Give 'Em a Grade: Nashville's Brown-haired Hunks

I'm not sure I should be admitting this in a public forum like this, but hot damn I love me some Nashville. It shouldn't be as fun as it is, but after 14 episodes, it's actually maintained the intrigue of its early episodes and gotten even better! It's like candy for your achy-breaky heart, an easy-to-swallow capsule of regurgitated romance, and a mixtape of country jamz that both mock and applaud the genre of the primetime soap.

And it has a whole bunch of guys with dark hair! But which of the show's dark-haired guys is the best? Let's figure it out.



GUNNAR SCOTT
Actor:
Sam Palladino

Who is this guy?: Gunnar comes from a humble background and is Nashville's "aww shucks" let's root for him guy. He and Scarlett play sweet music together and eye-bang each other so often their eyelids are raw. Now that he's moved in with Scarlett (just as friends YEAH RIGHT) he and Avery, Scarlett's ex, have plenty to punch each other about.

Swapped spit/slept with: Scarlett, that record label assistant lady

Facial hair style: Like a baby's bottom

Musical aptitude: Panty-melting acoustic duet light country guitar; soft-toned wussified singing, but it works well with Scarlett's voice

Grade: B+, the guy has a lot going for him right now and who didn't like seeing him punch Avery in the face twice!? Start making sweet love to Scarlett, and you're an easy A, buddy!




DEACON CLAYBOURNE
Actor:
Charles Esten

Who is this guy?: He's the Rayna James of the dudes, an older music legend that did it right: drugs and booze all the way to rehab! Don't quit now, Deacon! Country music was BUILT on cocaine and whiskey! He's probably headed back to dark days now that he's jealous of Rayna and Liam, and I can't wait to see Rayna's face when he blames her.

Swapped spit/slept with: Rayna, Juliette

Facial hair style: Five o'clock on the dot shadow. Take some lessons, fellas. This is professional scruff.

Musical aptitude: Versatile guitar maestro that can play studio crap or sweetly strum in the Bluebird Cafe; doesn't sing that much but that duet he did with Rayna early on was sweet


Grade: A, Deacon is one of the best things about this show and he's doing it right. He slept with both main stars, he's jumping around from band to band, he can shred, and he has that partying past.




AVERY BARKLEY
Actor:
Jonathan Jackson

Who is this guy?: As Scarlett's ex, he's painted as the villain in the crumbling relationship even though it was Scarlett who got all doe-eyed at Gunnar while she was still with Avery. Sure, he's kind of a fame-obsessed dick, but what did Scarlett expect when she started dating a guy with that kind of rock-star hair?

Swapped spit/slept with: Scarlett, that other record label lady who got him a deal (totally worth it)

Facial hair style: Dipped his glue-covered chin in a pile of someone else's shaved whiskers. Plus a flavor saver

Musical aptitude: Rawk, bro; watch out Creed!

Grade: B-, most people hate this guy but he's the necessary evil that's the gas on the Scarlett-Gunnar fire. If you watch soaps rooting for all the good guys, you're doing it so very wrong. And as bubbly as Scarlett can be, she can also puff up and throw a pro tantrum.




TEDDY CONRAD
Actor:
Eric Close

Who is this guy?: Teddy is Rayna's (soon to be ex) husband who just won the mayoral race in the series' most boring storyline. He's getting back with his old flame and leaving the family. Anyone who would leave Connie Britton is cuckoo banana pants. This guy sucks.

Swapped spit/slept with: Rayna, that other skank he's affairing with

Musical aptitude: Nothing! The guy wouldn't know a D7 chord if it bit him in the butt

Grade: F, not quite evil enough to enjoy, definitely not good enough to like. Just boring enough to get an F. Pick up an instrument, dude! A triangle, a spoon, anything!




SEAN BUTLER
Actor:
Tilky Montgomery Jones

Who is this guy?: Perfectly bland NFL quarterback who married Juliette then divorced her in less time than it will take him to get degenerative brain disease from the crushing hits he'll take on the football field.

Swapped spit/slept with: Juliette

Facial hair style: Clean as a frat boy

Musical aptitude: Makes sweet music on the football field as a pro quarterback, but also can play a basic guitar

Grade: D, he came and went in one of the show's more ridiculous storylines.




LIAM MCGUINNIS
Actor:
Michiel Huisman

Who is this guy?: This dude is Rayna's new producer, but all he's producing now is drunken advances on her. And it worked!

Swapped spit/slept with: Rayna after he got her liquored up

Facial hair style: Professional beard

Musical aptitude: Legendary producer of sucky indie bands that suddenly decided to produce an aging country star on her way down the drain? That makes sense.

Grade: C, he started out as totally unnecessary, but he's gotten better and better with each episode. And now that Rayna is getting divorced, he's stepping in as the perfect wedge between Rayna and Deacon.




JASON SCOTT
Actor:
David Clayton Rogers

Who is this guy?: Gunnar's brother just got out of the Big House and is trying to convince Scarlett and Gunnar that he's turning his life around. But he also keeps a gun in his carry-on, so phooey on that.

Swapped spit/slept with: The law, that dude in the prison shower

Facial hair style: Dirty, gross beard

Musical aptitude: Surprisingly good considering he's been in jail for so long. But really, his instrument is the cold steel of a gun!

Grade: D-, Unless this guy starts getting in someone's pants soon, he's only going to take this show in a bad direction as the criminal sibling of a central character.




CY
Actor:
Daniel Buran

Who is this guy?: This slimeball is the lead singer for some band, which Deacon temporarily joined, that is a commercial hit but is actually ear murder. He's the "fame will turn you into an egotistical ass" part of the discussion.

Swapped spit/slept with: A lot of roofied groupies, put the attempted rape on Scarlett

Facial hair style: Kevin Federline at his low point

Musical aptitude: Ugh. Terrible. Garbage. Just the right stuff to be in a popular band.

Grade: C-, this show needs horrible people like this guy, but he's THE WORST!


Comments (35)
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Deacon is totally hot, and it's kinda weird since I'm younger than Juliette ... But whatever. Liam is kinda cool, I like his chemistry with Rayna. And Avery reminds me of Jim Morrison, but he is still an ass. :) Tim, any chance you might start writing reviews on Nashville?
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Jonathan Jackson is beautiful. I don't like his character much, but then again I don't like Scarlett and her storylines so...
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"Anyone who would leave Connie Britton is cuckoo banana pants." - WORD.
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looove the show, btw.
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MICHIEL HUISMAN!!!!!!!!
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I loooooove the show but I have a really hard time with Scarlett, undecisive and trying to pass as a good girl. I cringe everytime she pretends to not want to make a choice. Of course she wants to be successful, just own it, please!
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Good article and Nashville deserves some hype, not that I go for guys but like any man I do see the appeal. These guys all seem necessary to the story and they are all flawed, some more than others. The show is well done and everyone fits in nicely...
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Deacon & Gunnar are the only two males on the show I can stand.IAvereys so so.
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Hilarious artice! There's no shame in liking Nashville, it's a great show!
Gunnar all the way! Wohooo! But I swear, if there isn't some Scarlett/Gunnar action soon, I'm going to get really impatient... I loved how Gunnar punched Avery! That guy really needs to go...
Deacon is pretty awesome and totally hot, but he hangs out with Juliette too much for my taste.
I guess, I'm one of the few people who like Teddy. Maybe it's because I like the actor (I loved him in Without a Trace), but he's actually a pretty decent guy. He tried really hard with Rayna, who, let's be honest, treated him quite badly. I mean, she makes him raise a kid that isn't his and spends more time on tour flirting with Deacon than she spends with him.
Now that Teddy slept with that Peggy woman and wants a divorce, I'm all team Deacon again, though. I didn't like last episode's Rayna/Liam storyline - after the kiss in the elevator I expected more scenes with Rayna and Deacon...
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I am 100% Team Deacon...seriously the man is HOT! Sure he's not perfect but he's real and down-to-earth and HOT!

On the other hand...Teddy is a liar, cheat and a hypocrite.

Teddy is a liar...

Remember when he was being vetted to run for election and they asked if he had anything in his past that could come back to haunt him and he said no? Then we found out about how the real estate deal was going under and what did he do? He quit and left all those people who invested twisting in the wind.

He's a cheat...

During the election, while maybe he didn't know exactly what his father-in-law was planning to do he "knew" that he was planning on doing something underhanded to Coleman Carlisle(Teddy's opponent) so that Teddy could win the election. Why didn't he speak up???

He's a hypocrite...

Teddy knows that he isn't the oldest daughter's(Maddie) father. Rayna isn't happy about Teddy association with her father because she knows her father if a major controlling, manipulative, evil S.O.B. and she proceeds to tell him so and her father tells her in a roundabout way that she had better get on the bandwagon otherwise he's going to tell Teddy something about Maddie. Later that night Teddy and Rayna discussed whether or not either one of them had ever told anyone else that he wasn't the Maddie's father and they both agreed that truth could never come out...but since it's a nighttime soap we know it eventually will. :)

Teddy all but accused Rayna of being okay with Deacon coming on tour because she still wants him(Deacon) but then he goes and sleeps with miss crazy-pants before he went and told Rayna he wants a divorce just makes me dislike him even more. Seriously, he couldn't keep it in his pants until after he told Rayna???

After Teddy's escapades I really wished that Rayna had shagged Deacon after that kiss in the elevator. Talk about HOT! I wanted a cigarette after that kiss and I don't even smoke!!! :)
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Yeah I'm also Team Deacon because of what Teddy is doing now, but on the other hand: I can understand why he's doing it. I mean, he should've just asked for a divorce, waited and thén started something with Peggy. Not the other way around. But people make mistakes and I can see how it happens that being with someone else, only then do you realize that what you have right now just isn't working anymore. It's not the "good" thing to do, but I can understand it.
I also expected more Rayna/Deacon scenes after that kiss in the elevator. That kiss was like... YES! Finally! And then Liam? I mean, his professional beard just can't hold his own against Deacon's grade A-scruff!
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lol, my thoughts exactly :)
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I actually like Deacon more, but I voted for Gunnar. Did you see him kick Avery on his freakin' ass?! I'm sorry, violence is wrong and everything, but damn, that felt good just watching it. Gunnar feels like a really nice guy, but when he needs to, he'll throw down and protect the people he cares about. And he won't fall flat on his ass like Deacon a couple of episodes ago (at the Bluebird café).
Can't stand Avery. Really really dislike him. And basically anyone who has a goat tee and thinks he can get away with it. You can't! It's ugly.
And Teddy is kind of hard to like... I mean, he seems like a stand-up guy actually. Let's be honest, he did his best with Rayna. But enough is enough. I love the Rayna-Deacon romance, but let's be clear on this: it wasn't fair on Teddy. And I get why he now wants a divorce, why he ran for Mayor and why he's sleeping with that skunk. He's tired of being in the shadows and throwing his life around to please a woman who's always been hung up on someone else. So, really: I get it. And yet... Somehow, the writers can't make him feel like a good guy. And the actor who plays Teddy... I don't know, it's like he wants to convey certain emotions, but he fails miserably. Seriously, show something else than that everlasting tight grin you got plastered on your face?
Anyways, I really like Nashville. And I'm not embarrassed about it. It's a good show. Often completely over the top. But that doesn't mean it's a bad show. It simply means that it's a good show if you like shows who often go completely over the top. And I hate it when people automatically say "over the top", so it must be a "bad" show. Stop. Doing. That.
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This is an awesome featurette Tim. Kudos for starting the convo, and for being comfortable enough to run with this, letting us know that men are just as catty as women when it comes to grading and judging other men. It wasn't keeping me up nights or anything, but I always suspected and none of the dudes in my life have ever fessed up to the matter.

Nashville is my guilty pleasure, and I'm so glad I'm not alone in thinking it is seriously one of the juiciest little shows on air. I tuned in for Connie Britton, though not a fan of Hayden Panettiere and definitely a self-professed hater of all things country, but this show has me hooked and willing to soften my opinion of the music (I'm still not listening to Taylor Swift no matter what anyone does, even you Ms Britton). There is so much talent on this show, I am always so impressed, both with Ms Britton and Ms Panettiere, as well as the cute as can be Stella sisters as the Conrad girls, Wyclef Jean as music mogul Dominic Wells and even singer/songwriter Erin McCarley as the new lead guitarist in Rayna's band.

I love Deacon Claybourne, and have complained about weak, weaselly Teddy Conrad to anyone silly enough to listen, but I'm on the fence about Liam McGuinnis. He's a little too arrogant, reckless and self-centered for my tastes, which are likely all the qualities that make him attractive as well.
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That record label assistant lady is really HOT ! Much hotter than Scarlett though I like Scarlett too. I will be so bang up if she sleeps with that Jackass Avery ! I hope she gets her own show soon!
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I don't admit to too many people that I like watching Nashville either. I don't know what it is about this show. Okay I do...freakin Deacon! He's my pick. I love Deacon, he's such a delicious character, laid back, chill, a little bad boy, a little boy scout. Redemption he wears around his neck along with that kickass guitar. Heart him.
- Avery is a jackass, he's only above Teddy in my book, who flat out sucks. Hard.
-I kinda like Liam. More specifically as Rayna's confidant, not to be misconstrued as her love interesting. I'm Deacon and Rayna all the way.
-Gunnar proved to be rather interesting the moment he socked Avery in the face.
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I'm not the right person to comment on who's the hottest of those dudes, but I will say that it seems obvious that the person doing the casting is letting her/their personal taste in men influence the choices a lot. These guys are all of the same type.

When I watched the first few episodes (without paying attention, because I was doing other things at the same time), I was confused by the similarities. I didn't always understand the roles played by the people I saw. So I wasn't even sure if Teddy, Deacon and Randy (this guy: http://www.imdb.Com/media/rm1951182336/nm0420792) were two or three people until episode 3.

The show is OK, but not much more than that. The drama seems so forced. In particular, people are always overreacting to everything just so we can have emotional scenes. There is however something about this show that makes it an especially good choice when you just want to relax. It's probably the music, even though it's not the kind I'd choose to listen to.
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I'm sure everyone will go for Deacon but I much prefer Gunnar.
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I would have to average the grade for Deacon with his at-home, flat hair, with the grade for Deacon On Tour with his big hair. Weird for me, but I really liked him with a bit of product. It's like you can judge his mood/ego by the height of his hair, and i like him when he's on top of the world.
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I should conclude, Gunnar edges out Flat Hair Deacon, but Poofy Hair Deacon takes it for me.
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Nashville is becoming one of my favorite shows currently on tv. It gets better with each episode! Glad is doing well with ratings and award nots and hope it gets renewed. ABC don't screw this up. Go Country!!!
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gunnaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrr
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Is this what you do now Tim? "Grading articles"?
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Lesson learned: There are no blonde men in Nashville.
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"Swapped spit/slept with: The law, that dude in the prison shower" awesome.

That was a hilarious review of the guys. Spot on.

Glad to see someone else watches the show with the same thoughts I do.
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Deacon is the definite favorite but I actually think Liam is super hot!!!! :D :D am surprised cy was included but this article is all sorts of fun! No Nashville next week :(
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Lamar was indeed left out. You also forgot Deacon banged Carmen who then wrote an article about him falling off the wagon which killed his reputation. They can't all be Rayna.
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This is a great show that I would probably watch anyway, but Deacon is definitely one of the best things about it. Great voice, highly charismatic etc :). Such a stark contrast to the character that this actor played in "Enlightened", where I didn't like him much at all.
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I guess Deacon, although i would love to be Liam, he's cool. Now, Tim, why don't you grade the girls next (or just write about how sweet little Scarlett is the hottest of them all)
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Deacon. He is the only reason I stuck around after the pilot of horrible people being horrible to each other.

Avery gets some nostalgia points for Camp Nowhere.
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Oh, what, Powers Boothe just isn't brown-haired-hunky enough for you?! (I'm well aware he does not have brown hair.)
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Good to see Tim's still watching this show, which is thoroughly enjoyable. I know Gunnar's being set up to be the male protagonist but really when you look at his behaviour he's just as much a chauvinist as Avery is. As for that whole wedding/divorce/annulment thing, I still have absolutely no idea what happened there, it happened so quickly and was completely absurd! I'll definitely keep watching until the autotuning finally breaks me.
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But he's a chauvinist to PROTECT her, it's so differe... oh wait, no, it isn't. I'm a big fan of Scarlett getting out on her own. I was hoping her money troubles were going to lead her to move in with Deacon.

i too wonder about the whole marriage thing... i take it Juliette is just going to be a mishmash of Britney, Taylor, etc. but that storyline was bananas. She basically married him just to sleep with him. I felt icky thinking about how if the genders were reversed there would be outrage that she "ruined" him. If they wanted to have the scene of her in the back of the limo in a wedding dress for the mid-season finale, they didn't need to get married first - she could have just ditched him at the altar.
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LOL Tim that was hilarious. I hope you'll do the girls next time. Also any chance you'll start to review Nashville? I love this show and it would be great to talk about it on a weekly bases. Rayna and Deacon FTW! Gunnar and Scarlett are also good.
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I have a place to talk about it...CafeMom... just go there and look for Nashville...
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