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tv.com had Nashville listed in their weekly FTW vs. WTF this week as 'the soapy gift that keeps on giving', and they're not wrong. It's a very underrated drama that seemed to only just scrape by with a third season renewal, so I think it's about time we talk about it's season two finale and what may be in store for season three. Here's the short recap tv.com provided in FTW vs. WTF :

'In Wednesday's Season 2 finale, Will admitted to Layla that he was gay while a hidden reality-show camera recorded the confession; Juliette vomited on her own hair after getting wasted and struggling to deal with her guilt over cheating on Avery; Gunnar sang Scarlett the song he wrote for her and told her she should stay in Nashville; and Rayna was proposed to not once, but twice. The first request for her hand came from Luke, who got down on one knee after a concert and asked her to marry him in front of a huge audience, and then the second was delivered by Deacon, who showed up late at night and recited a touching speech about how he's finally become the man Rayna's always deserved. What is it with that woman? She got beer-flavored nipples or something?'

And here's some discussion points:

- Being a primetime soap opera, Nashville relies heavily on the storylines provided by the romance dramas of its main characters, so which couple(s) do you ship and why? I personally tend to only ship couples when I like the individual characters before they start a relationship, so for me it's Juliette and Avery, or Avery and Scarlett, I enjoy watching all of these characters together, so I don't really like one relationship more than the other. Alternatively, Gunnar and Zoe could disappear without a trace and not return next season and I wouldn't care one bit! They're just so boring.

- Continuing on from that note: who should Rayna choose, Luke or Deacon? I don't really care, but its obvious that Nashville as a series is all about Rayna and Deacon's turbulent relationship, so I have no doubt that they will get together (and probably stay together) by the end of the series' run (whenever that may be). Luke always sort of felt like a forced love interest for Rayna this season, and seemed a very underdeveloped character, I much preferred her and Liam (at least they had chemistry!) Anyway, the question really is, is Nashville ready to have Rayna and Deacon together? And if so, how will they be able to keep their romance storyline fresh throughout next season?

- One of the other big romances on the series left us wondering if Avery would forgive Juliette for cheating on him with Jeff, and left their relationship in the balance? What do you think? I personally just wish they'd give Hayden Panettiere some material that wasn't solely based around her turbulent love life. She was single for several episodes at the beginning of series two and Nashville showed us that its capable of keeping Juliette compelling without needing to give her a complicated romance, yet they seem to constantly feel the need to with a string of insufferable characters (anyone remember Sean? How about Dante?). Anyway, Panettiere's shown countless times that her acting ability warrants more than this, so whatever the outcome of her relationship with Avery, here's hoping it'll lead her to better storylines.

- What will happen to Will and Layla now that he's told her (and inadvertently, everyone else) the truth about his sexuality? And who do you feel more sorry for? Will, the man who feels the need to live a lie for fear of not being accepted? Or Layla, the woman he used to help him live the lie? When they left Will's fate hanging in the mid-season finale I was very much hoping that his character would return, as I'd been enjoying is slow-moving, but still fresh and poignant, story arc. However, the addiction of his and Layla's reality series towards the end of this season was one step too far, and it really sort of ruined the development of his character in my opinion, hopefully the writers are able to have a bit more finesse with the next stage of his story. As for Layla, I've been indifferent towards her since the series seemed intent on making her a one-note character who is hopelessly devoted to Will. She has some spark when they had her and Juliette sparing while on tour together, but she's lost that since, so as with Will, here's hoping we can forget the misguided reality television series plot and move her character on.

- Will Scarlett stay in Nashville? Will she ever get back into the music industry? Of course we haven't scene the end of Scarlett, her character is the quintessential heart of the show, the 'girl next door', if you will. That being said, I was sort of looking forward to the prospect of watching her study poetry outside of Nashville (but that would be adverse to the show's title, wouldn't it?), so hopefully she can study something locally then. As for her time in the music industry, I personally think her rise to fame and subsequent fall occurred all too quickly and is the sort of story that can be slowly delved into over several seasons. But Nashville fast-tacked that idea and now have Scarlett with no place to go, so here's hoping that they can find something worthy for her character to do. And please, please, please, I don't want her back with Gunnar!

- Speaking of Gunnar, I suppose I have to dedicate some time to his and Zoe's relationship since I've exhausted by discussion of everyone else's. I was hoping they'd get rid of Zoe sooner rather than later, but now that she's a back-up singer for Juliette, it seems she's here to stay. Hopefully having her character away from a dull Gunnar and spending more time with a compelling one like Juliette will give her the opportunity to grow. As for her and Gunnar's relationship, he just bought a house, and she's living in it... But it's quite obvious that the series is trying to bring in a love-triangle with Scarlett, which is just not something I want to see. Where do you think these characters are headed in season three?

- Will characters like Teddy, Maddie, Daphne, Tandy, and Bucky actually get any storylines? Seriously, there's nothing more to say other than these characters are really wasted at this point in the series. I guess the less Teddy the better, but Tandy and Bucky are a vital part of Rayna's life, yet their roles are nothing more than talkative extras (maybe they should hook up?). As for Maddie and Daphne, the series has been utilising the reveal that Deacon is Maddie's father quite well, but she's such a typical teenage girl television character (read: I absolutely hate her) that this new development for her characters, and the Conrad's as a whole I suppose, and become painfully annoying in a short period of time. What are some possible ways these characters can be better used in season three?

- On the note of season three, it was announced back in March that should Nashville get renewed for season three, that Oliver Hudson (who plays Jeff Fordham) and Will Chase (who plays Luke Wheeler) will become series regulars. So now that this is the case, what do you think we'll see from having these characters around a lot more? This sort of blows my Deacon theory aside, because if Luke is staying, then you would assume Rayna would be staying with him (at least for now), because I can't really see the series being able to sustain storylines for him as a separate entity from her (although they really should work on his character development!) As for Jeff, I'm so glad we'll be seeing more of him. He played a much needed adversary against several main characters this season, mainly Rayna and Juliette, and it provided the series with some much tended tension that was lacking after Rayna and Juliette's 'feud' blew over. Having a conniving and arrogant character like Jeff around full time will provide an endless amount of drama, so long as they don't turn him into a caricature. Unfortunately, I think he's until storylines won't be the greatest (I have a feeling that he'll either try to continue to pursue Juliette, or that, now she's discovered the truth about Will, that Layla and Jeff will end up spending some 'time' together). Regardless, as this announcement was made some time back, I have faith that the writers know what they want to do with the characters, and have a strong sense of direction, so I'm not too worried overall.

So there you have it, my not-so-brief thoughts on the series final and where the series is headed in season three. Be sure to leave a comment and tell be yours!
Comments (5)
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May 22, 2014
Y'all should read Ashley Spurgeons Nashville recaps. They are HIGHlarious. ;)
May 18, 2014
Great article. I love this show and the only complaint I have is that it sometimes moves too fast and I don't think that's necessary to be compelling. You really don't need to have mile-a-minute scandals. Life isn't really like that, and smart people know that. My favorite relationship on the show is that of Rayna and Juliette and I believe there should be more smooth sailing between them. They obviously respect each other, and I really liked it when Rayna had an emergency and Juliette offered her the use of her plane. These two women are extremely talented and can get by just fine without so much drama between them. I also really love Scarlett, and I understand her rocky transitions are necessary. But I think they tend to over do them. The best characters to develop from the beginning are Avery and Maddie, and they both deserve better than they are portrayed. As for Teddy, he's been too vilified and could really be a decent character if they would humanize him a bit more. Deacon is a bit too over-the-top as well. Luke and Will are also good. I love the show as is, but there's always room for improvement. And I don't think it needs to be County Music's answer to Scandal all the time. They've already done a great job of making us like these people, just make them all have a little more fun. And when one of them wins, let it linger a bit longer before smashing them in the face. The best shows don't necessarily need a pat villain, and they do a pretty good job with that. It's already much better than what Revenge has become, and I want it to get smarter and stick around for a while. It's sort of like how the contrast between Scandal and The West Wing, with The West Wing being clearly the better of the two, with Josh Malina being in both. You can definitely see the difference in his characters alone.
May 19, 2014
I think the greatest critique you can make of a television series (or any form of fiction for that matter) is that it's storylines move too fast. You're basically saying you really enjoy the plot, so much so that you wish the writers would drag it out a bit more and perhaps add some more depth to it instead of moving on so quickly...

I love Juliette, Rayna, not so much, I find her very self-absorbed. Anyway, their relationship is good, and while it's nice when they work together and get along (like they did in the finale), it's always entertaining watching them fight, too, They're both very strong willed women, so I wouldn't be surprised if their personalities clash again in the future, but I think the writers should be able to balance their friendship/ rivalry well now that Jeff seems to be the main antagonist of the series.

I agree that they've been overdoing Scarlett and her storylines a bit later in the season (her return of her mother was basically a rehash of Juliette's season one storyline as well), and like I said in my post, I think it's a storyline that could have benefited from dragging out a bit more.

I've grown to like Avery, I think the writers have actually changed him quite a lot from the character he was from at the beginning, but you're not wrong, they've done little with him recently.

Maddie does have potential, but the writers have done nothing yet to show me this because they seem insistent on having her being the typical teenage girl character that everyone hates (a la Revenge's Charlotte). The same could be said for Teddy, he has potential, but really, what on Earth are the writers supposed to do with him?

I have a soft spot for Revenge, so I can't really compare that and Nashville, but you're not wrong - Nashville has the potential to be a thinking man's drama, if you will, which it's not quite at the moment. Unfortunately, I don't think this'll be the case. Scandal, and lesser so, Revenge, are big hits for ABC, so if anything the writers are probably getting notes to be 'soaper' not 'smarter'. That's just the business, sadly,
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