CMT's revival of Nashville is five episodes in, so we're starting to get used to what's changed since the show moved from ABC. Some of the differences are obvious — the camera angles, for instance. But the storylines are changing, too, and being on a country music channel is letting Nashville showcase the industry in a different way than it did before.
Last June, Nashville creator Callie Khouri told Taste of Country that the new season would "deal with is the collapse of the music business and just how hard it is." The CMT episodes so far have been true to this promise. Rayna (Connie Britton) and Highway 65 are in such financial trouble that they turn to Silicon Valley mogul Zach Welles (Cameron Scoggins) for financial help, even though Rayna doesn't always agree with his creative direction. It's a different side of the business that we didn't see as much of before — the behind-the-scenes work at a record label is a lot less glamorous than the music itself.
In its first four seasons, the show's most noteworthy quality was the fact that the music seamlessly guided the storylines along. The fifth season is still finding its footing here — there are song-driven plot lines, but they're being handled differently.
Scarlett (Clare Bowen) and Gunnar (Sam Palladio), for instance, are promoting "All of Me," a single that's markedly different from their earlier songs. It's a lot more mainstream-friendly than their sound on songs like "Longer." But for a duo that's still looking for a replacement tour after Autumn (Alicia Witt) dropped them, it makes sense. "All of Me" might not bring tears to our eyes with a montage, the way some Nashville songs do. It did, though, set up the tension between Rayna and Zach over his choice of director for the music video. And Scarlett and Gunnar do still have a lot of issues to work through that aren't going to be fixed by changing a song lyric about eye color.
Click through to see what we hope CMT has in store for the rest of this Nashville season.