5 Awesome Things from Nashville’s Taboo-Tackler

Nashville (Screen: ABC)

Nashville S3E2: How Far Down Can I Go? — Abortion, class struggle and sexism in the workplace… looks like the liberal media bias has infiltrated our fave country music soap. Yeehaw!Very private celebrity Rayna is miffed when reporters are more interested in her engagement to Luke than her new album. Deacon is glum about Rayna refusing his proposal and commiserates with niece Scarlett (who is confused about ex-beau Gunnar’s insistence that she stay in Nashville). Gunnar asks current girlfriend Zoey to move in with him so they can see each other lots when she isn’t touring with Juliette. Tandy and Rayna begin the arduous task of cleaning out bad dead dad Lamar’s mansion. Will learns from miserable beard wife Layla that his new album just overtook Rayna’s at the top of the charts, but the Mrs. ain’t doing such a good job of faking excitement for the reality show cameras. Secretly pregnant Juliette quietly schedules an abortion. Under threat of losing his job, Jeff is desperate to sign a lucrative lady artist. Bucky explains to Rayna that Will’s visibility is the key to his success, and suggests she may wanna open up about her personal life to the media. Sad Maddie is pissed at Deacon for not being the man engaged to her mother. Juliette prepares for another Patsy Cline biopic audition, but gets distracted by her post-breakup anger toward Avery. While on shift at the Bluebird, Zoey confesses to crabby Avery that she’s jealous of Gunnar’s attention to Scarlett but also feels guilty about maybe moving in with her friend’s ex. Avery just wants to be left alone. Then a new waitress named Edie hits on him. Will pressures Jeff into getting Layla a Patsy Cline audition. Gunnar and Scarlett start cowriting again, and their natural chemistry exacerbates Zoey’s weird feels. Luke thinks it’s odd that Rayna doesn’t want to save any of her father’s mementos, but that’s a big ol’ can of worms that promises a very enjoyable breakdown of their obviously cursed relationship. Squee, the drama potential! Here are five awesome things from last night’s Nashville

“Jeff, you have a problem with women?” Remember when Bob Dylan said, “You’re gonna have to serve somebody?” Well, for skeevy Edgehill exec Jeff, that somebody is the senior exec from Benton media who busts his balls during a board meeting. Noting that both Rayna and Juliette are gone and you can’t run a successful country label with only dude artists, this new corporate god bluntly asks Jeff if he’s got lady issues. Jeff’s too busy clutching the pearls to muster a better response than, “What? No!”, but that doesn’t matter. He must at least pretend to not hate women if he wants to keep this gig – a satisfying comeuppance in itself.

We’ve got an abortion episode, everybody! The fact that primetime abortion narratives are rare is well documented, and full disclosure: I have a strong personal interest in the subject. So when a TV character finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, my first thought is, “Are they even gonna mention the possibility of termination?” and my next one is, “Will she actually go through with it?” As for Juliette, here are the dets: she’s certain Jeff’s the fetus father, she definitely wants an abortion (and it’s pretty easy to see why, especially when he bags on her Patsy Cline get-up after her audition), she goes in for the procedure, the doctor performs an ultrasound and says she has to tell Jules how far along she is (per state law), Jules assumes she’s four weeks preggo because that’s when she hooked up with Jeff, then BOING! she’s actually eight weeks pregnant. Looks like Avery’s the dad, meaning Juliette is less likely to go through with it. I HAVE SO MANY FEELS ABOUT THIS, but you’ll have to check my other blog for the full analysis later. I will say this – even when TV shows do a terrible job of dealing with abortion, it’s almost always better than not bringing it up at all. So kudos, show (and FWIW, I don’t think you’ve done a terrible job, yet).

Deacon’s bad parenting = every parent’s fantasy If raising a teenager is anything like raising a toddler, I’m pretty sure the number one rule is “be the bigger person”. You need to rise above the drama whirlwind and remain a voice of reason, but sometimes… Take Maddie, who claims Deacon deserves her bad attitude because he didn’t fight hard enough to win Rayna’s heart. Deacon screams, “I ASKED YOUR MOTHER TO MARRY ME, IS THAT HARD ENOUGH?” Cue Maddie storming off in tears. Okay, okay, bad form, Deacon. But he did get her to shut up and go away for a bit. That’s something, right?

The Belle Meade Princess and the Bottled BBQ Sauce Pauper I find Luke hard to like, especially when he tells distressed businesswoman Rayna that she needn’t worry about money because, “You can sit at home all day and just be Mrs. Luke Wheeler.” Ick. But the writers are making him more sympathetic by clashing his working class roots against her privilege.

Luke (observing Lamar’s mansion): Must have been amazing to grow up like this, world at your fingertips.
Rayna: It was overrated.
Luke: Growing up with nothing is overrated.

Later, Rayna makes fun of Luke for having a bottled BBQ sauce line that he’s never even tasted. She wonders, what’s that all about? It’s called hustling, girl! It’s what you do when you don’t have rich relatives with seed money to help you maintain your precious integrity.

Evil Zooey Deschanel is back! After Layla tanks her audition, she tells secretly gay husband, Will, that she doesn’t expect anything from Jeff. On the other hand… “You owe me everything. I own you!” She orders him to take her on tour and says she hates his guts. Then she crazy laughs and tells him to smile for the cameras. Ahh, good to see that our mildly sympathetic, fake-ass psycho has returned. Definitely a better look than “sad, unwitting, bad sex-having beard”.

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