Mid-Week Tangent: Implausible Plot Lines on Nashville

I am moderately embarrassed to admit that I’ve become hooked on Nashville. It is perplexing on a number of levels, the least of which are that I don’t enjoy country music in the slightest and it’s essentially a soap opera. Despite this, I’ve burned through the first two seasons in rapid succession and show no signs of stopping.

Where all my spare time has gone lately…

Before I continue, I feel it’s important to state that I am fully capable of suspension of disbelief, that willingness to sacrifice all reason or logic for the sake of enjoyment. It’s necessary for television watching to be even remotely enjoyable. I’m not the person who normally sits there saying things like “oh my god, that would never happen”. I appreciate that, in order for drama to exist in television, characters need to make poor choices. If everyone on TV did the smart thing all the time, who’d want to watch TV?

That said, now that I’m two seasons in to Nashville, my suspension of disbelief is being tested in a number of ways…and yet I keep watching. I sit there and say (out loud and to myself) “really?!?!?” but just keep on streaming. I feel compelled to see what kinds of ludicrous storylines they concoct next. The last time this happened to me was with Revenge, where I at least had the good sense to stop the obsession early in season 2 when the plot ridiculousness was beyond acceptable.

Back to Nashville, though. This show, it’s starting to test my suspension of disbelief in a number of very big ways.  Let me share with you just a few examples:

(Warning!!! There may be spoilers here. If you want to experience the addictive wonder of the show without my spoilers, stop reading immediately)

–Hit songs are written at lightening speed. Seriously, these artists sit down and churn out hits in one afternoon, sometimes while they’re on tour, and they do this all the time. It’s as though songs just fall into their heads in one fell swoop and can be penned in perfect form that very same day. Now, I’ve never actually attempted to write a song so maybe it is just that easy, but I somehow doubt that you can whip out lyrics and musical arrangements and have them ready to perform live in concert that same day. Bonus points for implausibility have to be awarded for the time when two mortal enemies sat down and co-wrote a hit together in two hours. I’m willing to bet collaboration wouldn’t come that easy to a couple of people incapable of the most basic of niceties.

–There are crap-piles of tragedy. Granted, this isn’t unique to this show, but man did they ever cram the tragedy into the first season in particular. There was a murder/suicide, an epic car crash, an attempted attack closely followed by a fatal shooting, and there was not one but two heart attacks. Oh, and there were also a couple major political scandals, major blackmail, not one but two affairs, and a paternity reveal. If I do my math right, this all occurred in the span of a calendar year.  Not only does this seem like more tragedy than most (in North America, at least) experience in a lifetime, but virtually all of this stuff goes largely un-investigated, which leads me to…

–There are no law enforcement officials in Nashville…or at least that’s all I can conclude from the way that absolutely every scandal, murder or incident seems to be accepted purely at face value. No one seems to wonder why one character’s mother shot a man and then killed herself.  Someone was imprisoned for driving under the influence and causing a major accident, which appears logical at first, except that no first responder would miss the fact that the person accused of causing the accident was found in the passenger seat. Come on, at least try to build an implausible storyline where the drunk person somehow managed to drag the real driver’s body into the passenger side to dupe the police.  That I could reasonably accept under the clause of suspension of disbelief. Instead, it was a lawyer, and not the qualified medical professional or crews on scene, who discovered the truth by making the connection between bruise location and seat belt locations. Totally legit.

–It seems everyone’s got a family member who’s either a drug addict, an alcoholic, abusive or highly manipulative. Everyone. And that family member will only show up and/or do their damage just when life is getting the most plucky for his or her relative. What happened to the days when you only needed one evil character on a TV show? So far, by my count, I’ve seen 8 evil characters in the first two seasons alone, and that’s not including the only-slightly-malicious characters of which there at least another half dozen. All I have to say is thank goodness my life is so boring that I’m not literally surrounded by evil people plotting to ruin my life.

–It has never been easier to become a country music star: Nashville, apparently, is the place one goes to be discovered at lightening speed.  You can be heard, discovered, signed and on tour in a matter of weeks. And you might just receive a royalty cheque for $400,000 within months of selling your first song. I mean, I guess it was sold to Kelly Clarkson so maybe that part is more plausible…

If you are wondering why I continue to watch this show despite having so many issues with it, there is one simple reason: I cannot stop. Despite this show testing every fibre of my common sense and reason, I am still dying to know the answer to this question: what will happen in season 3????

ps. don’t be a spoiler and tell me in comments!





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