Nicely put together and embodied, ABC’s musical soap might even convert you to country music. One of the best surprises of the new school year.
In the game of predictions, we did not give much Nashville, ultra-American plunge into the world of country music in the footsteps of two singers, a quadra who is declining in popularity and a young first sales champion. And yet, the series, launched Wednesday October 10 by ABC, is one of the best surprises of the fall. Mixture of musical performances – one of the strong trends of the moment since the success of Glee – family soap and political suspense – the heroine’s husband is running for election as mayor of the city – Nashville has been acclaimed by all the American critics.
On closer inspection, the series has a few cards in hand to be successful. Written by Callie Khouri, Oscar winner in 1992 for the screenplay of Thelma et Louise, it is headlined by the formidable Connie Britton, whom all American TV has been tearing off ever since Friday Night Lights. She also offers a great opportunity to bounce back to Hayden Panettiere, the cheerleader of Heroes, perfect as a young singer with long teeth, marketed as a product. This arrogant vamp in public hides a child broken by an addict mother. It is thanks to this casting, completed by quality supporting roles, including Eric Close, former FBI: Missing, that the series works.
The first episode takes up the complicated stories of the soaps – betrayals, plots and family stories – Rayna James, the character of Connie Britton, is the daughter of a wealthy businessman … who pulls the strings behind her husband’s municipal candidacy . This first episode installs with a certain know-how an original universe, the city of Nashville, its small country cafes and its beautiful houses surrounded by greenery. The dramatic springs, whether it is the musical battle between the two singers or the political race, are also tested, and the two stories nourish the intimacy of the characters.
Finally, the other good surprise from Nashvilleis his music. Annoying when it’s Juliette Barnes, the character of Panettiere, who sings her country pop soup for teenagers, passable when it’s the classic Rayna James who is at the microphone, she manages on the other hand to be deeply moving on the scene of the small cafe where the characters hang out, where we can hear two superb walks, including the one which very nicely closes the pilot. Serious in its ambition to show the country scene with truth, the series could become, for those who do not know the genre, an interesting gateway. We will not cry to the masterpiece, but Nashville is a good series for the general public and all audiences, including those who a priori does not like the idea of listening to a good ten minutes of country music per episode …