(Welcome Andy Scott, better known for his work at Everything Oscar, to the team. Sadly, I assigned him to Nashville without seeing a screener. I have a feeling this will be the only time he writes this up, so enjoy it! -- ed.)
"Nashville: A town where stars are made, and hearts are broken."
So says the narrator of the new Fox "reality" series Nashville, a dull and obvious attempt to capitalize on the pop culture success of other reality shows like Laguna Beach and The Hills.
Of course, "Nashville" immediately goes out of its way to set itself apart from the MTV format. The narrator, for example, comes complete with southern twang, and the cast members are often shown singing songs with lyrics like "It ought to be illegal, baby, to look that good."
But sooner or later, "Nashville" inevitably reverts back to topics that so often plague today's reality shows. Sure, these characters shoot guns and play guitars, but at the end of the day all that matters in Nashville is who looks hot and who's dating whom.
Take the poolside scene, for example. At the beginning, we see characters Sarah, Lindsey and Rachel talking about how badly they want to break into the country music business. But once the cell phone goes off (it's a boy!) the conversation immediately switches to the opposite sex. Suddenly, Sarah Lindsay and Rachel become Lauren, Lo and Audrina, as though they were doing some bizarre homage to The Hills.
Which is sad, really, because Nashville itself is an interesting city. It's famous for things that go well beyond its music. Unfortunately, "Nashville" the series cares little about that, and the stuff it does care about is already overplayed. In the end, "Nashville" is a been there, done that snooze fest, and if you see it, you're better off doing what I do whenever I hear a country song on the radio: change the damn channel.