The first two episodes of Nashville’s sixth and final season began the same as when Rayna died: depressing. For a show that used to be fun, fast-moving, and yes, drama-filled, it has lost all it used to stand for. Since announcing this season will be its last, I’m sad to agree that it’s time for it to end.
Since Connie Britton’s departure from the show and the creators’ choice to kill off Rayna, the writer’s room has lost its spark. When the show premiered on ABC it was about the love of music and how Rayna, the old-soul loved-by-all country star, had to compete while mentoring the new up-and-coming bombshell that was Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere). Now, the show focuses on all that has gone wrong in every characters’ lives. They’re now just hollowed shells of country singers.
The first two episodes highlight everyone’s flaws, one of which is Juliette’s attempts to rebound after it’s publicly revealed she stole Maddie’s song. While she tries to kick-start her tour, she leaves the stage and admits on the radio that she’s battling depression. Instead of listening to Avery (Jonathan Jackson) and seeking a therapist, she turns to a cult-like, life-altering guru.
As for Avery, he’s now playing mister mom and putting his music on the back burner while Juliette focuses on herself. Thankfully for him, he has Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and Will (Chris Carmack) who try to pull him back to reality. After Will helps Gunnar get back to his musical roots following his break-up with Scarlett (Clare Bowen), the duo turns to do the same for Avery. It’s nice to see the trio back together, but it’s sad that it has to be under the circumstances that put them in these positions.
As for Scarlett, she is focusing on herself since she has yet to be single the entire series. She doesn’t know how to just be herself as she always relies on someone else to validate her worth. Scarlett is a strong character and it’s sad to see her finally coming into her own under these terms. However, her and Gunnar were the perfect match and the perfect duo. They were the light that shone through when the series would take a dark turn.
Throughout this series, they were the couple that had the most ups and downs. If anything good comes from this final season, it needs to be her and Gunnar getting back together because if Rayna and Deacon (Charles Esten) can’t be together, the writers need to at least give fans The Exes.
Meanwhile, Deacon continues to struggle with the single life. While he’s been focusing on Maddie (Lennon Stella) and Daphne (Maisy Stella), he hasn’t really come to terms with his newfound life. He has always pined for Rayna and now, he is like a teenager dealing with his first crush. What is sad about Deacon’s storyline is the fact that he is trying to move on from his wife’s death but it’s his daughter who is holding him back.
Daphne doesn’t want to see Deacon with anyone, especially Jessie (Kaitlin Doubleday). Jessie was a fresh addition in season five and became a very likable character. While she would be the perfect woman for Deacon to move on with, the writers continue to use moody Daphne to stop anyone’s happiness. I get emotional teenagers, but it’s time to stop letting them control the adults’ lives.
If CMT wants Nashville to be memorable, they need to definitely step up the game in this final season. By creating fresh and happier storylines, fans will be wishing the show wasn’t ending instead of wondering why they continue to travel to Nashville every week. The characters used to be happy and have a purpose. It’s time to stop letting one character’s death dictate the rest of the series.