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Nashville - Pilot Review

ABC joins the scripted singing game with its country music drama series Nashville which hails from the writers of Thelma & Louise.

Connie Britton stars as Rayna James, a country music sensation who finds her career quickly fading away. In hopes to not have her completely lose the profit from her upcoming concert tour, Rayna's producers offer her a deal to co-headline a tour with up-and-coming music artist, Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), who is Taylor Swift if she were a bitch with teeth. Unimpressed with the sloppy songwriting and autotune-heavy vocals of the young singer, Rayna is forced to find ways to keep her career in tact while also dealing with threats from her father, powerful politician Lamar Hampton (Powers Boothe) and the possibility of losing her music partner Deacon (Charles Esten).

I will start off by saying that Nashville isn't nearly as perfect as the reviews have been making it out to be. Due to its rather large ensemble, scene transitions and the pilot episode in general felt a bit bumpy and did not flow as smoothly as I'd hoped it to. That being said, the show has a lot of potential. With strong writing and an even stronger cast, this series could really take off once it finds its foot.

Connie Britton continues to prove that she can do no wrong, and while Hayden Panettiere's character could have easily come off as a one-dimensional mean girl, she is given a storyline in the first episode to redeem her behavior and also open up future storylines along the way. The show creators have created a rich group of characters in the world of country music, and its original songs fit seamlessly into the story. The show does not nearly rely as heavily on musical numbers as Glee or Smash does, which is a good thing.

The only other part that dragged the pilot episode along was the political sub-plot with Rayna's husband Teddy (Eric Close) being lured away by her father Lamar. With the music aspect of the show already filled with a plethora of characters and an abundant amount of potential plots, the sub-plot of having Rayna's husband run for office not only slowed the episode down but also felt a bit unnecessary.

The alphabet network has another compelling new drama series on its hands, and while not nearly as good as Revenge was last season, Nashville most definitely has the potential and will certainly find an audience. And even if you are not a fan of country music, there is still much to like about the show.

 Nashville will air Wednesdays this Fall at 10/9c on ABC. **Please note that this is only a review of the early version of the pilot** 

Review by Kyle

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