Nashville s5 ep 15

Nashville doubles down this week on #Maddiegate. Maddie’s trapped in her huge house – Raynadu, let’s call it – because the press are at the gates. Which is both endearingly old-school, and somewhat unlikely for an incident as trivial as this. Bucky – sacked, but somehow still around – hints that she might want to apologise for the sake of her career. But part of the reason that the incident won’t go away is that Daphne’s exciting new friend, the dreadful Liv, has posted an video mocking Maddie online. Then Clay breaks up with Maddie, which I thought he’d done last week, and Daphne – presumably wanting to make amends for what Liv did, although Maddie doesn’t yet know about that – helps Maddie to make another video, this time offering a partial apology: yes she overreacted, but no she’s not sorry for standing up for Clay.

At Highway 65, meantime, Rachel Bilson has turned up as perky “Chief Strategy Officer” Alyssa Greene, at the behest of perky zillionaire Zach. She points out to the H65 family, gathered round a table, that the record business as it used to be is dying, and (quite sensibly, IYAM) suggests brand partnerships as a way of making some bank. There are varying degrees of scepticism on the Highway 65 faces, but once again I feel obliged to observe that Zach’s only sin, thus far, has been trying to keep H65 afloat through disasters such as Juliette’s ‘The Whitest Gospel Album In The World’. Anyway, Will is ambivalent until Budweiser come calling, then he’s all about brand synergy and selling his soul.

Juliette herself mounts a Hallie showcase at the Bluebird, as a result of which Deacon wants to sign Hallie to H65, with Avery desperate to produce her. The only problem is that they want her to sack her backing group. Hallie isn’t having it, but then Avery arranges for her to sing with some proper musicians who aren’t just her mates and her married boyfriend, and she’s kind of convinced. Juliette also records the song which was meant for Maddie: I think I should allow that it’s better than I said it was last week, although still nowhere near as good as ‘Beautiful Dream’.

And Scarlett is being what is now her usual insufferable self. Babe, if you’re not interested in Gunnar, let him go. “For the first time”, she whines to Deacon, “he’s steady…”, which suggests that the writers are going to keep trying to sell us this fantasy of season 1-4 Gunnar being flighty while loving, loyal Scarlett bravely did her best. We do, though, get a scene of the two of them hanging with Will and Avery, and those are always good. It’s not a great episode, though, and the show needs to move on from Maddie and the video.

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2 thoughts on “Nashville s5 ep 15

  1. CJ Cregg August 13, 2017 / 12:40 pm

    Raynadu. HEE.

    I know it’s Nashville and it’s network tv so I shouldn’t have been surprised but I got really annoyed watching this – Nashville’s story about racism and police persecution of African -Americans is focused on how hard it’s making things for the poor little rich white girl? Really? That’s the story the writers felt they should use a racist police stop to tell? FFS. Yes there was some lip service to Clay suffering but the show clearly has minimal interest in exploring that or giving him a voice other than through Maddie’s perspective, so in true Nashville style they’ve packed him and his troubles off down the road so we can devote all our attention to Maddie’s pain instead. FFS again.

    I did like Bucky’s talk about what happened to the Dixie Chicks, who I have a lot of time for – I thought it was a good way to show what the writers were actually trying to say with Maddiegate, about conservative attitudes in country music and how people who speak out against institutions have been punished for it. Bucky and Glen are really under-used, great characters – Nashville would be better shaving off a chunk of Maddie’s excessive screen time and giving it to them if you ask me, but Bucky, Glen and I are all obviously too old for the demographic the show is now aiming for.

    Also – I don’t understand the point of this Scarlett/Gunnar/baby axis of awfulness. Unless it’s to torture viewers and characters alike, in which case, mission accomplished. Poor Gunnar.

    • Jed Bartlet August 18, 2017 / 6:35 pm

      Ye-es… I don’t think I can really disagree with that. In Nashville’s defence, though: in the specific case of Maddie’s Life Matters, she’s a lead character in the show and Clay, well, isn’t, so it seems to me to follow that we’re going to find out more about how it affects her. (The bigger issue, of course, is why so few shows have people of colour in leading roles, which is something I would have raised in my H50 hot take, had I written it.)

      And in general: the show has, in fairness, continued to adopt a liberal stance on matters of race and sexual orientation despite moving to a channel with, one would guess, a more conservative viewer base than ABC.

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