For those of you who caught the pilot of "Nashville," what's your take?
I feel the show left a little to be desired on plot line, too predictable, but overall was well done and represented our city pretty well.
I think they have the music business down pretty much, especially the bad side.
I was reading today where the producers are asking for more "incentive$" from our local government to continue filming in town. They claim there is no infrastructure here to accommodate the film/TV industry.
I am not sure I agree with this. The talent is here (half of CA anyway) and with a few tweaks, the facilities are here. So what's the hold up?
Those are my initial thoughts, looking forward to hearing yours.
FInally had a look at Nashville last night. Apparently, it's another shameless knock-off of a surprise hit from another network - in this case, NBC's Smash. From the outset, you notice several things: 1) DreamWorks and Spielberg are definitely not the masterminds behind Nashville, 2) Music City is not The Big Apple, and 3) Nashville's producers are fully aware of issues 1 and 2.
As a result, rather than trying to forge new ground like the highly innovative Smash, Nashville revives the basic tried-and-true, prime-time soap formula established long ago by Dallas. It's all there - the evil, puppeteer patriarch and all of the attendant family rivalries and intrigues, the ruthless climbers and business tycoons, the unrequited love triangles and lots of other pat conventions. The basic twist is that it's set in Nashville's country music scene, which should be more compelling to and resonant with many, many more viewers than the Broadway culture. Where Smash is essentially Glee for "adults," Nashville is Smash for Middle America. If the producers play their cards right, Nashville should be highly successful, at least for the initial season.
Unfortunately, they may have played too many trump cards in the pilot. The pace of the exposition was frenetic, resulting in way too much information all linked by some really ham-fisted transitions. Of course, the pilot wanted to grab attention and interest quickly, but it may have tipped its hand too soon. As you said, it's now utterly predictable and we're all just waiting to see how what we already know is coming will play out. I guess this is what ABC thinks Middle American audiences want or what they need to stay focused. Perhaps the subsequent episodes will slow the exposition way down, allow the characters and relationships to develop more fully and allow some elements of mystery to propel interest from week to week.
Since I'm not in "the industry," I can't comment on how accurately it's portrayed. Since Nashville is fictional television, I imagine there's a lot of stereotyping and caricatures throughout. Thankfully, it's not another reality show. That would be the kiss of death, IMO. The establishing and beauty shots do the city justice. And producers will always ask location cities for more incentives, especially when 1) they think they have a multi-season hit on their hands, and 2) when the host city stands to gain incredible positive exposure via the series. However, their "excuses" are pretty flimsy. From what I've heard, Nashville has a strong professional TV production community and, as you said, with a few tweaks on the facilities side, it should be more than capable of supporting this show. The only hold-up would be how quickly the State can assist some private company in the construction of a few top-notch sound stages - everything and everyone else seems to be in place. But, by then, depending on how Nashville continues to play in Peoria, it could be too late.
Of course, leave it to me to take pot shots at the target and completely miss the bulls eye. The most compelling thing about Nashville is one of its many subplots - this one pretty much buried under all the career back-biting, family squabbles, political machinations and heavy breathing. It's the question of what Country Music is evolving into and whether this is a good or bad thing.
Rayna represents the "old guard" while Juliette, identified as a cross-over artist ostensibly from the pop charts, represents the "future." Rayna's label exec lays it on the line - she has to evolve with the new market if she wants to survive let alone maintain her stature. I really got a kick out of Rayna's incredulous question about Juliette's "hit" music - something like, "do people actually like this stuff?"
It's a fair question and this will be an interesting plot line if they keep pursuing it. Is Country the new Pop? As Rock is on the respirator at the moment, is a Country/Pop alliance the only way to stave off a full-scale takeover by the Rap/Hip-Hop crews? What's the audience or financial impetus for Country to more or less move further away from its roots and closer to the rim of the cross-cultural musical melting pot? I dunno. But it would be interesting to find out if Nashville offers any clarity. But, I'm not holding my breath.
I think the obvious point is no matter the method or outcome, the old guard and the future need each other.
Yeah, at a certain point it all boils down to musical Darwinism - evolve or die. But I wasn't aware that Country as a genre actually needed to evolve in order to survive. I mean, it's hardly a dinosaur. But if a Country/Pop symbiosis is necessary to save Nashville's recording industry, I can't argue with that. Even though I might think its offspring will be mud ugly.
Perhaps it is more like "revolve."
Country music has always evolved. I'll just pick a few names as examples. You had early recordings of the Carter Family as a good base for what pre-recording Country music sounded like. Then you move on to the Hank Snow era. It had a different sound than the early Carter Family music. Next you move on to the Chet Atkins era with more elaborate arrangements. That was replaced by the addition of the Rock element with Alabama and Garth Brooks. And now you have the Taylor Swift era. In time it will be replaced by another style. That's the nature of popular music. (This is a totally rough off the cuff history)
Americana music still has artists that delve into those earlier styles of Country music. But that main genre has so many branches even the people playing it can't define what it actually is, and that's probably a good thing.
Vikki, you of all people know how powerful the medium of TV can be for music. THis show has the potential to blow our city wide open in ways we have never imagined.