Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Country Club Kitsch: In Favor of Parties and Nice Knowing You, Nashville

Tee: Merona, Target
Skirt: Marshalls
Boots: Too Lips
Bag: Worthington, J. C. Penney's
Hat: The husband's closet
Belt: Gifted
Sunglasses: Brigantine beach shop

Tee: Arizona Jeans, J. C. Penney's
Skirt: Xhilaration, Target
Boots: Charles Albert, Alloy
Bag: Betsey Johnson, Macy's
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's

Leopard top: Macy's
Striped top: Wet Seal
Jeans: l.e.i, J.C. Penney's
Shoes: Worthington, J. C. Penney's
Bag: Candie's, Kohl's
Sunglasses: Kohl's

This week's projects have one thing in common -- and it's not that I made them from stuff from the dollar store (although that's true too).  It's that I made all three from party favors!  Indeed, the kawaii-tastic guitars in this Gibson Girl necklace and barrette proudly proclaim, "party like a rock star" (lest you forget and wear them to the library or a church rummage sale).  As for the moniker Gibson Girl, it's meant to be a little bit leather and a little bit lace.  In other words, a new spin on a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, which, dang it all, would've been the perfect phrase to trot out for this post, so much so that I wish I hadn't maxed it out in recent weeks.  Because the leather and lace thing is a little clunky, conjuring up images of 1980s hair bands, which is not what I was going for.  No, the sweet spot is an ever so slightly edgy brand of country.  Kind of like the kind they portray and play on ABC's "Nashville."

If you watch, then you know that the series finale aired this past Wednesday to the tune of almost zero fanfare.  The last preview had sneakily slipped in the announcement, "Next week, on the series finale of "Nashville," . . .," confirming month-long rumors that this ratings bubble of a show had finally popped.  Fans are outraged and saddened by the untimely cancellation, myself included.  Which should come as no surprise considering this fan fashion I made two years ago:

Juliette in the Southern Starlet Necklace

Scarlet and Gunnar in the Southern Sweethearts Necklace

Although I've never been into country music, "Nashville" is one of my favorite shows.  I watched it from the beginning, and as the weeks rolled on, I was surprised to find that I looked forward to not  just the story, but the music, which had a sort of modern, alt-rock, folksy sound I hadn't before associated with country.  From the first episode, I was drawn into the characters' lives as they strove to either break into the biz or maintain shaky stardom while balancing family and romance.  I loved rehashing the episodes on the phone with my mother and sister, often becoming so animated that the husband asked if we were discussing real people.

Still, it may not yet be time to give up the ghost.  The Interwebs are buzzing with the commentary of diehard fans who insist that it isn't curtains for the country music drama, ever hopeful that it'll be picked up by a cable network or even Netflix or Hulu (hey, it worked for "Conan" and "The Mindy Project").  According to this camp, "Nashville" shot two series finales: one tying up every character's story neatly and one allowing the fate of Hayden Panetierre's Juliette Barnes to hang in the balance.  It was the second version that aired, leading many to believe that the show will go on.

So, where do I stand on this issue?  At the crossroads of ambivalence.  On one hand, it was downright haunting to watch Juliette grow so much and come so close to winning back Avery (Jonathan Jackson) only to maybe (spoiler alert!) be killed in a plane crash, meeting the same tragic end as the Big Bopper, Buddy Holly, John Denver, and three-fourths of Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Was it a case of a spoiled star finally getting what she deserved?  Or of a hard-living artist having an epiphany about what's important and then simply reaching the end of the road?  I'm not sure, but the English major in me appreciates that there are possibilities in this last call for a series that detractors have long disparaged as nothing more than an ABC ad vehicle.  I will say this: I was happily relieved to see Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and Scarlet (Clare Bowen) finally reunite after four seasons of will-they-won't-they and would surely hate to see them pulled asunder just to keep a new storyline spinning.  (Ditto for Deacon and Rayna.)  Although abrupt and a little clumsily executed, the plot that leads to their reconciliation (I'm talking to you, icky Autumn and Gunnar fling), makes a lot of sense.  Amid the confusion, Scarlet has the epiphany (epiphanies being key in this finale) that she's in love with Gunnar, despite him accusing her of being afraid of becoming involved with him only two weeks earlier. Yet as obtuse as he is during most of this episode, Gunnar's not entirely clueless.  Scarlet has always let her fears limit her, first by refusing Gunnar's marriage proposal at the end of season one and finally by hooking up with safe choice love interest Dr. Caleb Rand in season three.  So when she decides to take the leap and pursue a relationship with Gunnar in earnest, we know it's for real.  And when Gunnar finally wakes from Autumn's evil spell to grab Scarlet for a kiss during what is meant to be their farewell performance, we know that this is how their story should end, a sentiment verbalized by their manager who contentedly comments, "Looks like they're still a duo."

Although life after ABC may mean a more nuanced, multifaceted format free from the pressure to pander to corporate sponsors, I vote to end "Nashville" while most of its denizens have what they want (Juliette's possible trip to that Grand Ole Opry in the sky notwithstanding).  Because in a world where a tired old tune reigns supreme, happy endings await on the B side. 

1 comment:

Jewel Divas Style said...

Ah, cowboys boots, a girl after my own heart.