We're Obsessed With 'Nashville'

NashvilleWelcome to Obsessed, a new weekly feature in which we shamelessly gush about our latest pop-culture preoccupation. This week, we're fangirling over ABC's "Nashville."

Confession: I did not want to watch "Nashville." I can't specify why exactly, but it looked like it might be a touch cheesy or lame. And I certainly didn't want or expect to become totally and completely obsessed with it, no siree. But here I am, plain ol' drunk on its sassy, sparkly, slightly-soapy-but-totally-sexy Southern comfort.

The plot is centered on aging country star Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton) and her struggle to stay relevant in an ever-changing, youth-obsessed industry. Hayden Panettiere plays the evil side of the pretty-young-thing problem in the form of current country sensation Juliette Barnes, and boy oh boy is she trouble; the conniving, career-climbing, man-eating, gives-good-girls-a-bad-name kind of trouble. And despite my misgivings about this not wholly original setup, Connie and Hayden add surprising spice to the mix to make it special. Be sure to keep your eyes on Clare Bowen (who plays the nicer, more innocent Scarlett O'Connor) as well. In fact, I dare you to try and take your eyes off her during the pilot's last few minutes. This young woman is a scene stealer in the making, for sure.

Anyway enough about the leading ladies; they will all receive their fair share of attention. I would now like to make mention of the very handsome, lovable, crush-worthy men on this show, for there are many of them in all shapes, sizes, ages and varying degrees of sexy. After watching just one episode, my favorites are smoldery, loyal and heartsick songwriter/guitarist Deacon Claybourne (played by familiar-to-TV face Charles Esten) and smoldery, heartsick aspiring songwriter/guitarist Gunnar Scott (played by relative newcomer Sam Palladio. Don't let his character's sweet southern drawl fool you, Palladio is a Brit!). These dudes are cuuute and so tortured and soulful and stuff, at least for right now. We'll see how things shake out in the next few episodes. Filling the rest of the handsome men quota are two guys whom we might not be able to trust: bad boy moocher Avery Barkley (Jonathan Jackson) and Rayna's loyal but self-proclaimed "second choice" hubby Teddy (Eric Close). Loyal TV fans will likely recognize Jonathan and Eric from a slew of their other projects.

Do I have you interested or convinced to watch this show yet? Not quite? This little musical interlude should do the trick. I've watched this scene about a dozen times now. The song is called "If I Didn't Know Better," and you should download it now. You're welcome.

Are you obsessed with "Nashville"?