Country music takes prime time in new late-night series on ABC network

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A little bit of drama, a whole lot of country

Country music is taken to a whole new level for the viewers of American Broadcasting Company’s latest late-night sitcom “Nashville.”

This new drama is a little bit “Glee” and a little bit “American Idol” as the two protagonists compete to hold their reign as country music princess in Nashville.

Hayden Panettiere plays up-and-coming artist Juliette Barnes (think Miranda Lambert), and Connie Britton plays her archenemy Rayna Jaymes (think Faith Hill). While there are many plotlines within the sitcom, the constant theme is the love of country music. Each singer or musician on the show is performing themselves.

Since shows like “American Idol” and “Glee” have been so popular, “Nashville” has become the latest trend in musical television.

Viewers now expect for characters to actually be able to perform in the roles they are acting out.

With the popularity of country music on California Baptist University’s campus, this is a show that is sure to be watched and talked about.

Music aside, the show does a great job of portraying the country music industry as raw as possible. It depicts all of the stereotypical musically inspired people who move to Nashville to try and break into the business. The infamous singer/song- writer by day and waitress by night are built into the plot, as are jealous boyfriends.

But not all plots are so titillatingly juvenile. During the fourth episode, we see Juliette Barnes start to transition and expose some of her more intimate thoughts about her career. Thus far, she has been portrayed as a ruthless and cunning pop-country singer who does not care about making great country music but rather collecting a big pay-check.

Panettiere’s character reveals she is tired of being viewed for only her good looks and not her songwriting abilities. Viewers also begin to learn her life already has been full of pain and disappointment.

Britton’s character is also going through difficult times. As a country singer, we expect someone to be living in great fortune, but her husband Teddy Conrad, played by Eric Close, has severely damaged their finances and put them on the verge of bankruptcy.

Crippled by being dropped from her label, if she did not decide to go on tour with Barnes, she would be forced to possibly take a loan from her seemingly terrible father, Lamar Wyatt, played by Powers Boothe.

“Nashville” is everything one would expect from a show about country music. It is a little bit dramatic, full of great music and takes viewers inside the make-believe lives of invented country superstars.

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