By Diana Metzger
I’ve been living a lie. I love country music with a fiery passion. Every time I coyly admit my obsession I claim I’m a closeted fan. I shall no longer be ashamed: I’m out and proud about my love of all things twang and boot-scooty.
I am doing a short bi-coastal stint in Los Angeles. I’ve only been here a week and already sought out every country music radio station in the area. There’s no better driving music than songs about driving—even if my car is a Prius and not a pickup truck. During my cross country drive to get to the west coast, I got a little giddy when I drove through rural Oklahoma—every small town in that state is home to some big country music star and proclaims it on a water tower. I rocked out hard to the handsome Luke Bryan at Merriweather Post Pavilion this past summer. My husband bought me Taylor Swift tickets last Christmas (he’s so devoted to me he joined me at the show, where we sat between a sassy, finger wagging ten-year-old and a very pregnant teen mom). I didn’t make a glitter t-shirt, but I still shrieked like a fan-girl every time she made a cheeky face when talking about boys (which happens a lot).
If Tay-Tay was my country gateway drug then the ABC TV show Nashville is my ecstasy. So many people I know rant and rave about the salacious and addictive Scandal, but Nashville is my jam and I can’t talk enough about why I love it.
It’s in its second season, but it’s an easy show to leap into midstream (and older episodes can be found on on abc.com, Hulu, and Netflix streaming). The show, in brief, is about the drama surrounding the country music business in Nashville—specifically focusing on Rayna James (played by the Stallion-mained Connie Britton) and Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere in a show-stealing turn), two reigning Country divas.
The music is mostly originals (a few clever covers, too) and really fantastic. The show does a great job of showing all variations of the country genre. If you’re a Civil Wars indie-junkie, any song with the dreamy team of Scarlett and Gunnar will satisfy. Rayna’s songs give off a Patsy Cline meets Reba feel. Juliette is nice mix of Taylor Swift in a tangle with Carrie Underwood. Musical Internet stars Lennon and Masie could not be more adorable or talented playing (real life too) sisters.
The drama is infectious. There’s a closeted, young, handsome gay singer played by DMV local boy Chris Carmack. There’s trailer parks and drugs and comas and illegitimate children.
Nashville rips stories from the headlines in the best way. A young reality TV competition winner edges in on Juliette territory and the girl even looks like The Voice winner Cassadee Pope. Rayna giving out advice against sleeping with married men makes you wonder if Miranda Lambert heard the same thing before she got together with Blake Shelton. A Tim McGraw type disparages Juliette’s pop sensibilities and you wonder if Tim said the same thing behind T Swift’s back.
The show is delicious. I’m willing to own up to the fact that I listened to country music almost exclusively my entire drive cross-country if you’ll start watching.