Nashville is an ABC series starring ConnieBritton and Hayden Panettiere, produced by Lionsgate Television and ABC Studios and created by Callie Khouri. Set in the capital of country music, the story revolves around two singers: Rayna Jaymes (Britton), wife and mother whose career isn't so glittering as it used to be, and Juliette Barnes (Panettiere), young singing sensation who's very definitely a shining star.So much so that Rayna's label wants her to go on tour and open for Juliette; needless to say, neither woman much likes the other. But that's not the only problem either has to face, in terms of business or their personal lives - Rayna's father Lamar (Powers Boothe), the most powerful man in Nashville (whom she has a bad relationship with), coaxes her husband Teddy (Eric Close) to run for mayor so he can run his own agenda, including getting the city a Major League Baseball team. And Juliette isn't exactly free of parental issues herself, with a mother who's a drug addict. (Until she commits suicide.)The series also follows wide-eyed innocent Scarlett O'Connor (Clare Bowen), an ingenue with an outstanding voice who, lucky lass, has two men eyeing her - her partner Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and bad-boy musician Avery (Jonathan Jackson); and Nashville guitarist Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten), who has a history with Rayna - and who both she and Juliette have been linked with professionally and personally. But rather more so with Rayna...Khouri's husband, T-BoneBurnett, was in charge of the show's music in season one.
Tropes associated with this series:
Actor Allusion: Juliette is not the only one who dates football players, so does Hayden.
...first there was the older man thing and then the football player thing. It almost feels like they're copying HP's real life love life. - Television Without Pity poster.
Although... Deacon doesn't seem to be feeling it since he found out how Coleman advised Rayna to cut him loose and keep Maddie's paternity secret.
Zoey to Scarlett.
California Doubling: Mostly averted; unlike Hellcats and Memphis Beat, this Tennessee-set series is actually filmed there. Played straight, however, when it leaves the city (Juliette and Sean going to Miami, the Red Lips White Lies Tour - and most of "I'm Sorry For You, My Friend," which takes place in four different cities in four different statesnote San Diego, Austin, Atlanta and Nashville itself).
Call Back: Rayna and Deacon's acoustic performance with Juliette watching on the side in "I Can't Help It (If You're Still In Love With Me)" is mirrored in "I've Been Down This Road Before," with Juliette performing with Deacon and Rayna watching.
Scarlett gets over her stage fright at her first major performance when Avery sends an egg whisk to her dressing room. Before they broke up, he'd been very encouraging of her career, including convincing her to practice for him using a whisk as a microphone.
Casting Couch: A female manager only signs handsome male musicians and only after they have sex with her.
In "She's Got You", Juliette breaks down the reality that this happens to female performers all the time and they're just expected to be OK with it.
The Cast Showoff: Half the cast qualify, really (see Non-Singing Voice). But Juliette doing a solo number with the church choir ("Where He Leads Me") pretty much settles it for her.
Scarlett, of all people, matches her in "Lovesick Blues" when she sits in with a bar band and does a completely gratuitous cover of "Ring Of Fire."
Chekhov's Gunman: Watty White seemed to just be a famous old musician, but it turns out that he was the man that Rayna's mother was having an affair with.
Cool Loser: Deacon. Despite being a No Hit Wonder and mostly playing bars in Nashville for a living, every musician loves him and wants him on their tour.
Contractual Purity: Juliette dislikes how her fanbase are almost entirely teenage girls and how she is restricted to performing with sparkle machines and dancers. When she tries to perform a more mature and low-key song at a concert, alongside the others, a critic smashes her, but her fans like it.
Creator Cameo / As Himself: Executive producer Steve Buchanan during the CMA Awards rehearsal in "A Picture From Life's Other Side."
Duet Bonding: Deacon with both girls, though Juliette seems to enjoy it more and Rayna thinks it was a mistake. Scarlett and Gunnar's main mode of bonding too.
Subverted with Rayna and Juliette. They're professional enough to put on a great show, but are still bitter rivals.
Fanservice: Deacon and Avery (and in some cases Teddy) for the ladies, Juliette and Rayna (and more demurely Scarlett) for the gentlemen.
Gender-Blender Name: Deacon names his new male dog Sue in reference to the Johnny Cash song "A Boy Named Sue".
Greatest Hits: Rayna doesn't want to release one, seeing it as implying that her best years are behind her. When trying to convince her to perform with Juliette, her agent attempts to use this as leverage: either she'll work with Juliette or her new Greatest Hits album will be hitting stores shortly. It comes along anyway, following her and Deacon's car accident.
Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The season one episodes - the pilot excepted - are named after Hank Williams songs... and quite why the producers made this decision for a series about two female country stars is a mystery.
Interestingly, so far season two is naming its episodes after songs by female country singers (Patsy Cline, Kitty Wells, Emmylou Harris, Loretta Lynn etc). Does someone important on the show read this site?
Informed Flaw: ....while Juliette's pipes aren't nearly as bad as the show initially wants you to believe (it's worth noting that Hayden Panettiere has more songs on the show's soundtrack albums than her co-star).
No Celebrities Were Harmed: Hayden Panettiere's pointed out that Taylor Swift (who many feel Juliette is based on) is far nicer - and tallernote Hayden is standing on a step, stretching up and wearing high heels in this picture, and Taylor still has to crouch down - than her character. Evidence: Unlike Juliette, Taylor's never been caught shoplifting. Connie Britton has also denied Rayna's based on Reba McEntire.
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Avery backs out of a sexual encounter with a woman looking to sign him, but Scarlett gets mad at him anyway. While he did the right thing this time, he previously screwed up Scarlett's demo and she realizes that she no longer trusts him.
No Hit Wonder: Deacon. Outside of Nashville, he's unheard of. But literally every musician in the show loves his music; even Liam, the rock musician who hates country, claims to be a fan of his. Within the music industry, there is an arms race between three artists/bands to get him on their tour.
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: While Hayden Panettiere's acting is very good, her Southern accent doesn't always hold up. Clare Bowen's accent also slips sometimes to reveal the Australian underneath.
Pop Cultural Osmosis Failure: Deacon names his new dog Sue. His new girlfriend finds it strange that he gave a female name to a male dog and he tries to explain that he named the dog after "A Boy Named Sue" but she does not get the reference. It never crossed Deacon's mind that a Nashville resident would not recognize a Johnny Cash reference even though she previously warned him that she does not like country music.
Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: After hearing Dominic figuratively destroy his music, Avery decides to literally destroy his music and hops on the first bus back to Nashville, knowing he's potentially costing himself millions.
Shout-Out: In "We Live In Two Different Worlds," Juliette is dropped from presenting at the CMA Awards - also shown on ABC, and guess which young blonde star of Nashville presented on them for real the following night. (Hint: It wasn't Clare Bowen.)
Troubled Production: Implied by T-Bone Burnett in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter after he left the show (which he had always intended to do after the first season):
Some people were making a drama about real musicians' lives, and some were making a soap opera, so there was that confusion. It was a knockdown, bloody, drag-out fight, every episode. You remember that show The Prisoner? If I were to tell you the truth, you'd think I was insane.
Truth in Television: Juliette's path to redemption is littered with backsliding, especially in the bedroom.
Unusual Euphemism: Rayna and Deacon refer to couples sleeping with each other as "writing".