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My NPR adventure: Why ABC's Nashville is the best musical drama on TV; and why that may not be enough



As a longtime musician, I have never been satisfied with the way TV portrays how music gets made.

Invariably, the difficulty of the process gets glossed over, in the same way TV police get a DNA sample analyzed in hours that might take months to decode in real life. The emphasis too often falls on singers and the glamorous performers; few capture how much like a dysfunctional marriage even the best bands can become.

But then came ABC’s Nashville, a TV drama which gets at the soap opera-quality of performer rivalries, the mystery of the creative process and the inexplicable joy which comes from creating a tune you know is a great song.

The key, of course, is great songs. More than anything, when Nashville's drama promises you're about to hear a great song, the tunes -- chosen by legendary producer/songwriter T Bone Burnett -- deliver.

That inspired me to cobble together a commentary for NPR on just why Nashville stands head and shoulders above the other musicals on TV -- Fox’s Glee and NBC’s Smash. I also explain why that might not be enough to make it a truly great musical series.

Check it out below or by clicking here. And feel free to offer your own thoughts in the commentary sections.

[Last modified: Thursday, March 28, 2013 7:33pm]


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