Nashville Lists: 10 Hopes for Nashville Season 4

Nashville season 4 is fast approaching. To pass the time until Nashville Season 4 premiere on September 23 here are Nashville Forever’s top 10 hopes for Nashville Season 4.

About Nashville Forever

1. Deacon is Cancer Free and Out of the Hospital

To be honest, the one thing we’re absolutely NOT worried about is Deacon’s survival rates. His story is far from over as well as his endless supply of denim shirts. Plus nobody dares leaving Rayna a widow!

CHARLES ESTEN SHIRTLESS
An example for a depressed shirtless Deacon we love

Nevertheless, we still mention it to:
A. Be on the safe side.
B. Use the opportunity to say although we appreciate Deacon’s cancer story, we also feel we have reached our hospital quota limit for a non-medical drama. The way we see it, if Deacon wants to be depressed and shirtless (AKA his authentic self) he can, but in nicer places with warmer lighting.

Related: Nashville Characters Defense – Deacon Claybourne is a Perfect Mess

2. A Rayna and Deacon Wedding

Deacon will always be a little depressed every once in a while because that’s who he is but that shouldn’t prevent him from also experiencing happiness.

We’re not ones to push for TV weddings but every once in a blue moon comes along a couple like Rayna and Deacon that truly needs and deserves this type of celebration. So once Deacon goes back to his glorious mopey self and Rayna gets some much-needed rest, we expect a full wedding people!!

The cabin, Rayna’s backyard, the Ryman or anywhere outside the hospital can be good locations, although we have a soft spot in our hearts for the place where Rayna and Deacon fell in love that also inspired their dreams of a life together –The Bluebird Café. This place IS music and as we know – them and music, there’s no difference.

Related: Nashville Gets Us – The Rivers Between Rayna and Deacon

What we envision is something close to Deacon’s birthday party in season 1 minus the sad songs, dead brothers and relapsing mothers; just a celebration of love, life and music. Watty White will wed them, the girls will sing and we’ll cry well-earned happy tears.

Oh, and one last (yet crucial) thing: Even more than we want a Rayna and Deacon wedding, we want a real, raw, messy and loving Rayna and Deacon marriage. So please let this wedding be a happy beginning for a life that’s good and not the first sign of the apocalypse.

CONNIE BRITTON AND CHARLES ESTEN
Showed lots of restraint by not including swans in the picture

3. The Rayna and Juliette Big Showdown! 

They started as rivals in the pilot but that’s water under the bridge. Over the course of Nashville’s 3 seasons they managed to gradually build trust and respect for each other. They learned how to collaborate and even formed a professional alliance and a type of friendship.

Related: Nashville Gets Us – An Unspoken Sisterhood Bond 

Yet, inherently, Rayna and Juliette are very different from one another in various ways. When they collaborate, these differences make them stronger in “the whole is greater than the sum of its part” kind of way. But if they decide to go against one another, they have the potential of turning them into very bitter rivals.

CONNIE BRITTON AND HAYDEN PANETTIERE
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

As a rule, we usually prefer the first option but since Juliette, in her latest manic spree, stabbed Rayna (among others) in the back, braiding each other’s hair doesn’t seems like a realistic option. Actually, not that these two were ever the “braiding hair” types, but as things are now between them, Juliette will be lucky if Rayna even lets her come anywhere near her perfect hair.

Anyway, looks like we’re headed toward the second option now and we for once are surprisingly happy about it!

First, we REALLY miss Rayna and Juliette scenes together no matter in what capacity. Second, the beauty of this round of rivalry is now it’s not another female “catfight” over youth, fame or men but a legit professional rivalry between two equals that already evolved way beyond superficial stereotypes.

Now it’s interesting!

So Nashville – BRING IT ON!! Explore more this rich dynamic, let the sparks fly and don’t stop until we get at least one more kick ass Rayna and Juliette duet!

4. Fast Forward

To judge by season 2 and 3, Nashville tends to open its seasons with a very emotional first episode that resolves the main cliffhangers and gets the new arcs fully into motion only at the second episode.

Since we already spent most of last season wallowing in sadness over Nashville’s finest, we feel one more crying cycle will take us over the edge and not in a fun way. Therefore, we would really love it if the show decides to skip as much as possible the traditional first episode emotional events and jump ahead to the new stories usually reserved for the second episode.

Right now we’re in desperate need for the other Nashville – the fun, funny and energetic one. It can’t ALL be THAT serious, right?

Related: Nashville Gets Us – Avery is Comedy Gold 

Prototype of a smiling character
Prototype of a smiling character

Also, unlike season 2 and 3 where we were curious about the immediate results of specific events, this time we’re far more interested in the longer effect after everyone had a minute or two to absorb the changes and start and digest everything that’s been happening.

Will it change them on a deeper level as human beings and artists? We are looking forward to find out and follow the characters as they navigate through this “brand new world” they find themselves in.

There are so many exciting stories to tell about this, so many songs to write and eyes to roll that we simply can’t afford to waste another minute in waiting rooms. So Nashville, please, be kind and TIME JUMP!

5. Breaking the country mold

Artists, by nature, are outsiders even if they travel in packs. For them trying to fit into any mold is tough. Staying there is even tougher and destructive. Nashville told so far GREAT stories about the tension between art and commerce and the struggles of artists to stay relevant and keep evolving.

Nashville also told stories about specific challenges that the country music industry imposes on artists that doesn’t fit the mold. Will Lexington’s coming out story is one of the most notable ones. It was interesting to follow Will’s journey to come to terms with his sexuality and to watch him eventually come out  as a gay man was probably one of the most rewarding moments on the series.

CHRIS CARMACK
Everything he told you is wrong – I’m actually a punk artist at heart!

Related: Nashville Characters Defense – Will Lexington Behind a Broken Smile

Moreover, the show was subversive from the start by their decision to put two women at the front and on top in a series about a world that in reality is dominated by male artists.

All these stories play an important part in why we love Nashville so much and we want more of it!

For Nashville season 4 we would really be curious to hear stories that tell us about artists who try to break into the business but doesn’t fit in new ways that challenges them and the country world in new ways than the ones we heard before.That’s because the country music world is not conservative only when it comes to gender and sexuality. It’s conservative period.

This Nashville Season 4 hope is especially close to our hearts because we, the fans, know no limits of color, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality or even musical taste. We demonstrate this diversity by our mere existence and would really love it to be reflected more on-screen. After all “This town ain’t yours, this town ain’t mine”

Related: Nashville Fans Family Album

6. Get on The Tour Bus

We LOVE Nashville tours!! Great music, big arenas, big egos (and even bigger hair). Lots of backstage action, tour buses, private jets, insiders jokes, love, hate, sex and adrenaline. In short, perfection!

Tours are like an alternate universe where Rayna is really queen, Juliette is sparkly, Luke is “wheels up wheeler”, Deacon is “freakin’ Deacon”, every emotion is heightened and the lights are so much brighter.

DON’T YOU JUST MISS THAT???

WE DO!!!

Yes, we LOVE Nashville when it’s intimate and subtle but also when it’s a little over the top and gives us a taste of a world most of us will never be part of.  To us, tours are the best kind of Nashville crazy!

We’re particularly excited about several Nashville tours possibilities next season starting with the comeback of Juliette Barnes.

Juliette is finally back and her stage presence, charisma and even diva attitude is something that’s been missing lately from Nashville due to Hayden’s pregnancy.

OK, true, the circumstances for Juliette’s comeback are less than ideal. At this point it’s really hard to tell whether going on tour will save or destroy her. Also, we would rather have her and Rayna resuscitate their “Red Lips White Lies” tour than her joining Luke Wheeler, but then again, so does Avery. Still, the stage is Juliette’s natural habitat and we can’t wait to watch what this one woman show will do next to stay on top and how Luke and his men’s club will handle it.

JONATHAN JACKSON AND HAYDEN PANETTIERE
Guess it’s time to look for a new guitar player, ha?

Speaking of the epic “Red Lips White Lies” tour and Juliette’s ex partner in crime – Rayna Jaymes, we also miss Rayna in her superstar-queen-of-country-mode. Technically Rayna was on tour last season, but we never actually saw her perform so that doesn’t count. Also, most of her (rare) arena shows lately were with Luke and although we already made peace with that chapter in her life and even grew to like Luke, we have no particular desire to relive it. What we hope for is more performance like “Already Gone” and “Stompin’ Ground”. By the way, if someone will decide to FINALLY release those songs, we’ll be forever grateful!

CONNIE BRITTON
Your Zen moment of the week

In that vein of Rayna and tours, one thing we really not-so-secretly hope for is the revival of Watty White’s idea from season 1 to do a Rayna and Deacon tour (yes, we know, first Deacon has to heal).
Back then, Rayna cancelled the tour since it was either that or her marriage. Now, when there’s no contradiction between Deacon and her marriage this stuff Nashville dreams are made of can come true! Think about it – Rayna and Deacon heating up the stage with their…thing and making out in the “nose-bleed” section; Maddie and Daphne making special guest appearances; Scarlett and Gunnar open, Layla pre-open…we’re drooling.

So please, Nashville, get everyone on a tour bus as fast as you can. Hey, Bucky even said they have brand new bunks.

Related: Girls Vs. Women on Nashville 

7. Shoulders Bumps and Bee Pollen 

Yes, we LOVE the rhinestones-bigger-than-life-Nashville with the big arena tours, the glitz and glamour and over the top drama.

CONNIE BRITTON AND CHARLES ESTEN
Yes, a hug can be addictive

But, as we already mentioned, that’s only half of what we love in the Nashville universe. The other half that’s also the half that keeps us emotionally invested in the show is the subtle, intimate, nuanced and sensitive Nashville; the one that reminds us there are (fictional) real people at the end of every rhinestone.

It’s the daily routines, the family dynamics, the friendships and of course the romantic relationships. It’s the intimate conversations, the small body gestures, hugs, half smiles, arm-sex and shoulders bumps. It’s the going to bed make up free with an ‘Opry’ t-shirt, looking like hell when you’re hungover, folding baby clothes, drinking bee pollen even if it tastes like crap and more.

It’s the little things and we’re suckers for them.

CONNIE BRITTON AND WILL CHASE
Thought it was the writers job, but if you insist..

Related: Turning the Ordinary into Extraordinary: I Can’t Help My Heart 

Our favorite part of it is how Nashville makes relationships feel so real we find ourselves surprised every single time they’re only fictional (they are, right?).

That’s why we get so frustrated when in a show with so many characters as it is, we also get guest-stars with stories that “steal the thunder” from the core characters and relationships we’re invested in.

It’s not that we’re against guest-stars; not at all. What we do not like are character like Kiley for example and moments like the one at the Bluebird café when the camera kept shifting to her and Dr. Rand when Rayna and Deacon performed “surrender” on-stage. It’s one thing to have Scarlett and Gunnar fight during the song, but her? it took away from what was supposed to be a rewarding satisfying moment and made it messy.

Related: I Love You Dad

CHARLES ESTEN
It’s not you, it’s really me

That’s also why despite initial protect against it (hey, we’re not perfect) we thought Pam York,Luke’s backup singer was actually a good character. It was great to get to know a new type of a musician– the professional backup singer (we’ve seen ‘20 Steps from Stardom’) and to have a character that helps and support a main storyline instead of having it be the other way around.

So for Nashville Season 4, we hope for more subtle and nuanced interactions between the core characters. We hope for more shoulders bumps and bee pollen type of scenes and for the main characters to shine. We’d love for example to not just remember Deacon and Juliette are friends or that Scarlett and Maddie are cousins, but to actually watch it.

We, in return, promise to rewind till the end of days.

CLARE BOWEN AND LENNON STELLA
Maddie, I may look like I just escaped the psych ward but I promise, it happened ages ago.

8. Sharing the Truth 

One thing Nashville is truly unique in is the way it showcase the art of songwriting. It’s not all about the business or performing – the heart of Nashville’s music world is the art of making music.

Related: A Life that’s Good is More than Just another Nashville Song

Each character on the show has a very distinct voice that also define them as characters. It’s not just their actions that count but also their voices as musicians. That’s why when characters don’t sing  often or don’t sing “new” songs, even if they appear in every scene we feel something is missing.

Last season it was particularly evident with Deacon, Rayna and Juliette. Story wise, it made sense because their journeys took them to other places but for season 4 we would love the show to take them back to their roots as  songwriters.

We do feel certain it will happen next season when it comes to Deacon because being an artist is all he does professionally. As for Juliette, we assume it may take a while since she’s just about to release an album, go on tour and have a mental breakdown.

When it comes to Rayna, we’re a little worried.

Rayna built a label, collaborated with others, learned how to use twitter and used her wisdom and experience to discover and nurture other artists. We love she’s doing all that, but what about her artistic side as songwriter? CONNIE BRITTON AND CHARLES ESTEN

Her professional life took her far from where she started but even now when she’s a label head and spiritually married to the man she loves, Rayna still says she’s an artist first and that means she probably still have the urge to share her truth with the world through her art; that’s part of being an artist. With everything that’s been going on in her life lately, it also seems inevitable.

We miss this side in her and sure hope to see it next season. We hope to see her collaborate with Deacon and other characters like maybe Scarlett and Gunnar but most of all hope to learn more about her perspective on things from a deep, raw and truthful place like she had done before. Let Rayna release the artist within.

JONATHAN JACKSON
We hope you do!

Another character we’re little concerned about his artistic future is Avery. He also collaborated with others and uses his knowledge to help others share their truth by being a producer. But it’s been a long time since Avery put his own music first, and we believe it’s time to do it. Fine, first, he’ll have to settle in his sad dad apartment with Cadence, but straight after that.

Related: Avery Barkley – First You Fall, Then You Fly

9. No more babies

Secret fatherhood, unplanned pregnancy, almost fatherhood, postpartum depression, as it seems single parenting, endless mothers and fathers issues – and that’s just the short list. Yes, it’s safe to say family, parenthood and the relationships between parents and children and subjects Nashville loves to explore and we love Nashville for it.

But there’s are two family related stories we can live without. One is the Gunnar, Kiley and his almost son story. The second is an idea, which gained popularity among several fans groups, of a Rayna and Deacon baby.

True, Deacon deserves a second chance; Charles Esten looks adorable holding a baby and Connie Britton brought the role of a TV mother into perfection. Still, the more we think about it, the more wrong it feels to us.

LENNON AND MAISY STELLA
There’s NO WAY I’m gonna babysit a toddler!

For starter another baby may turn Nashville into the country version of ‘Parenthood’ but that’s not the main reason we’re against the idea.

The main reason is there’s a thin line that separates between learning from the past and trying to relive it. Having another baby at this point in Rayna and Deacon’s life is crossing over to the dangerous territory of bad nostalgia by trying to relive the past.

The sad truth about life is that what’s lost is lost. You know what? It’s not even a sad fact, but just a fact – No one can turn back time; not even Rayna and Deacon as all flashbacks with Deacon’s alien ironed face and Rayna’s bad hair prove. So getting another chance, like they did, doesn’t mean trying to constantly fix the past but instead doing everything possible to learn from it by focusing on the present and the many challenges ahead of them that already exist.

Also, poor kid, so much pressure.

So our hope for Nashville Season 4 is we get to watch how all the characters, including Rayna and Deacon learn how to make peace with their past by learning how to truly forgive themselves and each other, instead of adding new challenges that will force them to keep running in circles. That of course won’t prevent them from writing songs about it, and when we think about it, every song is like a baby, right?

10. New Cast Photos 

This last hope on our list is in truth a personal plea that we believe is shared by many other fans as well: WE NEED NEW CAST PHOTOS!

Here on Nashville Forever we write daily about Nashville (self promotion alert) on this website and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Visuals are an important part of what we do. Therefore, it’s quite challenging and less effective do so without having good and updated official photos of the cast.

The last official set of cast photos we have is from season 2 and aside from not being a huge fan of that set for artistic reasons, it’s also outdated.

So, for Nashville season 4, we beg hope for new updated cast photos that will give us something to work with and reflect the current state of the characters as well as the current feel and tone of the show. And for the love of good taste, please – no barn photo shoots unless it’s campy like Kacey Musgrave’s Biscuits video.

NASHVILLE ABC CAST SEASON @
Enough said!

While we’re on the subject, allow us to say our photos fantasies also include couples photos, significant duos photos (like Rayna and Juliette) and families’ photos. We also dream of cast interviews where everyone talks about their characters, Connie Britton is not asked about her hair and none of the cast is asked (AGAIN) if they film in Nashville and really sing on the show. Trust us, we and half the fans can just answer these questions instead of the cast and save them some precious time.

We are fans of Nashville and we also made it our business to share our love for the show with as many people as possible. So please, make our dreams come true.

11. Bonus Hope

We know we said 10 hopes for Nashville Season 4 but we have one more: Can it be September 23 already???

Related: 5 Things We Learned From Nashville Season 4 Promo

CONNIE BRITTON AND CHARLES ESTEN
Like you’re doing better
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