Nashville has plenty going for it: The music is legitimately good; Connie Britton is the world’s best human; and even though the dialogue is a little clunky, the stories seem to work. Britton plays Rayna, a country-music legend whose star is fading, thanks in part to the rising fame of Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere), who’s trying to woo away Rayna’s bandleader, Deacon. But the show does have one lingering problem: The male characters are extremely hard to tell apart. Everyone is too generically handsome and southern! So we’ve assembled this handy guide to which male character is which on Nashville.
Is he wearing a tie? Then that’s Rayna’s husband, Teddy (Eric Close). Teddy is the worst. He’s squandered most of his family’s money, and now he’s tired of being in Rayna’s shadow — even though it’s pretty clear from these three episodes that every single person in Rayna’s life is in her shadow.
Is he sad? Could be any of them.
Is he playing a guitar? Could be anyone.
Does he have scraggly facial hair? Inconclusive.
Is he being sexy around both Rayna and Juliette and/or sadly smirking? That’s Deacon (Charles Esten). He’s Rayna’s bandleader and ex-lover, whom she ditched when she sent him to rehab a decade ago. While he was there, she married Teddy. Deacon still loves her, it seems, and if smoldering glances mean anything (and they do!), Rayna still loves him back. Tough tacos, then, that he’s also sleeping with Juliette, and he might be the father of one of Rayna’s daughters.
Is he making a bitchface? Then that’s Avery (Jonathan Jackson), Scarlett’s boyfriend. Scarlett is the young blonde who’s not Juliette — and is instead some kind of second coming of country-music greatness. And Avery is hella jealous of her imminent success and her maybe-flirtatious relationship with her duet partner, Gunnar. Luckily, he managed to give her a good pep talk on last night’s episode, otherwise we’d have to just straight-up hate him. Stop being so whiny, Avery.
Is he wearing a shirt that has snaps instead of buttons? Inconclusive.
Is he sighing dejectedly? Inconclusive.
Does he feel stymied? Inconclusive.
Is he the other guy? That’s Gunnar (Sam Palladio). He and Scarlett represent artistic integrity and talent and adorableness.
It’s not just the younger guys who all blend together, though. The older guys blend together, too.
Is he Powers Boothe? That’s Lamar Wyatt, and he’s Rayna’s controlling father.
Is he being nice? That’s Watty White (JD Souther), and he’s Rayna’s producer and the king-maker who just discovered Scarlett and Gunnar.
Is he talking to Juliette? Then that’s Glenn (Ed Amatrudo), Juliette’s manager, who’s too inept to figure out a way to get Juliette’s mom out of her hair.