My Favourite Nashville: Three elevator rides, a statement and a kiss

In I’ve Been Down That Road Before (1×12), it’s all about the desire and fear to change, and the desire and fear to give in, for Juliette and Rayna respectively, in this episode that could just as well be called Three Rides and a Kiss.

Some episodes, in all their richness, can best be described by the the longest texts, but others are just better depicted in other ways. I’ve Been Down That Road Before, in season 1, is that kind of epic episode where pictures and quotes speak for themselves. But let’s get the less important stuff out of the way first.

Scarlett threw out Avery thinking he had been cheating with his new agent, Marilyn. She has no money and finally asks Gunnar to be her roommate. Avery who of course didn’t start sleeping with Marilyn until after Scarlett threw him out, is quite unhappy with that arrangement, breaks it off with her and is on a quest to make nice with Scarlett. But he is too cocky, trying to brag about his success and it all ends in a fight with Gunnar, which for sure does not make Scarlett and Gunnar less friendly with each other.

Teddy and Rayna has discussed their marriage and Teddy doesn’t know what to do anymore to make it better. Rayna has promised that she is not meeting with Deacon again and going on tour will give them both time to think. Teddy though kind of stops thinking when he runs into his old friend Peggy after he hears that Deacon is actually on the tour.

With that out of the way, let’s focus on those notorious days in Chicago.

Deacon makes a surprise entrance on the plain to Chicago and Juliette can’t but gloat about having Deacon in her band and notices that Rayna doesn’t look at her once on the flight to Chicago. Rayna knows exactly how to turn it around though to convince Juliette that she is neither pissed or jealous.

Rayna and Juliette
“I’m amazed you had nothing better to do on that plain ride than just to look over at me to see if I was looking at you”

It takes a lot of people to make a good show, Juliette then explains to Deacon when they arrive at the hotel.

Deacon and Juliette
“Really? Johnny Cash only needed three.”

Rayna next somewhat accidentally steps into the elevator Deacon is already on and the awkwardness just shuts the tiny room up.

Rayna and Deacon in the elevator
Teddy is not happy to hear that Deacon is on the tour, when he and Rayna are taking time apart to think about their marriage.

Teddy on the phone
“You know Rayna, I get it. You didn’t know anything about Deacon, you didn’t plan any of this. Life is a bitch sometimes and you are processing. Did we cover it all?”

Rayna is fabulous on stage in the evening performing one of her signature songs, Already Gone.

Rayna on the stage
Juliette follows up with her glitzy show, belting it out in I’m a Girl!

Juliette on the stage
But after Deacon’s eye-rolling looks at her, she takes his words to heart, suddenly thinking her show has too much glitter and stuff. Glenn is NOT supportive when she somewhat accusingly asks him if she ever will be able to change.

Juliette and Glenn back stage
“A left turn now could be an exit out to obscurity.”

Rayna can’t really get over that Deacon joined Juliette’s tour, uses an excuse to get him over to talk and pretends to casually ask him what he is doing. Deacon has a straight answer for her.

Rayna and Deacon after the show
“I play guitar for people who pay me money. That’s what I do.”

Juliette might be confident being that diva, the big star on stage, but when it comes to being personal, her insecurities pops up. To be yourself is scary, cause what if she isn’t liked? Juliette wants to be liked, but she’ll settle for adored. Only with Deacon does she dare to voice her fears.

Deaocn and Juliette in her suite
“What if I decide to walk away from being that girl and no one comes with me?”

Deacon has become a good friend to Juliette after that disastrous beginning of theirs, listening, giving her support and advise. He knows what Rayna would have done, stay true to herself, and no, he replies, he was not always there to help her evolve.

Deacon and Juliette in her suite
“There’s thinking about doing something, and there’s just doing it.”

Rayna just can’t get over that Deacon is there and keeps letting him hear it next time they end up in the elevator together. Also because it bugs her that he refuses to talk to her.

Rayna and Deacon in the elevator
“Never thought I’d see the day you’d be singing Boys and Buses with Juliette Barnes day in and day out, but you know, life never ceases to amaze.”

Well, Juliette took Deacon’s advise and starts her next show with a slow, emotional song and he follows her lead.

Juliette and Deacon on the stage
Glenn is not any happier and lets Deacon know that in all possible, rude ways, which Deacon continuously refutes until he’s kind of fed up.

Glenn telling Deacon to stay in his lane
“Tell me how you really feel, Glenn?”

Deacon decides it’s time to stop thinking himself and start doing. I guess we can thank Glenn for what happens in that third elevator ride, which Deacon rushes to get on.

Rayna and Deacon in the elevator kissing
“Rayna! I’m done talking”

Sometimes words are just not the only way to explain a feeling.

Rayna in the elevator
And sometimes the unexpected turns up outside the door.

Rayna and Teddy
Well, even if the words of First Aid Kit are streaming out in hotel room, the elevator, the corridor and penthouse,

I’ll be your Emmylou and I’ll be your June
If you’ll be my Gram and my Johnny too
No, I’m not asking much of you
Just sing little darling, sing with me

it was not the time for Rayna and Deacon to sing together again just yet.

The episode was written by Meredith Lavender and Marcie Ulin and directed by Stephen Cragg.

Funny note! Stephen Cragg has also directed one of my favourite ER episodes, Bloodline, from season 13.

Read my other Favourite Nashville posts here: My Favourite Nashville

If you like ER, my Abby and Luka post are here: ER’s Abby and Luka

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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!