Drama in Music City

Courtesy of ABC

Nashville, Tennessee: where dreams come true — if those dreams involve getting your big break as a country music sensation.

ABC’s new hit drama, “Nashville,” illuminates what goes on behind closed doors in the homeland of country music. The drama dives deep into the lives of the inner circle of the top recording artists in Nashville.

The series is centered around Rayna James (Connie Britton), a long-loved, multi-platinum recording superstar whose newest album isn’t selling due to her competition with the up-and-coming Taylor Swift-esque, crossover country-pop princess Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere). Rayna is offered to combine tours with Juliette as mutual benefactor, but declines for the sake of her own pride.

As Rayna decides what her next career move is, she’s presented with the challenges of raising two kids and being torn between her husband and Deacon Clayborne (Charles Eston), who’s not only her guitarist, but also an old flame that just can’t quite be put out.

Meanwhile, Juliette might be at the top of the charts, but she is not satisfied with the stigma associated with her music and is envious of the respect Rayna has from fans and musicians alike. Looking to add more substance to her songwriting and reputation as an artist, she tries to obtain Deacon for her upcoming tour, completely aware of his past and current relationship with Rayna.

Amongst the catfight between Rayna and Julia for the rightful crown as the current queen of country, Deacon’s niece, Scarlett O’Connor (Clare Bowen), who moved to Nashville for the sole purpose of supporting her boyfriend’s dream of getting his band discovered, gets offered a record deal by the most famous record label in Nashville after an aloof open mic performance. Between the three-part harmonies, love triangles and dreams of fame and fortune, “Nashville” beckons viewers to join in on the “Song of the South.”

From the sound of it, Nashville seems like a fairly standard drama, but it’s the music that really sets it apart on primetime. This is not the first show launched with the premise of combining drama and music.

It’s undeniable that “Glee” fueled the craze for sitcoms that break into song, but the songs written for the show are hardly anything close to a broken record.

Hillary Lindsey, known for writing songs for Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift and receiving an Academy Award nomination for her song in the film “Country Strong,” John Paul White of The Civil Wars and Elvis Costello are a few of the critically acclaimed songwriters working on the music end of the show.

If you’re looking for something new to add to your playlist, enjoy a good southern accent or could really go for a drama with a bit of country twang, save a little space for “Nashville” on your DVR.

Rating: 3.5/5