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BWW Preview: NASHVILLE Puts a Southern Spin on the Classic Love Triangle

"Previously, on NASHVILLE..." While it feels like an eternity since we last heard those words, fortunately, they will grace our television screens yet again in less just one week. On one hand, this talent-filled, multi-faceted show returning to primetime feels like a front row seat at a Rayna James concert (which, literally, happens to be the very first episode- get ready for a live broadcast of our favorite NASHVILLE singers). On the other hand, it's been so long since the Season 2 finale that we're a bit hazy on everything that went down. Before NASHVILLE attempts to catch you up in its cliché pre-show 30 seconds, allow me to step in and review.

Among the soap opera-like plot arcs (Jeff and Juliette's drunken, jealousy-caused one night stand, Scarlett's brief drug use and Will's hidden, but inevitably revealed, homosexuality) we saw NASHVILLE's drama finally come to a head.

To say this was the season of love triangles would be an understatement; Rayna, Deacon, and Luke; Scarlett, Gunner, and Zoey; Avery, Juliette, and Scarlett (and Jeff Fordam); and Layla, Will, and that guy from the gym (it'll inevitably happen, ya'll)... I really could keep going. Producers created, destroyed, hid, overlapped, and did pretty much anything you can with relationships last season, giving it a very "Soap-Opry" (see what I did there?) vibe. But we did see some much needed character development (cough cough Deacon cough cough), and with that let's recap love triangle #1.

Deacon-Rayna-Luke

What originally started as a cliché, will they/won't they relationship between Deacon and Rayna in Season 1... well, still pretty much stayed that way throughout Season 2. Between Rayna's growing relationship with Luke Wheeler (which ended the season with not one, but two marriage proposals) and Deacon's admirable, relationship with Rayna's daughter Maddie, both characters were left more mature, and better off, than where they were at the end of Season 1. Granted, nearly any cliffhanger beats one where two main characters may or may not be left for dead.

Deacon went through nearly every high and low imaginable; from nearly being locked away for a crime he didn't commit, to falling for his lawyer who later cheated on him with Teddy, to discovering Maddie was truly his daughter. Deacon emerged a clean and sober, honest and admirable man we can truly believe (as much as we may have wanted to before) is finally right for Rayna.

But every love triangle needs a third... enter country superstar Luke Wheeler (played by Broadway, SMASH, and Debra Messing fave Will Chase). Rayna's first serious relationship since her divorce has resulted in an accepted proposal (for now) in front of thousands of screaming fans (and perhaps some squealing TV-goers in their living rooms at home). The will they/won't they nature of Deacon and Rayna has to be resolved this coming season. Either she marries Luke and puts a concrete end to any future with Deacon (romantically), or realizes (like we have) that Deacon is finally in a place to, as he put it, "love her the way she deserves." That in and of itself has me giddy for September 24th, but we're just getting started here.

Juliette-Avery-Scarlett

Juliette and Avery began as two we never saw together, and somehow became one of the sweetest, most unconventionally compatible (at least for bit) couples on the show. And, just as he tried to ruin Rayna's career and Will's marriage, Jeff had to step in and ruin this, too. Granted, part of us knew Juliette couldn't (and wouldn't) stay good for too long, and Jeff's unlike-ability and shameless persona seemed the perfect fit for Juliette's drunken, jealous indiscretion. I have to take a step away from the majority, though, and root for this one (with Avery, not Jeff) to work out. Both Avery and Juliette are so perfectly flawed (Avery more so in the beginning of Season 1), and their romantic tension was built up way too much and for too long for the relationship to be over and done so quickly. Additionally, with Rayna forcing Juliette to stay on her label despite Juliette's pleas and dwindled reputation, you want something to go right for her in Season 2. Something we've learned down this long and winding road throughout NASHVILLE? Juliette is not the antagonist.

And amongst all the lying, cheating, and subsequent drama within NASHVILLE, Scarlett is the one choosing to leave Music City. After her season was filled with drug use, a mother whose craziness rivaled that of Juliette's, and an obvious sexual tension with both ex-boyfriends Avery and Gunnar, it's no wonder this bright-eyed, naïve songwriter (turned overwhelmed superstar) wants out. What is a wonder is if she'll actually go through with it. With no word on Clare Bowen leaving the show for good, we can remain optimistic that Scarlett will stick around at least a bit longer.

Layla-Will-The Truth

And, lastly, the country music drama takes a more unpredictable turn in Will's confession of his homosexuality to Layla. What seemed as a locked up and sealed secret (to everyone minus Jeff Fordham) was finally revealed to Will's new wife in what he thought was secrecy. Of course, in true primetime fashion, a hidden camera for the two's new reality show caught everything. While there's no doubt the public will soon become aware of Will's double life, the question lies in how they'll react to it.

It's safe to say that the drama definitely hasn't left the country music capital of the world, and it looks like it will continue full speed ahead in Season 3. With so many overlapping relationships, unknown answers (here's looking at you Rayna...), and unpredictable futures...oh, and Tony-winning Broadway princess Laura Benanti joining the star-studded cast (fangirl squeal!), it'll be nice to finally pick up where we left off in good ole Nashville, Tennessee on September 24th, on ABC.

So, what are you most looking forward to from Season 3? Which love triangle ar you hoping drops a member? Let me know in the comments below.

Photo Credit: ABC


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From This Author Wendi Reichstein

What started as reenacting 'RENT' in home movies (including some questionable footage of my then 10-year-old sister and 13-year-old self) turned into a passion for (read more...)