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Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by mattCR, Sep 25, 2013.
I had the laugh at the "Previously On", as we were greeted with just about every soap opera trope short of evil twins.Given all of the insane shit that went down in the finale, it was nice to the premiere to serve as a moment to breathe as they take it all in.You see the night of romantic enchantment that led to Maddie's conception, and then the horrible morning after. You see Rayna walking up to tell Deacon about the pregnancy, only to be presented with a Deacon in the throes of alcohol-fueled rage and self-destruction. Presented with that scary sight, how can you trust this man to raise a child with?You see Juliette crassly use Rayna's emergency to keep herself out in front ahead of her album release, only to see Rayna's daughter run out and throw her arms around her in gratitude. And once Juliette puts the pieces together, she realizes that Maddie's not unlike her: the daughter of an addict, one whose world has been shattered by the consequences of that addiction. And suddenly, it's not about strategy any more. You need those moments so that you don't despise Juliette every single second on the show.I wonder if Teddy's mistress really miscarried; seems like a lot of build up to nothing if she did.
I thought it was an outstanding start to the season. Great music, great story advancements. Loved Juliette casually tossing away the candle as soon as she got backstage, and then being so kind to Maddie in the next scene. Could do without the closeted country singer (not objecting so much to the plotline as to the actor), and hopefully Scarlet will have more to do this season than be chased by Gunnar and Avery.
Since they are using a lot of original music, you get the feeling that a long summer break is exactly what they needed to recharge. I thought the interaction between Juliette and the daughter was one of those moments that really worked. Juliette is bitter and at times selfish, but you are reminded she got that way in large part because she's been the only one looking after herself all those years. She sees that in this situation and her defensive me against the world stopped.
If Juliette Barnes is the Eve Harrington to Rayna James's Margo Channing, then the talent show runner-up is Phoebe. No matter how high your star rises, the next big thing is always waiting in the wings. The fact that the new girl has a flat Yankee accent must only add insult to injury.I like that they're letting the different characters' stories play out independently with the minimum of crossover, rather than coming up with contrivances to force them to cross paths.When Deacon used the hack saw to cut his cast off after Scarlett's tough love speech, I was sure that they were going to him injure himself again. I'm so glad they didn't go down that road, instead showing him grappling with the long road ahead of him.I also like that this season Rayna's kids aren't just being trotted out when they need to show Rayna as a loving mother. Their parents' messy lives are really affecting them, and it's nice to see that they're not treated as blind and deaf to what's going on with this whole mess. I do hope that later on in the season Deacon and Maddie start forming a relationship.I don't care for Zoey. I think it's because she represents one of my major pet peeves for television, when a character that's never been mentioned (or hardly been mentioned) before suddenly appears on the scene and had this intense, deep back story with one or more of the characters. I just never buy it, and I've disliked Aiden Mathis on "Revenge" right from when he was introduced for the same reason.To be honest, Will's song tonight didn't really impress me. He's a decent enough singer, but he doesn't stand out to me as a plausible next big voice in country music. I thought Gunnar's song was a lot more involving, and I really appreciated that the heartbreak he poured into his song was the death of his brother rather than the end of his relationship with Scarlett.
It's easy to dismiss this show as a twangy soap opera, but tonight's episode would make a strong case against it. Written by the great Wendy Calhoun, who did great character work for "Justified" and "Revenge", fit all the pieces into play perfectly. I thought Maddie would have run to Deacon's door only to find him shacking up with the court-appointed lawyer.Having Maddie call Juliette was so much more interesting, and then the phone call that Maddie answered from Deacon was perfect. No "I love you"s, no outward indication of much except a family friend checking in to make sure everything's alright. But the subtext was there, and it was beautiful. The first step in their relationship.The scene with the girls singing Deacon's song was one of the most powerful things I've seen this week. Captured the weirdness of two close-knit sisters being pulled in different directions by two different fathers. And then when they sing, you get a glimpse of just how close and warm they are together. That's something you only get by casting real-life sisters that real-life like each other. And because it's these two sisters, the performance is lovely.The range of emotions that play out over Rayna's face watching from the hallway should win Connie Britton an Emmy: nervousness about Maddie venturing into that place, unease that her family is being torn apart, joy at seeing her girls bond again in that fashion, exhilaration at glimpsing the family she and Deacon could have had and now might still have a chance at, pleasure in a performance that moves her, and finally despair that her days generating that sort of feeling may be coming to an end.EDIT:A little backstory on the song from the end:http://abc.go.com/music-lounge/video/PL55261315/_m_VDKA0_mmi4oxdc
I really enjoyed the youngins singing "A Life That's Good" - I actually downloaded it.