Nashville - Season 1 DVD Review
one of the latest successful ABC television series and its debut first
is now available on DVD. The show combined high drama with quality
music and is
one of the more notable series from the past season of television. In
series, the stakes are all about country music, relationships, and the path to stardom (or reemergence) for
country music performers living and working within Nashville.
show is primarily centered upon Rayna Jaymes (Connie
Britton), a formerly huge music performer, who at the start of the
story has a
new album out that is dwindling in sales figures, which is also leading
decline in tour ticket sales. Rayna is approached by her record label
prospect of pairing her with a new country music sensation, Juliette
(Hayden Panettiere) for a massive tour promotion surrounding the two
together as the main selling point. Rayna refuses the idea initially as
she is certainly
no fan of the newly successful Juliette Barnes. Yet the stakes are
her longtime record label has a new executive who considers it her best
Will Rayna sign up for a tour with Juliette? Or does she branch out on
when the label suggests it might be her only way?
the story begins to unfold, the audience gets to
know these two characters better as well as the characters who help to
their lives. Both Rayna and Juliette have affections for country music
performer Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten), who has a past history
with Rayna from
before she got married to her husband Teddy Conrad (Eric Close), who
has two kids with. As the romantic entanglement begins to further
happens to these characters relationships becomes a focal point to a
show builds and enriches the storylines for the
characters by adding interesting elements to these characters stories.
element is found prominently in the portrayal of Barnes own mother
her life after the two became distant over family issues. As the show
developing this story, it provides the character some interesting and
unexpected developments, while star Panettiere is given an opportunity
with one of the best performances on the series; a performance filled
depth, emotion, and compelling characterization brought to a cinematic
intensity that adds a great deal to the show.
The plot of
the series also contains a sub-storyline about a young musician couple
rising towards country music success, Scarlett O'Connor (Clare Bowen)
Scott (Sam Palladio), but who are also facing some difficulties in
relationship along the way. It explores these characters journey from
musicians to their pathway into industry acceptance. This storyline is
the most intriguing, with some nice surprises, and two remarkably solid
surprising turns from Bowen and Palladio.
location of Nashville seems to exist on the show
as one of the central characters. Certainly, the environment
serves as the back-drop for the
events of the series and it is a focal point for country music in
is one of the aspects making the show so compelling, as it is something
adds a vibrancy and authenticity to the storylines that makes the music
on Nashville -- along with the stories -- much
more compelling. It's a good reason to tune in to exploring this
it's only one part of the equation which makes for such a fantastic
series was created by frequent writer and director
Khouri (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya
Sisterhood, Thelma and Louise).
Khouri seems to have a grasp on Nashville's history, landscape, and
music world. She also just so happens to be married to the remarkable
musician T-Bone Burnett, who contributes music to this fine show. It's
made in heaven. The series has great writing and direction that carries
along on a fluent and entertaining path, while the music adds an extra
that simultaneously works with the storylines in keeping the show
and worth checking out.
I've heard some remarks about the show being a "soap" I
feel this terminology is sort of unfair considering the immense work
clearly goes into making the well-produced show. I thought it was more
than "over-dramatic" and that the writing was certainly so much more
Lastly, the biggest difference between this and other so-called 'soaps'
performances. The quality actors and musicians brought together for
this show is the stellar glue keeping all the areas together with
I am thoroughly impressed in almost all of the lead performers, both in
of creating compelling performances and in the ability to present the
lush music that is unlike anything else that I have ever heard in
music composed for television before.
all of these reasons, I find Nashville
to be a worthwhile series with a great deal to offer audiences. And I'm
for it. As overall, Nashville is
great entertainment that should keep audiences enthralled. It's another
successful series for the ABC Studios division, and I hope it continues
thrive with great results. What other primetime shows blend an
location with brilliant country-blues music and fine performances? I
think of anything else myself. Nashville
is a truly original creation.
on DVD in the original television broadcast ratio of 1.78:1 widescreen.
a very fine and modern looking television series. It is incredibly well
produced as a series and it has been well presented across these DVDs,
video encodes that are as best as a fan can reasonably imagine the
looking on the DVD format. The image is generally clean, crisp, and
The colors are able to pop without oversaturation. It's a modern look
the show tremendously well. Seeing the locations in Nashville is a real
with the way the cinematographer presents the series from its visual
standpoint. It looks great on DVD.
would like to add a note: While some
recent television season set's have been disappointing me as of late,
especially the latest season set for NCIS
(released by CBS/Paramount), which was plagued with compression
low bit-rates, it's a genuine delight to see that such a great effort
this ABC television DVD release, which is top-quality in presentation,
a Blu-ray season set would have still been preferable for those
HDTV's. Fans should take note of ABC Studio's commitment to putting out
quality DVD release of Nashville: The
Complete First Season.
series is presented with a
reasonably good quality 5.1 Dolby Digital presentation. This is a
series with a
decent sounding audio mix. Nashville appropriately
blends the surrounds into the series environment when needed, even
things are generally kept front-channel heavy. Perhaps most
importantly, the dialogue
is always intelligible and the music sounds lovely in surround with
and clarity. Music lovers will appreciate the DVD's higher quality
presentation, which is notably good at presenting the songs with much
has a notably lackluster supplemental package. I expected much better
be found in the supplemental materials, considering the high quality of
program and the popularity of the series music. The only bonus
included are detailed below:
Comes to Nashville -
This is a cute featurette about
the fact that the show is being filmed in Nashville. There are
cast members and creative figures, including creator Callie Khouri. It
go in-depth though and is far too short at around 6 minutes.
the Record: B-Side is a
which includes a reflective look at two of Nashville's
most successful songs highlighted in the series debut season. These
include interviews and commentaries on the songs and process.
Go On "Tour" is a
behind-the-scenes piece which follows the two girls who play the
the show to Rayna. It's not that informative of a piece and only some
the Nashville set backdrop
and prop world is visited through it.
Select deleted sequences from
during Nashville's first season.
typical outtakes piece around
two minutes long.
me a great deal. I went
into the show expecting to find a decent series with reasonably good
walked away from my experience feeling as though the show was in fact
creatively interesting than anticipated with solid characters, good
and worthy direction. That's not even taking into account the music.
The music is
arguably what's most impressive about the show as it brings audiences a
new take on what can be done artistically on a musical television
features newly written, original songs that were crafted by real
The series also gains something significant through the contributions
acclaimed musician T-Bone Burnett, who brings great music to the table
Keefus Ciancia. Audiences looking to find some great music on
find a lot to love about this series, especially if one has any
affection for some
good country music blues.
viewers may consider this show a guilty-pleasure as it does have a
to be reminiscent of a soap. Yet, if it is a "soap" it's a really good
one that is going to entertain, without question. Nashville
is well made and it's well worth checking out for fans of good
productions. It's one of the more intriguing show's of the past year. I
imagine the series will find it's loyal audience continuing to grow now
that it's on DVD, and in a set with high-quality PQ/AQ (even if the
supplements are lacking).
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.