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« Missed Opportunities Within Missed Opportunities, Smothered In Misery | Main | The More Things Change... »

April 03, 2014

Brief Musings on Nashville: Crazy

You know, I almost didn't bother saying anything about last night's episode of Nashville because the storyline I'm most interested in wasn't even featured and the storyline that irritates me the most got sent into downright offensive overdrive. And really, kind of in the way I once got sick of my every GH post being "Ugh, Sabrina sucks" and once got sick of my every OLTL post being "Ugh, the Fords suck," I didn't want to just show up here every week and post a rant about Scarlett. But I also really have trouble keeping my mouth (or typing fingers, as the case may be) shut when something is so egregiously horrible as the latest installment of the "Woe Is Scarlett" saga. Because really. Did y'all know she has a really, really mean completely one-dimensional and over-written plot device? Sorry, I mean mother?

Well, she does.


Look, there she is, being erratic and verbally and almost-physically abusive!


Look how subtle and nuanced this is! Scarlett cowers and whimpers at her mother's touch? WHAT COULD THIS MEAN?! Boy, you really have to watch this show closely to see what they're trying to tell us. You've got to be a real sleuth! (I was going to make a cute comment about having been quite the detective as a child but then it reminded me of How I Met Your Mother and I'm still angry and that can't be healthy.)

Anyway, it's basically as if the writers sat down and realized one of their central characters is not the manic pixie dream girl they'd intended but is actually a whiny annoying unsympathetic mess and said, "Oh hey, remember how we built dimensions for Juliette and Rayna? Difficult relationship with a parent! Let's introduce out of nowhere that Scarlett's biggest issue is a mustache-twirling cartoon character of an abusive mother! And even though we haven't seen a single sign of any of this, let's have one interaction lead to a total public mental breakdown for Scarlett! What heartless viewers wouldn't love her then?? Simple dimple!"

Well, I can't really defend anything they ever wrote about Rayna's relationship with Lamar, but thankfully she'd earned plenty of good will for us in other arenas. But it's really a bummer that the same team who wrote such an excellent and humanizing arc for Juliette about her mother (who actually was written with compassion and complexity) thought that this lazy trick was a good idea.

I didn't quite catch her mother's name, but my guess is "Deke." I'm looking forward to Scarlett going on a lifelong rampage of self-pity, abuse, breakdowns, and mobster-ing and murdering and always using Deke as an excuse for it. Am I getting this confused with another show that somehow involves Jonathan Jackson? Maybe I need more coffee. I can't wait till Scarlett visits her childhood home and finally faces the little-girl version of her and then falls in love with some dude 15 years her junior but whom she allegedly grew up with and maybe that guy has multiple personalities and likes to ruin chocolate cakes. I don't know. It's hard to say.

There's an upside: her public breakdown was hilarious. Everywhere she looked, there was her mother! All she could hear were her mother's words! (I half-expected "They're all gonna laugh at you!" to pop in there at some point, but alas nobody dumped any pig's blood onto Scarlett.) She just randomly started shrieking and screaming and crying on stage in front of thousands!

The best part was definitely Juliette's reaction from the wings.

Juliette reacts

Hayden Panettiere delivered a pretty spectacular WTF-y "Oh. My. God." As any of us would have. Of course now she's also upset that Avery seems to be in full-scale rescue mode with Scarlett, which is fair enough. She does need to figure out if he's got a rescuer complex, though, since it's also possible he's not drawn to the mess that is Scarlett, but just the nearest human who can help. (I think what I'm saying is that, for a lot of folks, being a rescuer is an appealing feeling but the lower someone sinks to need it the less attractive that person is. And it becomes an ugly and confusing cycle. "I will never not save you but I will be more disgusted by you every time I have to do so.") (I think then that the other thing I'm saying is that this component of the story feels more honest and real, and that end of it might be worth watching.)

What else did we learn? Oh, Deacon trashed his cabin but maybe didn't actually fall off the wagon, due to the Conrad/Megan illicit automobile sexytimes. The general public now knows that Maddie is really Deacon's bio-kid, and Whoopi Goldberg thinks we shouldn't judge anyone for that because glass houses. Maddie and her sister are still adorable. Luke and Rayna are probably not going to work out (shocker!). Gunnar learned that you apparently make way more money as a songwriter than as a performer -- and fast! -- but maybe needs a good tax attorney, and Zoey might go to L.A. for some backup singer auditions.

I guess Will's on his honeymoon. I miss Will.


This - "I didn't quite catch her mother's name, but my guess is 'Deke.'" - still has much chuckling a good ten minutes after I read it. Brava Louise.

Oh I really wanted to like Scarlet. I love her and Scott Palladio's version of If I didn't know better. From what I've seen Clare Bowen is sweet and funny and so happy and grateful with the success she is having. I wish they could take some of those traits and give them to Scarlet.

I loved Juliette's line to Scarlett that this wasn't Dairy Queen and she couldn't just switch her shift when she asked for the night off(!). And immediately following it with that she understood mommy issues better than anyone, but she still needed to get out there and give a good show instead of running away.

I'd die if this all ended up with Scarlett smashing a bottle of pills against the wall, then taking a train back to Lawrenceville as Dionne Warwick sings the "Theme from Valley of the Dolls" over and over. That or her drunkenly screaming "SCARLETT O'CONNOR!!!111!!!" in the alley outside the Grand Ole Opry.

"...it's basically as if the writers sat down and realized one of their central characters is not the manic pixie dream girl they'd intended but is actually a whiny annoying unsympathetic mess..."

Sadly this statement applies to damn near every character on this show.

I'm with you, Louise -- I missed Will, too.

(And ohmigod how bad was that scripted VIEW clip? So, so awful...)

Anybody think Luke put the video online and not his son or some random friend of a friend? He just seems way to invested/angry about this whole thing.

I liked Scarlet better before. The girl was sane and had gumption. She wasn't afraid of telling it like it is. This Scarlet came out of nowhere. Maybe it's their take on the business corrupts. Can't we have have one character who doesn't ry to make it as a performer and not go crazy?

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