Sunday, August 18, 2013


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I admit it.  I love a prime time soap.  I grew up in the 80s when Dallas, Dynasty, Knot's Landing, and Falcon Crest were all on top.  I remember the summer that "Who Shot Jr?" paraphernalia littered every venue.  T-shirts, coffee mugs, key chains, beach towels - and more - all were monogrammed with the popular question.  Who Shot Jr????  And everyone wanted to know the answer.  Dallas finished on a cliffhanger with JR having been shot in the spring of 1980, and that entire summer, and into the fall, due to a strike by the Screen Actor's Guild,  everyone waited with baited breath to get the answer.  Does anyone even remember?  Not so much.  It wasn't a main character who fired the shot.  However, I will help you out here.  It was his sister-in-law and mistress who pulled the trigger.  I had to look up her name because I couldn't remember it: Kristin Shepard (played by Mary Crosby).  The question turned out to be far more intriguing than the answer.  Ah well.

Back to my original statement: I love a prime time soap.  After Dallas,  Dynasty, and the rest swerved into cancellation, the 90s brought out a new breed of prime time soap.  Technically, anything that carries over from week to week is a soap, for the curious.  We call most of that programming now a prime time drama.  Some sitcoms have managed to avoid becoming soapy, but not many.  Most of the time, full understanding of the current episode relies on having seen the previous ones.  And that makes it a soap.

With daytime soaps running down the drain in the last few years, prime time is getting soapier than ever.  And that brings us to the point of this here blog: Nashville.  ABC aired the show last fall.  Finally, we have a full-blown soap again in prime time that rivals Dallas and Dynasty on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, and NBC).  Yes, I know that cable brought back Dallas; as I said, the public demand for prime time soap has risen in accordance with the failure of daytime soap.

Nashville has everything a prime time soap fan adores plus stellar music.  ABC went all out with the headliners, Rayna James and Juliette Barnes(played by Connie Britton and Hayden Panatierre), and they are dynamite, but it is the rest of the cast that nails this show so thoroughly.  Let's take a look at the trailer for those of who are scratching your heads because you missed this one...

So, Nashville has all of the soapy elements covered. Plus, everyone is rich and the drama is big and splashy (echoes of Dynasty and Dallas...). The cast is amazing and they all can SING. The music in this show knocks it out of the park.

Scarlett (played by Clare Bowen) is one of the best singers on the show. This is her with Gunnar (played by Sam Palladio).

The strength of the music is that everyone is so darn talented. Here is Avery Bartlett (played by Jonathan Jackson) at the Bluebird:

Two of the most talented singers on the show are the youngest. They are the Stella Sisters. They play Rayna James' daughters. They have been singing together for years, prior to their debut on Nashville, and they are AMAZING.

I can't finish out this blog bit without including something from the stars. Here are Rayna James and Juliette Barnes... yes, together. Even rivals come together for the good of the label...

Season 2 will crank up this fall on ABC. I have no doubt it will be as full of surprises as the first season. So, if you are looking for your prime time soap fix PLUS excellent music, Nashville is the right place.

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