” That’s how life goes sometimes. Well, Juliette and Avery try to patch stuff up but then they decide that they will get married and raise the baby together… Which is really awesome and probably is not going to last.
And that’s just what’s happened to Juliette! Now, let’s move on to Rayna. Rayna is married to Teddy at the beginning and Teddy is boring (probably because he doesn’t sing) and they have two daughters named Maddie and Daphne (who do sing like super well). Teddy is going to run for mayor with the help of Rayna’s super rich dad, but when you’re running for mayor it’s probably not a good idea to embezzle money. I don’t know a whole lot about politics, but I’m guessing embezzlement will probably put a dent your political plans. So Teddy has to deal with that before running for mayor.
Oh, and before Rayna and Teddy got married, Rayna used to date this other guy, Deacon Claybourne. Deacon is also really moody and likes to mope a lot…
Let’s just get this all out into the open: If you are a male country singer living in Nashville, chances are some of your likes include:
- Excessive drinking
- Being moody and/or mopey
- Breaking things and/or people
Those are just some of the things that are expected of you when you are a fictional male country singer living in a fictional Nashville world. Deacon is a recovering alcoholic and yes, of course, a singer-songwriter — because if you’re not, you lose your Nashville privileges and they ask you to leave.
Now, Rayna and Juliette go on a tour together and everyone is kinda-sorta-maybe excited, except Teddy who is pissed off because he thinks Rayna and Deacon will hook up. And he’s not wrong because they do, and not only that, Teddy starts to get super-close to Peggy, who was on board with the whole embezzlement thing I mentioned earlier. Because he’s getting super close to Peggy and getting really super pissed at Deacon, Teddy asks Rayna for a divorce.
Another thing that happens during all this drama, is that it turns out that Deacon is actually the biological father of Maddie. Rayna was pregnant with Maddie when Deacon left for rehab or something, and then that was when Rayna got together with Teddy and Teddy has been raising Maddie as his daughter and no one has told Deacon or Maddie this. Of course, when the truth comes out, Deacon falls off the wagon and doesn’t quite handle it well, because Deacon really, really likes to be moody and break things. (Deacon meets all three requirements of the Nashville male country singer.)
He also still really likes Rayna, though, so much so that they get into this huge argument in the car after some show and Rayna was driving and they get into this huge accident that lands Rayna in the hospital in a coma. Then Deacon says he was drinking and driving and that’s not true. When Rayna wakes up from her coma, she tells the truth and then all the charges against Deacon go away and he goes back to being mopey.
Rayna then starts to date Luke Wheeler who, yes, fits the criteria for male country singers in fake Nashville. Rayna and Luke get engaged but on the day of the wedding, she dumps him. And also Deacon, on the day of Rayna and Luke’s wedding, takes his mopiness a little too far and lands in the hospital where they tell him he has some sort of liver disease. Honestly, Deacon and Rayna are like the Ross and Rachel of Nashville… if Ross was a raging alcoholic and Rachel slept around a lot and we still aren’t ever quite sure if they were or were not on a break.
Teddy needs another mention because he does win the mayoral race, despite the whole embezzlement thing, and he gets together with Peggy. Peggy is a total nutjob. She tells Teddy that she’s pregnant but she has a miscarriage and does what most normal people who are also nutjobs will do, she lies and tells Teddy she is still pregnant and then she fakes a miscarriage when Teddy starts asking questions and then Peggy dies in a hail of gunfire after an assassination attempt on Teddy goes wrong. It turns out that Rayna’s dad had something to do with orchestrating the hit on Teddy which ended up killing Peggy and when Teddy confronts him, Rayna’s dad drops dead. So that happens…
Fake Nashville has a super large cast of characters because you have to sleep with a lot of people in Nashville, so there have to be a lot of people there for the sleeping…with and stuff. Like Scarlett! Scarlett is Deacon’s niece and she is dating Avery at first and she is of course, a singer-songwriter. Scarlett and Avery break up when Avery gets a taste of success and gets all full of himself, so she starts hooking up with Gunnar because they write and sing awesome songs together. They get a super important music meeting (which are really easy to get in Nashville) but Gunnar doesn’t show up and Scarlett ends up becoming famous and then Gunnar hooks up with Scarlett’s best friend, Zoey and then Zoey, Gunnar and Avery, who lost his record deal because he actually literally broke records and people got mad.
Their trio was going really well until Gunnar finds out he’s a dad to this boy named Micah, and the girlfriend decides to abandon her kid with Gunnar. Zoey gets pissed and leaves and then it turns out that the kid isn’t really Gunnar’s. The kid actually belongs to his brother, who was murdered. I know, right?
So here’s thing on Scarlett. She gets afraid of stuff a lot. She’s always afraid. In fact, just as the guys have a criteria, so do the women. Here are the rules for being a successful female country artist in Nashville:
- You like to sleep around a bit
- You have to be emotionally damaged in some way
- You’re prone to having breakdowns and acting irrationally
Scarlett does become successful because she fits that criteria. Normal, boring people don’t live in Nashville. Those people come to Los Angeles and become actors… wait. Scarlett becomes famous and it’s really scary so she ends up having a complete meltdown on stage. Think Mariah Carey’s appearance on TRL when she was promoting Glitter and then maybe a twinge of Amanda Bynes.
So Scarlett ends up in a clinic so she can get better. When she gets out, she decides she’s going to leave Nashville and move to Mississippi but Gunnar and Avery convince her to stay so she does and starts her life over, she becomes friends with a homeless guy who yells at her and scares her and then after Zoey leaves, she ends up being in the trio with Gunnar and Avery.
Finally, we’ve got the saga of Will and Layla. Will is friends with Gunnar and he is so in the closet. So much so that he ends up in a relationship and getting married to Layla. Layla was an American Idol/Voice-esque contestant and oh, yes, Will is a country singer because well, he is. Layla and Will do this reality show like The Newlyweds with Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey. Layla is even shown to be the dimwitted one. It’s very original.
Will eventually tells Layla that he’s gay and then Layla starts to write and sing really good songs but no wants to hear them because they only care about Will. By complete accident, Sleazy Jeff hears Layla’s good songs and then sleeps with her because in fake Nashville, that’s how you reward people who do a good job and are also really vulnerable. Jeff blows her off to help out Will because rumors are starting to swirl that Will is gay and Layla needs to be with Will but when Layla catches Will hooking up with another woman, she swallows a lot of pills and jumps into a pool, presumably drowning herself.
Jeff does the decent thing… actually, no, that’s a lie. He does not call 9-1-1, instead he calls the mayor, Teddy. Teddy and Jeff are now best friends because Jeff is hooking Teddy up with hookers which is what good friends do and Jeff is now in need of a favor because Layla might be dead in a pool.
That is only in the first two and a half seasons — we have got an entire other half of a season to go (returning February 4th, 2015). According to the previews, Luke looks really pissed about Rayna calling off the wedding. I’m pretty sure he will break stuff.
Meredith Lee is a born and raised Valley Girl who watches way too much television and has seen every episode of “Friends” at least ten times. She always looks up the spoilers to reality shows before watching so she can prepare herself for the outcome, enjoys eating brunch and exploring Los Angeles, and also likes shopping, sitting and napping. She recently began blogging, and can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.