For me Connie Britton can do no wrong. She was phenomenal as one of my all-time favorite TV characters, Tami Taylor in Friday Night Lights, and on top of that she’s an outspoken advocate for women’s health. Now she is paired with Oscar-winning writer of Thelma & Louise, Callie Khouri and the equally great Hayden Panettiere in my new favorite show of the fall, Nashville which premieres tonight on ABC. We here at Women and Hollywood are thrilled that she is now front and center of this new show.
Created by Khouri, Nashville follows country star Rayna James (Britton) who has had massive success, but as of late her album sales aren’t quite what they used to be. Rayna is told by her record label that she’s no longer financially sustainable and must go on tour with up and coming twenty something country singer Juliette Barnes (Panettiere).
Rayna’s label won’t directly tell Rayna that her descent into being a middle-aged woman is the problem—but it’s apparent to Rayna and the audience that that’s the case. Neither Rayna nor Juliette finds the other relevant which is apparent in their biting first introduction—and an instant rivalry is born. With intriguing subplots, including one focused on a young waitress/singer-songwriter Scarlett (Clare Bowen—who has a gorgeous voice), Nashville, thus far, proves to be the most interesting show of the new season.
Ken Tucker, in his Entertainment Weekly review, put it best when describing Callie Khouri :“[Khouri] …knows a thing or two about the way men unite women, pit women against each other, exploit women, and (on a good revenge day) are exploited by women.”
Nashville airs tonight on ABC at 10pm
‘Nashville’: Watch the ABC Country Music Drama’s First Music Video (The Hollywood Reporter)