Back in my day, there was no such thing as a “winter finale.” We had television shows that pushed through the holiday season, walking to school in six foot snow drifts, uphill, both ways. None of this month-long hiatus crap. But that’s how TV works these days, and we have to wait until January 9th for the return of Nashville, when we find out poor, crazy pill-popping Peggy’s fate, whether or not Juliette is REALLY going to marry her Faux Tebow, and just how this co-headlining concert with Rayna and Juliette will go.
In the meantime…let’s talk about the music from this so-called winter finale, which includes another hit from Scarlett and Gunnar, and a church hymn I know I never sang in church choir before. Read more…
Let me start my saying that if this was your first time watching Nashville, I am so sorry. This was maybe the worst episode of the season, due in large part because of how weird the camera angles, quick, dramatic zooms, and stupid dialogue were. The word I’m looking for here to describe this episode is “unsubtle,” I think. From the totally predictable moment where Scarlett tries to visit and maybe reconcile with Avery, only to discover Marilyn walking around his living room in just a bra (who does that? Surely just women more confident than I), to Peggy’s total overreaction when Teddy tells her that for the sake of his mayoral campaign that they can’t be seen together (I mean, if she likes him at all, wouldn’t she be understanding?) to Juliette’s “Are you gay??” accusations toward Sean just because he doesn’t want to sleep with her on the third date, it was a lot of unrealistic cheese for one episode. Read more…
This Thanksgiving, we all have something to be thankful for. Just as you’re waking up from your post-meal nap to snag some second-plate leftovers from the fridge, Spike Lee’sBad 25 will hit ABC’s airwaves to make it’s nationally televised debut at 9:30/8:30c. Chronicaling Michael Jackson’s 45-million-copies-sold second album and corresponding tour, I can say with full conviction that the documentary is not to be missed. Trust me, I saw it twice. For those who may not be MJ fans or perhaps need some convincing, I present you with a list of 25 Reasons You Should Be Watching Spike Lee’s Bad 25. Not completely spoiler-free, however, I urge all the purists out there to tread lightly with this list if you’d prefer to see the film without advance info!
1. Mariah Carey makes an LOL-worthy joke about being a fuss-causing diva when she threatens to scold Clive Davis.
2. The film summons nostalgia for an era when music was successfully flourishing and record sales were at their peak. Ah, those were the days.
3. Viewers receive a non-verbal explanation of the infamous “Smooth Criminal” dance-lean.
4. Martin Scorsese watches his old footage and breaks down the making of the “Bad” video short film.
5. Quincy Jones’ wacky 80s sweater during an interview. You’ll see what I mean.
I’m the kind of person that needs to make comparisons. It’s probably annoying to other people, but I need to just have a frame of reference for some things, so I’m going to say this, and then let you all agree or tear it apart: last night on Nashville, while watching Avery (Jonathan Jackson) perform the song, “Kiss” — at last, a solo on this show that is really, really great! — at the club where he was being scouted/seduced, I got a little bummed out that he wouldn’t be portraying Jeff Buckley in the upcoming biopic, Greetings From Tim Buckley. I don’t doubt Penn Badgley will do a decent job in the role (OR DO I?) but watching Jackson finally get some screen time of his own to showcase his voice was an unexpected pleasure, and if you combine the sweet desperation in his voice with the intensity behind his up-to-no-good eyes, I feel like I’d rather hear him sing Buckley’s songs and play that tortured soul than Badgely. But we don’t need him typecast as the tortured soul, Avery emanates enough of that to last a career to be honest, and he’s on my bad side now that he’s slept with that no-good Music City cougar, Marilyn Rhodes. (Music City Cougars! Coming this fall to CMT!)
(Off topic, the character bio for Avery reads “Avery’s a dead sexy East Nashville hipster with tons of talent—and the swagger to match.” Now that I’ve cut and pasted that, let’s never speak of it again.) Read more…
Okay, how many episodes until we get a song from Juliette about rear view mirrors as metaphors for the past? I give it till next week.
Juliette and Deacon spent some time bonding this week over the fact that Juliette’s pill-popping mom needed rehab and Deacon, rehab alum that he is, was the only person who could convince her to go. At one point, Juliette even finds her mother passed out with some random hobo, both in their underwear after a bender, and Juliette kicks the hobo out of her house and back to his boxcar, to the horror of all the passersby on the sidewalk outside her home. I bring this point up solely to ask you all, didn’t Juliette live in a super-secure gated estate last week? Were all the horrified onlookers like Disney Castmembers that she pays to act like real people on the grounds of her property? That part confused me.
ANYWAY. Point is, she’s mortified by her mother, Deacon helps, her mom slaps her for making her go to rehab, and then Deacon tells her to put all this in her rearview mirror which is a Carrie Underwood-style song if I ever heard one. Or at least an actual Pearl Jam song. Read more…
This week on Nashville, the focus was less on the music and more on the love triangles and campy drama. Which was too bad, because this show excels at the music more than the camp. If I want to see a story about a young, immature starlet with mommy issues who likes to shoplift, I’ll peruse TMZ, thanksverymuch. But I still have a few highlights and things to discuss about episode 4, entitled “We Live In Two Different Worlds.” The first thing is this detailed, awesome interview with show creator Callie Khouri. The interview, posted this week over on Vulture, gets way in-depth about Khouri’s inspiration for the show. Read more…
Nashville is a really good show, you guys. If you think it’s going to be like some Country Strong knockoff, or if the thought of Hayden Panettiere singing will make you want to un-save the cheerleader (Heroes callback! Remember Heroes?), I can assure you that neither of those scenarios are the case. Nashville is soapy network TV at its best with unrequited love stories, illegitimate children whose paternity will probably get discovered soon enough, and a rivalry of old talent (well, Connie Britton old, so still youngish and hot) competing with new ingenue (Panettiere, who is younger and by certain Hollywood definitions, hotter). And the music on the show, which is executive produced by T. Bone Burnett, is so, so good. These folks aren’t messing around. Using real Nashville locations (The Grand Ole Opry, The Bluebird Cafe), she show mixes fact and fiction and employs a stable of established songwriters to provide the music for the show. For a list of all the music featured, ABC has created a music page found here.
Each week, I’ll be giving a rundown of my favorite music from the show, and since I’m a little behind, and we’re coming off of episode three, I’ll start with a quick refresher of the best songs so far, and their impressive pedigree. Read more…
For each and every show that airs on VH1, a team of music supervisors here at the network have spent countless hours determining exactly what pieces of music best complement the footage that we have shot. This team—the CMI (Creative Music Integration) group—listen to thousands of songs each month in an attempt to figure out how best to utilize musical cues to reinforce the emotion and drama on shows like Mob Wives and Basketball Wives, so we thought it would be a cool idea to give you an inside glimpse into their world.
Each month, we’ll put together a list of all the songs that have been featured on the programs and promos that you see on VH1, which will be accompanied by two things: Specific commentary from the music supervisor as to why they selected a particular song for a particular scene in a show, as well as a Spotify playlist for you to sample these songs. Without further ado, here are all the songs that we featured on VH1 during the month of April!
It’s been an incredible season of Behind The Music so far, with powerful episodes featuring the likes of Aaliyah, T-Pain, Game, Pitbull, and Nelly. This week, we put the spotlight on Akon, the multi-platinum recording artist who spent his formative years in Senegal.
In this exclusive preview of the show’s first act, we trace Akon’s roots growing up as the son of a famous musician, which led him to meet a teenage Michael Jackson when he was only 5 years-old. His world got turned upside down when he moved to America at the age of 7, where he was treated like an outcast and bullied because of his heritage, which ultimately led him down some dark paths as a youngster. However, he overcame the odds and turned his life around, eventually hooking up with Wyclef Jean and The Fugees. As Akon himself puts it in the clip above, “I love the fact that music is the vehicle to allow me to do what I’m doin’, because that’s all I’m in for: Changing the world.”
You can watch Behind The Music: Akon when it airs tomorrow night, Wednesday, April 11, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Read more…
In this week’s episode of Behind The Music, we takes a look back at the brief yet remarkable career of Aaliyah, whose life was cut tragically short at the tender age of 22 when her plane crashed shortly after takeoff in the Bahamas.
This episode, which originally aired back in 2001, has been updated with brand new and never before seen interviews, including her friend and mentor, Missy Elliott. This special sneak preview of the entire first act of the show features some incredible footage of Aaliyah, who couldn’t have been more than 10 at the time, singing a haunting cover of Gloria Estefan’s “Anything For You,” as well as a candid interview with Aaliyah herself about how her Star Search molded her into the performer that she would one day become.
Tune-in to VH1 tomorrow night, Thursday, April 5 to catch the full episode of Behind The Music: Aaliyah when it airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT.