Nashville, TV review: It's season two and there's still no singing from Rayna Jaymes


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The Independent Culture

No one ever demurs for too long in Nashville, the music industry drama in which supposedly shy characters are frequently ambushed with invitations to take to the stage – and they always accept.

Maybe that's because the songs are so good. Legendary music supervisor and Coen Brothers collaborator T Bone Burnett happens to be married to the show's creator, Callie Khouri and, until recently, served as the show's music producer. He may no longer be on board, but the soundtrack still features original compositions from Nashville-based song-writers performed by a cast of talented musicians.

We're four episodes in to season two and there's still no singing from country superstar and the show's co-lead Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton). Rayna and her former lover, Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten), are both facing the possibility that the car accident at the end of last season will be career-ending. It was Rayna's teenage daughter Maddie, however, who was in the most turmoil this episode, having discovered that the man she'd always called "Dad" was about to remarry and start a new family. How does a 13-year-old express such complicated emotions? A song, perhaps?

No doubt a tolerance for Carrie Underwood-style country-pop is essential to your enjoyment of Nashville but every now and then the show features a performance so good it transcends genre preference. Last night's episode closed with one such performance: a version of "A Life That's Good", by Maddie and her little sister Daphne. The Conrad girls are played by a pair of precociously talented real-life sisters, 14-year-old Lennon Stella and her 10-year-old sister Maisy Stella.

Evidently, it's not just policeman that are getting younger by the day, it's paramedics and country singers too.