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Ghost Canyon

'Nashville: The Complete First Season'
(Hayden Panettiere, Connie Britton, Charles Esten, et al / 5-Disc DVD / NR / 2013 / ABC Studios)

Overview: Rayna James (Connie Britton), is the Queen of Country, but there's a new "royal" on the rise. Meet Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), a hot, young diva poised to knock Rayna off her throne - both on the charts and in the heart of Rayna's lead guitarist and former lover, Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten).

DVD Verdict: In my humble opinion, this show never disappoints! If it's not a great story line one week its a song that I can't stop singing. Claire Bowen (scarlet) sings the best ballads. Hayden Panettiere (Juliet Barnes) has the best dance numbers. Connie Britton (Rayna James) brings the best drama. I have been looking for a new great drama ever since Private Practice ended. Nashville brings lots of drama and a awesome soundtrack.

Indeed, I will follow Connie Britton pretty much anywhere, so watching this show was a no-brainer for me. Not everything works (most plotlines involving her husband's political career are a snoozefest; Britton's singing voice leaves something to be desired), but what does work is great soapy fun. I'm not much of a country music fan, but T-Bone Burnett's oversight of the music displays his typical deft touch - a LOT of great songs here, especially the downtempo stuff. The best songs to me sound like '70s singer-songwriter fare filtered through contemporary indie-folk/alt-country, with just enough pedal-steel accoutrements to pass for country.

I know you all probably know this, but 'Nashville' is the second television series to focus on music (and after tonight, it wll be the only one, as 'SMASH' is sadly airing its series finale tonight after II seasons), and in terms of romantic content, it's better than 'SMASH.' I'm not really a fan of country music, but this series has really turned me into a fan.

Hayden Pannitiere has grown up since her memorable turn as Will Patton's daughter in the disney sports drama Remember The Titans, and here she certainly has plenty of solid dramatic material to sink her teeth into Connie Britton is equally solid, as is the rest of the main and supporting cast. Again, but it bears repeating, every episode is worth viewing.

In closing, if you watch the pilot first, which you always should do it features the believable narratives and sub-narratives, wicked-good performances (singing and acting), and authentic locations that will hook you for the rest of the season. And you will be stunned at the resemblance of the characters to real country music icons, as well as appearances of those icons playing themselves. I was blown over by how much Clare Bowen's Scarlet puts me in mind of Loretta Lynne. Get on board with these Nashville cats! These are all Widescreen Presentations (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

- 'Nashville' Comes to Nashville
- On The Record: B-Side
- Stellas Go On "Tour"
- Bloopers
- Deleted Scenes

www.ABC.com/Nashville





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