How a show called Nashville changed my life!

The last week of October, on autumn school break, I brought my husband and two daughters, 9 and 13 years old, to Nashville.  We had the most fabulous vacation, quite unexpected, and I thought I’d tell you how we ended up there, and how a TV show can impact lives, my life! 

IMG_0965 I’ve always been a TV and movie buff, but I must admit, the number of hours spent in front of a TV or in a movie theater had seriously decreased the last couple of years. I lost a bit of interest in movies, and although TV was getting better and better (and more and more), since the TV and only laptop always seemed to be occupied by the kids, I found myself watching less and less.

So it was really by accident, in January 2013, I saw a TV panel discuss new shows coming the Swedes way. One in particular caught my interest, since it had Connie Britton in it, whom I loved from the fantastic Texas football drama Friday Night Lights. Hayden Panettiere, who was the most adorable, unbreakable cheerleader in Heroes, and Eric Close, the most handsome guy from Without a Trace, was also in it. That it was a drama, set in Nashville and told the story of the world of country music, seemed just like so much fun.

I set the recording to the digital box for the first episode, but then forgot about it (or maybe the TV was occupied) and forgot to record the next episode. Then after a couple of weeks I noticed that TV3 would air the first five episodes in a row on Saturday afternoon. After episode two I was hooked. After episode four I was obsessed. The show was great in many ways, one of those was the fantastic music performances, but the reason for the obsession was a couple called Rayna and Deacon. If you have seen it, you know what I mean.

Rayna and Deacon

The next episode couldn’t air soon enough and I started searching internet to find out more about the show. In US it had premiered in October 2012, and they were already on episode 12, and I was watching YouTube clips, reading reviews and spoilers, as well as joining the Facebook fandom! In May when spending a long weekend at our internetless summerhouse, I was so desperate rewatching scenes from the latest episode, I quickly volunteered to go grocery shopping, and was then sitting in the parking lot outside the store watching scenes on my phone over and over again. Yes.

After weeks of trying to calm down after a crazy season finale, when home alone, I decided to try this thing called twitter. I created my account, followed the Nashville creator, the actors and other things related and then spent weeks feeling ridiculous with zero followers. Then boom, three Nashville fan accounts followed me back, and I dared to start! Twitter fandom is fabulous, just start writing a few tweets, comments and answers and things will come to you. Six months later I had twitter friends from Israel, Netherlands, UK, Argentina and of course the US, with whom I was discussing and doing serious fangirling, sharing our love of Nashville, but sometimes also other topics.

Rayna and Juliette So why is this show so special. Of course it is not only Rayna and Deacon, although the chemistry between the actors, Connie Britton and Charles Esten, is unreal. (They are also super hot and they are in their late 40’s!!!) It is the fantastic music, written by local songwriters, and always fitting the stories of the different characters so well. The characters, ranging from young diva Juliette (played by Panettiere), the accidental artist, Scarlett, and wannabe songwriter Gunnar, to big country music stars like Rayna and Luke, might seem stereotyped at first, but no, they rise above that becoming all so full-fledged, complex and relatable – annoying, adorable and flawed – all at the same time. It is just a very well-written show taking place in a truly authentic music environment.

No wonder I got inspired to go to Nashville, to see where all the scenes were filmed, and to experience the music and atmosphere of Nashville. I had a somewhat hard time to convince my family to go, or as my 13yo daughter told me. ”I’m not even that into music!” Well, maybe they wouldn’t enjoy it, so I kind of gave up on the idea, but then I saw a tweet from the Ryman Auditorium (who everyone who has seen the show know is the Mother Church of Country music) that First Aid Kit, our favorite Swedish band, would play on October 29, which was the exact week of the school break! It was a sign! Tickets to that show, and tickets for the trip, was bought quicker than anyone could say – country music! (The First Aid Kit song ‘Emmylou’ is featured in ep 1×12. Yep, after the elevator scene!)

IMG_0999I was nervous for sure about bringing the family on an expensive vacation overseas, just because I happen to love a TV show, not knowing if they would enjoy it at all. But I needn’t have worried. Everyone loved it! We were walking along downtown Broadway, stopping at every boot shop and debating with our 9yo daughter if she should have boots with heals or not (she got one pair of each). We went to see an NHL hockey game (yes, this was a concession I made and the Predators lost unfortunately), visited Nashville Zoo (kids loved it, the clouded leopards were the favorites), breakfast at the famous Loveless Café (blueberry pancakes of course) and the Country Music Hall of Fame, where the kids got the task to find different instruments, the oldest, the weirdest etc. And yes, there was one weirder and more innovative than the other. Fantastic really! My appreciation for country musicians just exploded.

We did the the backstage tour at the Ryman Auditorium, took the ABC Nashville bus tour to understand where different scenes took place including a visit to the famous Bluebird Café, a day trip up in the mountains, visiting the fantastic Dutch Maid Bakery & Café and nearby Foster Falls, and of course a fair share of shopping. Music is everywhere and anytime in Nashville, at 11am a Saturday morning and late on weekdays. On top of some nice lunch and dinner music performances, we saw two fantastic shows, the First Aid Kit at the Ryman of course, and then finishing off the week at the legendary Grand Ole Opry, listening to among others, Vince Gill!

If you’re living in Sweden and have not watched Nashville I don’t blame you. It started out on Mondays 8pm on TV3 with very little advertising. Since nobody watched it, they thought better to move it to Saturday afternoons, not telling anyone of course, and then to Saturday mornings. You didn’t catch it then? No? Well finally, they put it on their streaming service and Nashville is now available on Viaplay, all 53 episodes. Season 3 is now on winter break, but will be back on US TV February 4. That hopefully means that Viaplay will have it available for streaming no more than one week later. So a little bit of time for y’all Swedish guys and gals to catch up on the first two and half seasons.

Not all TV critics have understood how good Nashville is yet, they see it as soap opera, and a soap opera cannot be that good, can it? Well, it can, and one critic who does get it is TVdags.se editor-in-chief, Kjell Häglund, who is one of not so many people in Sweden having discovered Nashville. He also happens to appreciate it, a lot! When naming the best TV drama of 2014 he put Nashville on top, above True Detective. Just like me and many fans, he sees just how very well made this music drama is by creator Callie Khouri and her team.

IMG_2140

So you obviously know by now that I am obsessed, but what other affects has this show had on the family. Well, husband walks around in cowboy boots, shirts and sometimes also in a nice Stetson. Emmylou Harris’ Red Dirt Girl is on repeat on Spotify and so is the Dixie Chicks. Kids are constantly belting out songs from the show. Me, I have these fabulous fellow fans that I chat with more or less every day. I’ve started listen to Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert and loads of other great country music. I’ve also started to write a little, something I always wanted, as a guest writing fan for the fabulous Nashville Forever blog, and I’m going back to Nashville soon, cause it is just such an inspiring place to be! And yes, I have a new favorite shirt!

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58 thoughts on “How a show called Nashville changed my life!

    • I just signed up to get your blog after reading it. I was a fan of Nashville with the previews that lead up to the first show! I used to live in Nashville, but never had time to be a tourist there, but will have to go back and be tourist this year. Looking forward to your blogs. Glad you got to come over to the U.S. and go to Nashville. Hoping you get back many times.
      Rusty

      Liked by 2 people

    • The Bluebird visit was part of the ABC bus tour, so there was no performance, but instead the owner, or manager, told us interesting stories about the history, who was discovered there and so on. And we got to be on stage taking pictures 🙂

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  1. I enjoyed reading your story. I’ve been to Nashville a few times and loved it every time I was there. It’s been quite a few years but I would love to go back sometime again especially now after watching the show. I also LOVE the show and music from the show so I totally understand you wanting to go visit the city. It’s such an awesome place!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tora, è stato bellissimo e divertente leggere il tuo articolo!
    Il country è la mia vita e la mia musica 🙂
    Io vivo in Italia, dove il country è solo musica di nicchia e la vita non è semplice come quella che io adoro, quindi, sogno ad occhi aperti. E leggere la tua avventura mi ha entusiasmato!
    Tra pochi giorni visiterò Nashville, purtroppo solo per un paio di giorni, ma dal tuo blog ho ricavato diversi preziosi suggerimenti.
    Mi daresti un consiglio su dove dormire? cerco un posto pulito, semplice e…country ;-D
    Molte grazie e scrivi, scrivi, scrivi …E’ meglio di una medicina 😉
    A presto.
    Whitney

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading my blog! Glad you liked it! Great that you are going to Nashville, if only for a couple of days! We stayed at a Best Western hotel in Opryland, which was fine! If you are going on your own, maybe should try Airbnb.com and find something there. I’m going back to Nashville for a few days in March and will stay at a place in East Nashville, booked via airbnb, which seemed nice. Hope you have a great time!

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      • Grazie mille!
        Ho letto che ti piace Vince Gill.
        Allora ti piacerà molto George Strait. Ho trovato il video del suo concerto del luglio scorso a Dallas proprio con Vince Gill e altri grandi come Alan Jackson e Faith Hill.

        Meraviglioso!!

        Tu conosci Josh Turner? Ha scritto anche bellissimi pezzi adattabili come Line Dance (se adori il country impazzirai per la danza western ;-)). Io, però, ti invio il link del suo ultimo singolo, perchè descrive benissimo la vita semplice che amo io:

        E’ davvero un piacere poter condividere con te queste mie passioni.

        Dunque…keep in touch!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah! Nashville is one of the greatest towns on Earth! Did you stop in any of the honkytonks on Broadway? Buck McCoy and the Indian Outlaw’s show at Legend’s Corner is a favorite and a must-see!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This makes (at least) two of us! 😀 I live in Norway, and both me and my daughter (she’s 12) absolutely LOVE the show! My daughter bought a new guitar and sings songs from the show, Miranda Lambert and all kind of country she comes by, and her new dream is to become a countrymusic star 🙂 We are going to Nashville this summer, and are soooo exited! I’m happy to see there is a Nashville tour, with the Bluebird and everything. Where did you stay? Any other recomandations? And yes…thank God for Viaplay! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are going to have a great time! So cool with your daughter! We had such luck with the weather, it was summer! We stayed at Best Western at Opryland. Sure there are more fabulous places to stay, but this was fine. Close to Opry Mills Mall and the Opry, and we rented a car and drover everywhere! We did a great road trip up to the mountains, visited a fantastics bakery, Dutch Maid Bakery & Cafe, in Tracy City, and visited Foster Falls. That was lovely if you want to get out of the city one day!

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  5. What a great write up! I’ve been living in Nashville a little over a year and have been working on the show part time as an extra. It is so much fun and I’ve met some amazing friends on set. Everyone from the actors to the directors and crew are wonderfully sweet people! It’s never lost on me how awesome it is to be a part of it. Maybe we can catch up on Facebook and I can give you some recommendations for when you come in March. It really is a beautiful city that also embraces their tourists. I’m so glad you like it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Any show is at risk of being cancelled. The ratings are great and that rumor is just that… a rumor. No one can predict the fate of the show until after the season is over and the TV execs do their thing. I’m not even worried.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Boy am I glad to read that someone else who’s not from America loves this show as much as I do! It was a similar situation in New Zealand with no advertising of the show and broadcasting at random times. I started watching it online half way through season one last year and was instantly hooked! Then I moved to London and brought season 1 and 2 on DVD… took me a couple weeks to watch them all. I totally want to visit Nashville now though!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I find it so interesting that people that live so far away, and live in Europe find this show as great as I do! I love this show, and I was never a CW fan but the music & songs on this show is so different than the older type of CW music! I love the story lines, and hope that Deacon will recover and of course get together with Rayna! Of course we will all have to hold our breathe with all that is going on! I live in Tx and have never been to Nashville, we almost went with a friend of ours, but I became sick, and couldn’t go! Hopefully, we will get there in the near future! By the way, do they televise this show in your native language, or English? It was enjoyable reading your blog! Hope to continue!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, for reading and for liking it! I was never a country music fan before either! The story lines are so good, yep, hoping for a lot of Rayna and Deacon this season now. Really hope you will be able to go to Nashville! Too bad you got sick. They televise it in English with Swedish subtitles. (Thank god! I wouldn’t want any other voices) It is always done like that in Sweden except for children’s shows. Nice to hear that you will continue readin the blog. Don’t know how I would top the success of this blog post though 🙂

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  9. As a long time fan of country music, I think Nashville would rate as one the best tv series I have watched in many years. I too now have a trip to Nashville on my bucket list. (Hopefully early 2016). It’s a long way from Australia but I’m sure it will be worth it. Great to read your blog. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So glad you enjoyed your trip to our wonderful city. Please come again whenever you can. I’ve lived here in Nashville for over 30 years and I love the city and the show too. I look forward to it each week. It is not unusual to run into some of the actors of the show around town. I ran into Charles Esten at the movies not long ago. The best thing about the real Nashville is that we know how to leave our celebrities alone. Whether it be singers or actors. Welcome back any time.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Well it has certainly been a strange and interesting experience reading this little bit on your blog about Nashville. The show and the city! I absolutely love the show, but then – I live in Nashville!! I’d have to say I never thought it would catch on around the U.S., let alone around the world! I’m quite proud of my city and I love watching a show where I recognize our local TV news anchors, local buildings and landmarks. I’m glad you all are enjoying the show, and I’m really glad you had the chance to come and enjoy in person! I hope you get the chance to come again real soon! Enjoy the show!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a great article! I am so pleased that the Nashville Facebook fan page featured your blog post. Your charming and heartfelt article was lovely. I’m a big fan in the U.S. based in Southern California, and I am super addicted to the show. I can’t tell you how many new friends I’ve made with a simple little question, “Do you watch Nashville?” Did you purchase the Nashville Christmas album last year? It’s fabulous. I was in detox mode for eight weeks during the holidays, but it’s baaaaack! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Tora, Let me tell you this: You came up with the loveliest blog entry ever! I entirely enjoyed reading it and I couldn’t agree more. This series is an absolute favourite of mine. I loved the way you put your and your family’s journey into genuine words. Terrific! It’s a pity that “Nashville” isn’t recognised as the gem it is over here in Europe. Let’s hope that stories like yours help to change this! Travelling to Nashville’s still on my bucket list — now more than ever. Thanks for inspiring!

    All the best from Germany to Sweden,
    Kora

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi. I love “Nashville” as well. I was living about 45 min away from Nashville when the show started. In case you get back to Nashville anytime soon you should sign up for a website called On Location Casting. Its free and they are always looking for Extras to be in the series. Their first season i was in 4 or 5 episodes. I was side by side with the actors. It was SO much fun. As a fan of the show, it was the best exsperience ever. We are military and was heart broken when we moved back to WA and had to leave TN.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a lovely article! I am a native of Nashville and I have worked as an extra on the set of “Nashville.” I truly enjoy working with the cast and crew of “Nashville” and can tell you that I have not encountered one negative person the entire time I worked as an extra. They are a wonderful bunch!

    Perhaps when you come back to Nashville you can look me up and I can give you a list of some of the lesser known places to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: How a show called Nashville changed my life! | The Way I See It

  17. Pingback: Nashville Gets Us: Will Lexington is ‘On It’ | Nashville Forever

  18. I love your shirt. I admit that I had never seen the show until being cast as an extra, and now I can’t stop watching it (on Hulu–I’m in season 2 now). We live close by and just had our first Bluebird experience while I was working on the show. I enjoyed your post and want your shirt!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can buy the shirt at the Opry Store, bet they still have them. I would have loved to be an extra on the show. I did go back to Nashville in March actually, meeting up with a friend, and we did get to see a show at the Bluebird. That was very special. I envy you for only being on season 2. So much drama ahead of you. Enjoy! And thanks for reading my blog post.

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  19. Pingback: My Favourite Nashville: I Can’t Help (If I’m Still in Love with You) (1×02) – Tora on TV and Things

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