Hello all and welcome to my first full-length recap for the ‘gasm. I was lucky enough to be assigned Nashville. Or perhaps unlucky as this show is GREAT! It’s hard to snark and smirk at a show I am genuinely enjoying on a not-at-all ironic or postmodern level. I’ll do my best to be funny but I’ll warn you in advance – some of my commentary might be genuine and sincere discussion rather than just throwing shit at people who can’t fight back.
We meet our lead character Rayna Jaymes – if that’s not a porn name, I don’t know what is – as she competently manages to be a wife, mother and superstar. She has genuine talent, which you can tell by her not-obviously Autotuned voice and her wardrobe choice of pants. Pants that come down to her ankles! Can you believe it? A singer who doesn’t have to have her cooch on display to get people to pay attention to her?!?
Pants, sleeves and no choreographed dance moves? Are you sure this show takes place in 2012?
A performer who does need to hike the skirt up to Catholic schoolgirl heights is Juliet Barnes, played by Hayden Pantalette – honestly, I can never remember how to spell her name properly and Pantalette is fun to type and a real word. My first impression of her is that she is shiny, sparkly and ice-cold. She’s also smart, as evidenced by her (likely ghostwritten) book and perfume deals.
As everyone knows now, in order to get ahead in today’s entertainment industry, it’s not enough to be talented. You need to be a BRAND. You’ve got to have the perfume, the movie deal, the literary agent, the modeling contract, etc. Juliet is in it to win it, obviously. Going into the show, I thought they would play Juliet as some fakey virginal sweetheart. But no! Juliet is no one’s sweetheart. I know a lot of people are comparing her to Taylor Swift but I don’t think it’s apt – at least based on this one epi. Taylor is all hand-hearts and gosh and kittens and pumpkin lattes. If anything, I think Juliet is more of a Carrie Underwood-type – cold, calculating, polished with a veneer of sweetness that doesn’t quite cover up she’s a raging bitch on wheels.
For all of Rayna’s empowered self-made talk, she is the daughter of a rich, powerful man and the wife of a rich, powerful man (before he lost it all in some ill-advised financial scheme). Juliet appears to come from a seriously hardscrabble background with a drug-addicted mom and a who-knows-how-worse dad. Sure, she uses sex as a weapon but isn’t that incredibly common? She survived by becoming sexually alluring to men, she made them want to take care of her because it’s pretty obvious that her mom never could.