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These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
The shooting of Barbara Jean rather eerily prefigures the murder of John Lennon (and the non-fatal shooting of Ronald Reagan) at the hands of crazed followers a few years later.
After Lennon's death, Altman was asked by a Washington Post reporter whether he felt "responsible" for the murder due to having depicted a celebrity shooting in this film. He responded, "That's what the film is all about. Do you feel responsible for not heeding my warning?"
Hilarious in Hindsight: Hal Philip Walker's campaign is more than a little reminiscent of Ross Perot's actual third-party presidential run in 1992.
Award Snub: Unlike Connie Britton (who received a nomination for season 1), Hayden Panettiere has yet to receive any Emmy lovenote Golden Globe and People's Choice love, however, is another story - even though many believe she deserves it as much as if not more than her co-star, including several of said co-star's fans. Chip Esten also hasn't received any nominations despite being one of the strongest performers on the show.
While the series avoids making the situation good vs. bad - Rayna's professional but hardly a saint, and Juliette's damaged but she isn't an evil schemer - a lot of fans do seem to prefer one or the other.
Of course, given that Rayna and Juliette have understandable motivations (Rayna wants to hang onto her fame, Juliette wants to be the new sensation of country music), this might be intentional.
Big Lipped Alligator Moment: So you're Gunnar, and you've just come home. Scarlett kisses you and initiates sex. You accept the offer. Not a problem - she's your girlfriend, after all... except you've just come back from ID'ing your murdered brother at the morgue. Say what now?
When Rayna and Sadie get chased by the paparazzi in "I Feel Sorry For Me," Rayna is remarkably blasť about coming thisclose to a car accident. Given how she was damn near killed in a car crash at the end of the first season...
Hilarious in Hindsight / Squick: One comment on Entertainment Weekly's site pretty much sums it up: "Weird to see Coach Yoast's daughter from Remember the Titans making out with one of the football players. 'Remember when we were in that movie when I was 11? Now, pucker up.'" (Burgess Jenkins (Juliette's producer Randy) played racist player Ray in the movie, which was actually made (and released) when Hayden Panettiere was ten.)
Non-Squick case: given that Miss Panettiere has to wear wigs most of the time on the show when playing Juliette (as does Clare Bowen as Scarlett), it's amusing that Juliette actually puts on a wig in-universe when pretending to be a busker in "Just For What I Am" and again, after her self-inflicted haircut, when playing Patsy Cline.
Jerkass Has a Point/Strawman Has a Point: Actually used deliberately. We're encouraged to dislike Jeff for his cynical business practices that give no thought to artistic integrity, but when Rayna starts her own label and has to worry about the business side of the industry for the first time, she's forced to admit some of what he said was spot-on.
Jerkass Woobie: Juliette apparently grew up in a trailer park with an abusive drug addict mom who tries to use her daughter's money to fuel her addiction. A conversation on the phone brings her to tears. Plus we learn in season two that her dad passed away when she was four (in "All Or Nothing With Me," it's revealed he was a Blackhawk operator and was killed in a training accident). And whenever something good happens to her there's always something to ensure she can't really enjoy it, from a hit single ("Wrong Song," a duet for which Rayna is given and accepts virtually all of the credit, even though Juliette wrote most of it) to winning a major CMA award the very night her mother kills herself.
Lamar is a grade A jackass, before he was torn apart by the death of his unfaithful wife.
Like You Would Really Do It: The season 2 trailer implies Rayna might bite it post-car crash. Yeah, they'll really get rid of one of the two leads - especially since Connie Britton has had a producer credit since day one. Though the show then spends a few episodes mining the rather more believable possibility that the crash wrecked her singing ability.
Moe: Scarlett Moe'Connor, especially when her uncle Deacon falls off the wagon HARD.
In the pilot, Rayna telling off her boss after he pressures her to play second fiddle to Juliette. "You can kiss my decision as it's walking out the door."
Juliette has one of her own in "You're Gonna Change (Or I'm Gonna Leave)," when she buys off a photo of Sean from a paparazzi (a picture that wouldn't have affected her at all).
"Lovesick Blues" has one for Rayna and Juliette, with their duet on a song they wrote together. Despite their distaste for each other, they're able to be professional and give an epic performance.
Deacon is pretty awesome anyway, but his leaping to Juliette's defence in the same episode post-Rayna's "The Reason You Suck" Speech also counts (especially if you believe Miss Jaymes' brilliance is of the informed variety).
Despite his status, in "Be Careful Of The Stones You Throw" Teddy has one for standing up to Lamar when he threatens to expose that Deacon is Maddie's birth father.
Gunnar scores one in "I've Been Down That Road Before" when he drops Avery to the floor with three quick punches.
Both Rayna and Juliette get one in "When You're Tired Of Breaking Other Hearts":
Rayna for calling out Juliette for how her decision to "invite the world" to that venue worked out.
Juliette for accepting the responsibility and paying the injured parties' hospital bills.
In "She's Got You," when Charlie Wentworth fires a pervy DJ who belittles Juliette in favour of Layla Grant, she persuades him to rehire the guy. Sweet though that sounds, that's not the awesome part - the awesome part is her then informing the DJ that if he ever does his Jerk Ass moves again he'll be fired for good (as well as getting more coverage of her and less of Layla in the bargain). "I guess nice ain't my color," indeed...
Miss Barnes scores back-to-back moments in "It's All Wrong, But It's All Right," first by refusing to toe the party line and apologise for the "There is no God" misunderstanding at her Opry induction (complete with delivering a musical "Screw you, haters" in the form of "Don't Put Dirt On My Grave Just Yet"), and then by blending Take That and "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Jeff when he drops her from Edgehill.
Rayna and Juliette teaming up to take down Jeff's attempt to kneecap the former's album debut and control the latter via blackmail.
Juliette's press conference at the end of "Nobody Said It Was Going To Be Easy." Non-fans of a certain Miss Zoey Dalton will also count the way Juliette fired her earlier in the episode.
Narm: The death of Lamar, of a soap opera heart attack. It doesn't help that he also had one the previous season.
One-Scene Wonder: Mario van Peebles (who also directed the episode) as Jeff's boss, who asks him point-blank if he has problems with women after he manages to lose the top-selling Rayna and Juliette from the label, and threatens to fire him if he can't find a new female talent.
Kind of a weird one, but lots of fans find Scarlett more tolerable when she's high on pep pills, despite this clearly being presented as a bad thing. Not only is Clare Bowen's Keet performance a lot of fun, but she's much nicer, with a complete lack of the Wangst that had been dragging down her arc.
Although when her mom shows up, the angst starts being justifiable and got people to feel sorry for her.
Romantic Plot Tumor: The love triangle between Rayna, Luke, and Deacon, which takes over the whole show by season 3. Some fans are especially miffed at the show refusing to acknowledge that choosing neither of them is an option for Rayna.
Teddy, and pretty much anyone associated with his storyline (except for Lamar). Some feel Scarlett is heading this way as well for reasons linked to her personality, her hair and fashion choices, and her accent.
Teddy is slowly being rescued, but Peggy keeps falling farther by not telling Teddy that she miscarried. Or should that be "miscarried"? And now she won't ever be redeemed.
Dante, Jolene's therapist and Juliette's new manager, succeeded in giving both Juliette fans and Juliette haters (and there are plenty of both) something to agree on - they hated him. And this was before he took her for $450,000 and then threatened to release a tape of their having sex, thus proving to be an intentional example thereof. So not many tears when, like Peggy, he got bumped off.
Scarlett's Black Best Friend Zoey has stepped up to the plate in season 2 in the eyes of a lot of fans, thanks in part to her storylines being widely derided as tedious.
Luke Wheeler, Rayna's new boyfriend, mainly because he gets in the way of Rayna and Deacon. Especially since she's agreed to marry him.
Pam, Deacon's current ladyfriend, is not a popular woman. Although not so much after their completely amicable split, agreeing that it was just a tour fling.
Seasonal Rot: A number of fans believe season two suffered from this, due to an increase in melodrama and a de-emphasis on music (not least from Rayna and Juliette). It also doesn't help that T-Bone Burnett is no longer in charge of the music, though in fairness to Mr. Burnett his other commitments meant he couldn't stay after the first season anyway.
So Bad Its Horrible: The amazingly tacky (even in-universe) cover art Jeff proposes for Rayna's Rising Out Of The Ashes album ("Hanky Panky Woman"). Combined with Juliette's All My Angels (as seen in the pilot), it's a miracle Edgehill Records hasn't fired its entire art department.
Take That, Scrappy!: Juliette's spot-on impression of Scarlett's most annoying tics in "Your Wild Life's Gonna Get You Down."
She also has made her disdain for Zoey not so secret as shown in the scene where Juliette fires her.
Tastes Like Diabetes: Rayna and Luke make a marvelously cheesy Christmas special, which is constantly undermined by the stressful circumstances of making it.
Tear Jerker: Most moments between Juliette and her mom, but Gunnar being called away from Deacon's party to identity his brother's body is the saddest moment of the show.
Until Juliette discovers that Jolene killed Dante... and via overdose, herself.
Testosterone Brigade: It's a show with Hayden Panettiere and Connie Britton. Think about it. (And Clare Bowen, Chaley Rose and Aubrey Peeples aren't exactly hard on the eyes either.) See also Just Here for Godzilla.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Hope you weren't looking forward to Teddy finding out Peggy faked the pregnancy, because she's killed before anyone can. He does eventually learn the truth, but it's still unsatisfying to never see her confronted about it.
Uncanny Valley: A California-based producer tries to make Juliette over as a Lady Gaga-esque glam rock star. The results are horrifying, and she quickly realizes what a bad idea it is.
Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Many fans were quite surprised to learn we were supposed to be on Luke's side over Rayna nearly shutting him out of the CMA Awards, as during her final speech she caves and tells him "What's mine is yours." Until then, he'd just been coming off as a whiny, petulant sore loser.
Wangst: Scarlett being pissed about Gunnar and Zoe hooking up because...it's really not clear. They could have told her a bit sooner, but that's far from justifying her reaction, so it comes off more like she expected Gunnar to pine away after her for the rest of his life. And later she applies some serious revisionist history to it and claims they both "abandoned" her.
Teddy weeping over Peggy, when everyone hated her anyway. And Eric Close's crying face can get a bit silly.
Rayna herself gets it with her issues over being away from her daughters during her year-long tour, when she went into it with her eyes wide open and already has done several other tours.