ABC's Nashville was one of the most critically acclaimed new shows of the season, and yet its future remains on the bubble.
Did the initial glitz, glamour and Southern charm of Music City lose its appeal for some viewers? Was the back-and-forth bickering between country legend Rayna (Connie Britton) and young, hot starlet Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) tiresome? Are there just too many characters with competing story lines? And is there a need for all the shady politics?
Regardless, we at TVGuide.com are still big fans, but if a Season 2 were to happen (here's hoping!), we could do with a few changes.
1. Less James family fighting
We get it — Rayna and Teddy (Eric Close) weren't meant to be. But the more they argue, the more unlikable they both become (well, Teddy didn't have to try too hard with that one), the more bitter Rayna looks for giving up on Deacon (Charles Esten) all those years ago, and the more we zone out. Let them divorce, fine, but after all these years, can't it be the least bit amicable?
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2. Get rid of Avery Barkley
Sorry, Jonathan Jackson, but your character is one of the biggest jerks on TV today. We like a good bad boy, but there is nothing appealing about a guy who drops his band for a record label, his girlfriend to sleep with a potential agent, and burns your master recordings just because you don't like what your producer did. Oh, and your music isn't that great. Sure there's potential for redemption, especially now that Avery's hitting rock bottom, but are we really invested in going down that path? We're not so sure.
3. Give us more Lennon and Maisy Stella
Let's be honest — Maddie and Daphne Conrad are the true talent of the show. Have you seen their YouTube video with more than 15 million views?! They first wowed us with an acoustic performance of "Telescope" during their school's talent show in the second episode. We totally forgot about their insane music chops until their rendition of The Lumineers' "Ho Hey" last week. Watch it here and try to tell us that you don't want them singing every episode.
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4. Keep it simple
Rayna, Deacon, Rayna's dad Lamar, Coleman, Scarlett, Gunnar, Deacon, Avery, Juliette — and this is just the main cast! Fellow bubble show Parenthood also has a large cast, but at least everyone is part of one extended family there. Nashville is bursting at the seams with plots about each character that do not overlap. Not only does that make it hard to follow all of the arcs, but the good story lines suffer, including the relationship at the heart of the show, Rayna vs. Juliette. These days, the two barely interact, even though they're touring together.
5. Deacon, Deacon and more Deacon
It's hard not to fall in love with the sensitive, somewhat aloof Southerner with a bit of an edge and a soulful singing voice. But Deacon is more than just good looks and charm. He was the first person to really get through to Juliette and bring out her vulnerable side. He was also there for Juliette's alcoholic mother when no one else was. And it doesn't hurt that his hotness quotient has been upped now that he's dad to an adorable puppy.
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6. Keep Juliette sassy
Juliette Barnes was the biggest diva in the series premiere. And when creator Callie Khouri told us that we'll find ourselves rooting for her, we were a bit skeptical. But she's easily become one of our favorite characters, as previously explained here. Although we applaud her recent growth — which includes apologizing to her mom, pitching herself in front of execs for a campaign, footing the hospital bills of people injured at her show, throwing a surprise birthday for Deacon and even complimenting Rayna on her "amazing" children — we hope that she never loses the 'tude, sass and abrasiveness that only Juliette can pull off.
Are you hoping for another season of Nashville? What would you change (or keep the same)?