Sunday, August 18, 2013


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I admit it.  I love a prime time soap.  I grew up in the 80s when Dallas, Dynasty, Knot's Landing, and Falcon Crest were all on top.  I remember the summer that "Who Shot Jr?" paraphernalia littered every venue.  T-shirts, coffee mugs, key chains, beach towels - and more - all were monogrammed with the popular question.  Who Shot Jr????  And everyone wanted to know the answer.  Dallas finished on a cliffhanger with JR having been shot in the spring of 1980, and that entire summer, and into the fall, due to a strike by the Screen Actor's Guild,  everyone waited with baited breath to get the answer.  Does anyone even remember?  Not so much.  It wasn't a main character who fired the shot.  However, I will help you out here.  It was his sister-in-law and mistress who pulled the trigger.  I had to look up her name because I couldn't remember it: Kristin Shepard (played by Mary Crosby).  The question turned out to be far more intriguing than the answer.  Ah well.

Back to my original statement: I love a prime time soap.  After Dallas,  Dynasty, and the rest swerved into cancellation, the 90s brought out a new breed of prime time soap.  Technically, anything that carries over from week to week is a soap, for the curious.  We call most of that programming now a prime time drama.  Some sitcoms have managed to avoid becoming soapy, but not many.  Most of the time, full understanding of the current episode relies on having seen the previous ones.  And that makes it a soap.

With daytime soaps running down the drain in the last few years, prime time is getting soapier than ever.  And that brings us to the point of this here blog: Nashville.  ABC aired the show last fall.  Finally, we have a full-blown soap again in prime time that rivals Dallas and Dynasty on the Big Three (ABC, CBS, and NBC).  Yes, I know that cable brought back Dallas; as I said, the public demand for prime time soap has risen in accordance with the failure of daytime soap.

Nashville has everything a prime time soap fan adores plus stellar music.  ABC went all out with the headliners, Rayna James and Juliette Barnes(played by Connie Britton and Hayden Panatierre), and they are dynamite, but it is the rest of the cast that nails this show so thoroughly.  Let's take a look at the trailer for those of who are scratching your heads because you missed this one...

So, Nashville has all of the soapy elements covered. Plus, everyone is rich and the drama is big and splashy (echoes of Dynasty and Dallas...). The cast is amazing and they all can SING. The music in this show knocks it out of the park.

Scarlett (played by Clare Bowen) is one of the best singers on the show. This is her with Gunnar (played by Sam Palladio).

The strength of the music is that everyone is so darn talented. Here is Avery Bartlett (played by Jonathan Jackson) at the Bluebird:

Two of the most talented singers on the show are the youngest. They are the Stella Sisters. They play Rayna James' daughters. They have been singing together for years, prior to their debut on Nashville, and they are AMAZING.

I can't finish out this blog bit without including something from the stars. Here are Rayna James and Juliette Barnes... yes, together. Even rivals come together for the good of the label...

Season 2 will crank up this fall on ABC. I have no doubt it will be as full of surprises as the first season. So, if you are looking for your prime time soap fix PLUS excellent music, Nashville is the right place.


  1. I'm gonna get technical on ya....isn't it really "serialized" if it carries over week to week (or day to day, for the daytime dramas)?

    I'd thought the term "soaps" came because the soap companies were the original sponsors of the daytime series.

    I only make the distinction because I like serialized action shows (loved 24, Alias), but tend to get bored with the "soapier" dramas (although everyone tells me to watch that one with Kerry Washington).

    I do think that dramatic TV writing has improved over the years-I have recently watched some old seventies cop shows and the plots were pretty silly.

    I also think that dramatic shows should be restricted to a three season run-they all seem to be grasping for ideas after that.

    Of course, you didn't really ask me what I think, so I'll go now.


    1. Oh, LC, you left me laughing. The nature of blogging means that inquiring minds want to know what others think!!!

      You are probably right about the technical terms. Daytime "soaps" are technically called daytime serials. And they probably did start calling them "soaps" due to the commercials that aired in those time slots. However, what I was getting at was that more and more TV is serialized (or soapy). Now, the degree of soapiness depends on the show. And, to my mind, there really hasn't been a show that lives up to Dallas and Dynasty (in terms of soapiness) until this one.

      I'm not sure that I agree about cancelling after three years... maybe they need a writing change after three years in order to keep things fresh! People who love soaps invest because they usually have longevity. If I knew a show was going to get cancelled after three years, I wouldn't watch ANYTHING. Ha!

      As for Scandal, the Kerry Washington show, it is pretty good if you can set aside the fact that the writers are constantly pushing a liberal agenda through a Republican Oval Office. That is the aspect of the show that drives me CRAZY. But, then most shows are shoving a liberal agenda down your throat, whether you like it or not.

      Thanks for sharing and bringing me up to speed on the "proper" terminology.

  2. I remember the whole Dallas thing. I guess I was 10. I even remembered who shot him, but I didn't remember the strike. ;)

    I've heard the girls sing HO HEY on YouTube, they are awesome. :)

  3. I remember The Young and the Restless from eons ago.. the afternoon soap.. and I do fondly recall Dallas and JR Ewing..(rest in peace)..

    But when I compare stories then and now, the tone and 'punches' have certainly changed.

  4. I remember all of those shows! I grew up on all of those weekly dramas. They were a big part of my teen years, for sure.

  5. Robin
    I have a lot of techie trouble when at your blog. At first I thought it was because of all the vids but I keep noticing a box that says script you want to continue. I don't notice this at any other blog. But my computer is old and I need a new one so maybe it's just my old computer.

    I'm sorry I missed the Thursday post. Too much outdoor work. That speech of A. K. is pretty fantastic, especially to a bunch of teen-agers.

    On Peter, Paul and Mary.... we used to have group music participation almost every Saturday night. PPand M were at the height of their popularity and 2 guys in our group of friends sounded exactly like them. One played the guitar and it was always a fun singing time.

    On Nashville..... I've never seen it or even heard of it. I really rarely turn on the TV. But this does look like a good time to kick back from a days work and get lost in the tube. Some good voices and that makes for good songs.

    I did watch the old soaps that you talked about. I even watched what was (I think) the first TV soap, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. After it ran it's course, I loved the last episode.
    Nice post on the soap, serial, whatever.

  6. I was addicted to General Hospital back in the days of the "Ice Princess." I can't believe Luke and Laura were on that show until the very end. Anyway, I miss it, but Nashville looks like a show I could get hooked on.

    Be well, Robin.

  7. I actually meant to watch this. Still with all my TV I time full I missed it. I have been buying seasons of shows though so maybe I'll pick this up.

    I like a little comedy with my drama, but still this looked good. I used to watch soaps with my mom when I was younger.

  8. My wife was watching this, for a bit, and seemed to enjoy it. I'm not a big t.v. watcher, anymore, so I haven't sat down with her to check it out.

    I've heard the music was pretty darn good, though...especially for a prime time show.

  9. mail4rosey ~ I didn't remember the strike, either. It was mentioned on Wikipedia when I went looking for the name of the character who shot JR. What I do remember is that the reveal took forever and that just made the sale of all those memorabilia items stay on the shelves a LONG TIME. Now I know why: writer's strike. Ha!

    Helen ~ You are right about that. As the world evolves, so does the stuff on the TV. We are a long way away from Andy Griffith.

    Yvonne ~ :)

    Manzanita ~ That happens to me sometimes, too, when I try and deal with this blog. I don't know how to fix it. But, I will look into it. As for what you said...

    Glad you liked the Thursday posting and the PP&M song. Yes, the AK speech was surprising and pretty darn great.

    I like a good soap simply because I enjoy an ongoing story. I really like this one because it is story set to music. Ah, love that.

    Robyn ~ You made me laugh. Sometime I might post about my affair with daytime soaps. I should probably do that on my TV Blog and not this one, though. Anyway, GH is still on. It is the only ABC soap that hasn't been cancelled. It is in it's 50th year. Due to that, they have brought back many old faves from the 70s and 80s. Luke has been on for a LONG time, but Laura and Scott Baldwin just came back (again). So, you can see why your "the end" comment had me roaring. It ain't over 'til it's over and it ain't over yet!

    Brandon ~ I buy things on DVD, too. I like having shows in the summer months when most things are on hiatus. Maybe this will be a good one for you...

    Mark ~ You might appreciate the music more than the story. The music is AWESOME.

  10. Not into the prime time soaps, but did enjoy Luke and Laura when I was in college, although today, I think you could almost call The Walking Dead a new kind of soap. Even though I don't watch it - just listen, and sometimes not even that. But I love a musical, and might just check this one out! Come to think of it, more and more of the shows I watch get so far into the back story and personal story lines of the MC's that maybe everything I watch is a soap! :)

    Thanks for the lovely comment on my post and Alex's today.

  11. Haven't ever watched this one, but I'm sure I've seen it advertised. The combination of drama and music does make it sound like a cut above the rest. As a child, I used to love Falcon Crest & Dallas. With time, I got over my addiction to soap operas.

  12. I've never watched Nashville and didn't really watch Dallas or those others in their day. I am looking forward to all the fantasy and scifi this season.

  13. I've never watched Nashville. I don't watch much TV anyway, so that shouldn't surprise anyone.

  14. I was never much of a soap fan... but I do like Nashville!

    One of my favorite bands right now, 'Here Come The Mummies,' is from Nashville!!!

    I posted one of their videos in the post I just left...

    I hope you are fine and doing well, sweetie...


  15. I watched As The World Turns for 17 years. Was a total addict. Watched a bit of Dallas, but missed too many episodes being a gymnast so I gave up. Might have to give Nashville a try...
    Tina @ Life is Good


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