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Nashville

Nashville

Thu Feb 7, 10-10.55pm, More4

By Gabriel Tate
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Series one, episode one
The rising star versus the ageing legend has been a dramatic staple for years, and Hayden Panettiere (‘Heroes’) and Connie Britton (‘Friday Night Lights’) thoroughly enjoy their first hour of spitting poison at each other in this new US series. And, as with ‘All About Eve’ and its ilk, you’ll find your sympathies shifting throughout.

C&W icon Rayna James (Britton) is dismayed when her record company, concerned at her ailing profile, push her into touring with ambitious diva Juliette Barnes (Panettiere). As is customary, the pair’s lives mirror each other: Rayna’s problems with her overbearing father are reflected by Juliette’s issues with her junkie mum, and there’s also a dash of local politics through Rayna’s useless husband, who is considering a run for the mayoralty.

Just like the finest country songs, ‘Nashville’ transcends its apparent limitations thanks to enthusiastic delivery and good old-fashioned story-telling (the latter courtesy of ‘Thelma and Louise’ scribe Callie Khouri). Rather unexpectedly, an early contender for best new American import of 2013.
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