How to Lovingly Hatewatch the defunct TV show Nashville


The wildly popular and frequently maddening American TV show Nashville — first airing on ABC then demoted to CMT — has finished its run after 124 shows. Which means one thing: the time for Hulu-and-chill binge sessions has just begun!

Why watch? To resurrect this crew of misfit country singers at various stages of their careers via the power of online streaming. See them barge into each others’ kitchens unannounced. And get into sudden fist fights, occasionally suffer random violence (or death) – or take long, meditative strolls at the Tennessee capital’s most Instagram-worthy sites. Then cap it all by monitoring the steady decline in music quality, punctuated by the single-most clumsy series finale in TV history.

We’re pretty sure you’ll end up getting swept away into The Nashvillegeist. (Note that fans, even when angry, are called “Nashies.”)

The  Nashville  season finale breaks the fourth-wall and becomes a live music show at the Grand ‘Ol Opry’s Ryman Auditorium.

The Nashville season finale breaks the fourth-wall and becomes a live music show at the Grand ‘Ol Opry’s Ryman Auditorium.

But to binge this show right, you’ll need help. So we’ve assembled this Nashville Watching Guide Tipsheet, including handy nicknames for key characters and drinking tips for team-play.

First we need to address the cow’s milk.

SO. Much. milk.

No TV show that we can think of has had a more prominent or consistent dependence on generic cow’s milk than Nashville. Milk is always near. Running through all six seasons, characters reach for milk, drink it whole, add it to coffee, clutch it by the carton, use it for mid-day cereal snacks. Yes, the dairy lobby is strong with this one.

  • #Hatewatching game tips: DRINK whenever you see a milk carton, AND/OR give yourself a point if you spot milk first. There are many chances. Always watch for it…

Sometimes the milk is front-and-center.

IMG_0337.jpg

Sometimes it basks in golden light.

IMG_0121.jpg

Sometimes it creeps up on you.

2019-04-12_15-37-30.png


Sometimes it tries to hide behind cereal.

2019-04-12_15-36-28.png

Sometimes OJ tries to distract you from the milk.

2019-04-12_15-33-55 2.png


Sometimes it gets its own sporty milk-cam.

milk-rage-on-nashville.GIF

MEET THE key CHARACTERS

The actors try hard. Even when they’re asked to wear absurd hats. But the names for most of the characters were clearly wrong. We’ve corrected that.

“MUMBLES McGEE” (Scarlett)

We’ve long wondered if Clare Bowen, the charming Australian actress who plays Scarlett O’Connor, puts 12-16 marbles in her mouth before every shot – whether at a show or helping troubled youths with horses. Turns out, it’s just her thing. She mumbles. You be you, Scarlett/Clare.

  • Tendencies: Moping. Slurring syllables. Whining. Drinking cow’s milk.

  • Most maddening moments: Never calls or texts, just shows up at places.

  • Weird lapse: She bangs a British sleezeball in a hotel room for about 11 hours, breaking Emo’s heart and getting pregnant. Then thinks about marrying him. 

  • #Hatewatching game tips: Drink if she completes a scene without lecturing someone.

“EMO” (Gunnar)

It might not be kosher for Nashville hatewatchers to play favorites, but ours is definitely Emo, the correct name for Sam Palladio’s Gunnar Scott. The British actor plays the off-and-on again love partner for Mumbles, and her bandmate for much of the series. When they’re together, he mopes. When they’re apart, he mopes. 

The funniest moment of the series comes after roomie “Gay Will Hunting” chides his songs as ‘emo,’ and Emo (with new frost-trips hairstyle) runs off, “I’m going to make a sandwich. Being this EMO makes me hungry.”

For the record, we’ve been calling him Emo long before Gay Will did.

2019-04-12_17-58-15.png
  • Tendencies: Moping. Drinking or pouring cow’s milk.

  • Most maddening moments: Says “you know” to start half of his lines. Folds arms.

  • Weird lapse: Every few episodes, Emo flashes a “Boner-Grin” of out-of-place confidence or joy. Spotting The Emo Boner-Grin remains one of the show’s greatest rewards.

  • #Hatewatching game tips: Boner-Grin equals two shots. Folded-Arms equals one.

“DUD ADAMS” (Avery)

No offense, but actor Jonathan Jackson’s face appears magically perma-stuck in the infancy of a pre-beard. Odd glitches of hair appear in spots on his face, or ‘patches,’ usually before the character gives a shrug of exasperation or goes searching for Cultilocks in their oddly 1990s bachelor-pad home. We called him Patch Adams for several episodes before realizing the inescapable conclusion that the character Patch is simply a Dud.

2019-04-12_17-56-07.png
  • Tendencies: Searching house for Cultilocks. Talking under his breath. Slight nods of disapproval. Drinking cow’s milk.

  • Most maddening moments: He sighs before speaking. Staying with Cultilocks. (He clearly is meant to be with Mumbles.) Wearing black v-neck shirts.

  • Weird lapse: None. Like we said, Dud is a Dud.

  • #Hatewatching game tips: When he’s calling out for Cultilocks (usually at home), drink up or give yourself two points.

“CULTILOCKS” (Juliette)

The diva of the show, Juliette Barnes-Barkley (played by Hayden Panettiere) is a rising star who is willing to steal, co-opt, back-stab to further her career. She nearly dies in a plane crash, then joins a cult, builds some homes, makes an album with an African American church choir that actually sounded good but flopped for no reason, and learns she was prostituted as a child by her mother. Then goes to Bolivia. Because that’s what happens on Nashville.

culti.jpg
  • Tendencies: Back-stabbing. Stomping around. Pouring cow’s milk. 

  • Most maddening moments: Every moment with Dud.

  • Weird lapse: Joining a cult.

  • #Hatewatching game tips: Drink or give yourself a point every time she seethes.

“GAY WILL HUNTING” (Will)

Will Lexington, played by actual musician Chris Carmack, wears cowboy hats sometimes. We love that Nashville has a major character that came out as gay on a country music TV show — and occasionally shows man-on-man sex scenes too. Also, we really love how Will mocks “Emo” for being emo.

2019-04-12_18-04-06.png
  • Tendencies: Mocking his roommate, Emo. Pouring and drinking cow’s milk. 

  • Most maddening moments: Dating the horrible head of the record company, then refusing to get over a horrible relationship.

  • Weird lapse: Taking steroids, then having a roid romp with a new gym buddy.

  • #Hatewatching game tips: When he laughs at Emo, you will drink / give yourself a point.

“ARMS-OVER-HEAD” (Deacon)

We love the temper tantrums of this recovering alcoholic dad, Deacon Claybourne, in all his flannel-and-denim glory. But the best moments are his moments of exasperation, as rendered by Chip Esten. Watch! And if it’s more than just a milk offense, he’ll often place an arm, or both, either directly over his head or just behind his head — thus his nickname.

milk-rage-on-nashville.GIF
  • Tendencies: Raising arms in the vicinity of his head in moments of trouble or frustration. Looking for cow’s milk.

  • Most maddening moments: Fake southern accent by this Pittsburgh actor.

  • Weird lapse: Eating all of Reneggy Sue’s ice cream during their sex-less, condom-free night on her living room floor.

  • #Hatewatching game tips: Down your shot when arms go up; if he punches someone make it two.

“RENEGGY SUE” (Jessie)

Arms-Over-Head’s late-series love interest (after the show kills off its lead character and needs a girlfriend for her grieving husband) is Jessie Caine — played by Kaitlin Doubleday, which is the only possible more fake-sounding name than Jessie Caine. Sparks don’t exactly reach the rafters in their slow-brew flirtations. And then after she escalates things, she changes her mind — she “renegs” it. When she suggests they have sex, neither have condoms. Arms-Over-Head suggests they get some, but she immediately changes her mind. “Or we could not have sex.” Then they’re on-again-off again and she either shows up with coffee or deftly rebuffs his advances.

2019-04-12_18-07-10.png
  • Tendencies: Renegging. Complaining about ex husband. Making sandwiches. Pouring milk.

  • Most maddening moments: Awkwardly dropping off a care package for Mumble’s house, a person whom she doesn’t know, after Mumbles had a miscarriage.

  • Weird lapse: Singing. She sang once then never again even though she’s trying to make it as a singer.

  • #Hatewatching game tips: 180-degree plan-change equals a drink.

BRUNETTES & MINORITIES

Even though Tennessee has a diverse population, this show is all about the trials and lives of light-haired women and buff ‘corn-fed’ men … who else would drink that much cow’s milk?! So, when brunettes appear, or an African American love interest comes along, or a non-white friend from church drops by — be sure they’ll be marginalized, kicked off or killed outright.

#Hatewatching game tips: Whenever you see one get the boot, weep for America and take a drink.

layla.jpg

OTHER CHARACTERS

Raynasplainer (Rayna James) The show’s lead Connie Britton is known for offering “inspirational quotes from the South” and seeming out of place on a stage or with a mic. Then she’s suddenly killed off after her daughters sing to her. Despite their grief, viewers are over it in about one minute.

Marsha Brady (Maddie Conrad) daughter of Raynasplainer & Arms-Over-Head. Fun fact: actor Lennon Stella is actual sisters with her on-screen sibling, “Jan Brady.” She ‘Miley Cyrus-es’ her way through the whole series, often sporting a doubtful resting face. Her songs with Jan Brady are often a musical highlight of the show.

Jan Brady (Daphne Conrad) Few notice it, but the younger sister is actually the heart-and-soul of the entire show. When she delivers a moral message, it comes with a Jan-style punch. We love you, Jan. (Disclaimer: We may or may not have actually called her “Runt” for the first few seasons.)

Jail-Ted (Teddy Conrad) Jan’s real dad, who’s briefly mayor then goes to prison.

Swan Dive (Jeff Fordham) The manager everyone despises inexplicably saves a seriously stoned Cultilocks from self-imposed death by an inexplicable kamikaze fall off a rooftop.

Actual Country (Luke Wheeler) He wears a cowboy hat (a surprising novelty on Nashville), and totally fits into his scrappier George Strait role.

Boy-Band Girl Purple-haired member of the Dud/Emo/Gay Will power band. Emo falls for her (brace yourself for Boner-Grin drinks!), but somehow she falls for a self-absorbed Dud.

The Goatee/Toupee Manager Situation It’s very hard keeping the two main managers straight. Rayna’s, who sobs on a sofa after she dies, has a goatee. Juliette’s manager, Bucky (seriously his name is Bucky), has the worst toupee we’ve seen on TV.

Lump Dud and Cultilocks’ kid appears drugged. She never speaks. If you hear a murmur from her, bathe yourself in alcohol, Nashies!

A "Quantum Leap" Bingo Game

Quantum Leap Bingo by Tinkertown.jpg

There are few world wonders greater than the 1990s TV show Quantum Leap. Its lovable sci-fi for dummies plot provides a nice capsule of US culture and history in the 20th century and some of TV’s kitschiest acting that remains totally watchable.

If you've never seen it, Quantum Leap is about scientist Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula), who builds a (presumably) quantum computer named Ziggy and some sort of machine that spews fog, which allows him to travel to any time in the past within his own lifetime. His top-secret government-funded project maps Sam's neurons to connect with his only time-traveling colleague, Al Calavicci (Dean Stockwell), a Navy Admiral and dirty old man comic relief. So Al remains in the future but appears as a hologram to Sam wherever he lands in each episode.

The twist is, Sam doesn't use his own body, he jumps into other people's bodies and has to pretend he's that person to correct something, always seemingly innocuous, that went wrong — before "leaping" into a new body at another unknown time and location.

The computer or “whoever’s out there,” as Sam often shouts into the air, has taken control of the time machine and determines the location and date of all his time-traveling leaps into new bodies. He gets no choice or warning of what the next one is. And every time Sam jumps into a new body, he’s hoping it’s to return to his lab in the future, so he can wear shiny clothes again — like people in the future do.

In each episode, Sam quickly tries to orient himself while hologram pal Al searches Ziggy's vast computer archives on a lights-blinking handheld device to help out. (Keep in mind this was all very futuristic in the pre-Google, pre-smartphone 1990s.) The built-in tension is addicting, as is watching Sam become everything from a wedding singer to a magician, pilot, private detective, or pregnant woman. 

Beyond the imagination-capturing plot and campy script, there are bonuses. Director and show creator, Donald P. Bellisario (creator of Magnum P.I.), fills scenes with tons of vintage cars, great costuming, and immersive pop-history lessons within the episodes. The likeable Bakula basically just plays everything angry or exasperated, which can be frustrating, but loveable Stockwell tends to keep things grounded and fun. And the sci-fi meets made-for-TV drama makes the show binge-worthy.

During its time on NBC (1989-93) the show won five Emmy awards and its lead actors, Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell, both got Golden Globes (somehow). And though it only ran for five seasons, Quantum Leap was still ranked In #15 in 2004 and #19 in 2007 by TV Guide's "Top Cult Shows Ever."

As a kid, I watched way too much TV and grew up devouring re-run after re-run of Dr. Sam Beckett "leaping from life-to-life, striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each leap would be the leap home."

I watched so much, I didn't have to look up that intro voiceover script before typing it just now. Combined with an irresistibly hooky three-minute LONG song by TV composer Mike Post, the show sticks with you, even after one episode.

The series is also laden with meme-worthy references I still accidentally use on a regular basis.

Same goes for, Tinkertown's own Robert Reid, who was only introduced to the show a few years ago by yours truly. He was recently traveling with a London-based film crew in remote parts of the world for an on-camera gig. And as soon as he started adding, "oh boy," as a tagline, everyone burst out in unison with the melody of Quantum Leap's opening theme song, 🎶 "da da-da-da-da da da da-da, doo doo doo doo-doo doo doo-doo." 🎶 (Soon, you will too.)up

It makes me think this isn't only a national phenomenon -- "Quantum Leap Fever" might have made its way around the globe.

So whether it's your first time watching the cult classic, or your 250th, the Tinkertown presents you with this gift: a printable Quantum Leap Bingo pdf.

Play it by yourself, with friends, or host a watch-party at your neighborhood pub and make it a drinking game. Go nuts, it's all yours. Tag it #QuantumLeapBingo so we can all join in the fun.

Happy quantum-leaping.

or save the image below...

Quantum Leap Bingo by AA Jaggers_web.png

How to #hatewatch Super Bowl 52 like a pro

Yes, American football is the best of all sports. Obviously. Because they have helmets. It's the only major sport where every score AND game matters a lot.

In college football, they even have fight songs and funny customs like little ponies leading wagons on the field after scores.

And no other sport quite invites us into the flawed-head of the coach. You get to estimate the intentional strategies of each play on your own, then see how it plays out. And then yell at the coach when they make bad mistakes.

Football, despite what the Brits say, is the best sport specifically because coaches can be such IDIOTS. 

Super Bowl 52 is this Sunday (4 Feb 2018).

It'll be a horrible game.

But you (yes, you) should watch it solely to hate it. Just like you watch and yell at the screen during The Voice or new episodes of Nashville.

WHY #HATEWATCH THE SUPER BOWL?

For starters, the Super Bowl is a commercialized mess in a league run by Republicans who REQUIRE (mostly black) athletes to begin their workday by doing what no one else in the country has to do before they begin their job: stand and listen to the national anthem.

No one else has to make that choice. Players didn’t ask for that. And they absolutely should kneel if they want and not be called “sons of bitches” by a president who lost a popular election by three million votes.

(Also, college football is SOOOO much better. But I’ll save that story.)

HOW TO #HATEWATCH THE SUPER BOWL IN THREE EASY STEPS:

First, re-watch the HOBBIT.

The Hobbit was a single book, but greedy Hollywood types decided to cash in on the "Lord of the Rings" craze and make the book a TRILOGY of movies. The movies were all awful. Special effects were half-hearted, and no matter what the “good guys” did, the bad guys kept winning. 

In the last installment, we’re led on some long goose chase for an item that does nothing to do to advance the story or beat the baddies. Instead — and for no apparent reason — GIANT EAGLES suddenly came to the rescue. They soar down and kill all those who needed to be killed. Instead of taking the bad ring to Mordor to pre-empt the Lord of the Rings storyline, they just fly away. As if nothing happened at all.

Re-watch this horrible trilogy because the announcers won’t — but SHOULD — refer to it.

This is because the Patriots of New England are the most hated sports team in the USA.

It’s not because they cashed in the one-time best helmet in the NFL for the worst helmet in the NFL. It’s not because their quarterback — who once put a sexy MAGA cap in his locker — will win his 17th Super Bowl ring by at least 32 points.  It’s not because he, and they, cheated and GOT CAUGHT a couple years ago. It’s not because their owner — who wears those obnoxious Michael Douglas light-blue Oxfords with all-white collars — gave ONE MILLION DOLLARS for Trump’s inauguration. It’s not because...

 

Wait, actually it's exactly because of these reasons that the Patriots are so universally HATED.

These Patriots, with their bad helmets and deplorable background, will play and win. But, you know what? The Philadelphia team is made of EAGLES. 

And EAGLES saved the Middle Earth in the horrible HOBBIT films, so maybe EAGLES can stop America’s most hated team.

(Spoiler: they will not.)
 

#HATEWATCH BY BAD-MOUTHING THE ADS

A certain clarity comes about the world when hundreds of thousands of people, who don’t like football at all, will watch this Sunday and comment on ads designed to sell us things we don’t want or need.

The following will occur:

  • These hundreds of thousands of people will talk during the game itself, then stop to watch the ads.
  • They will love the ads.
  • They will talk about it in social media.
  • They will forward and “like” memes made of these bad ads.
  • They will read descriptions of the ads on Monday when they don’t have to stand and listen to the national anthem before their workday begins. 

THEY DO THIS BECAUSE WE ARE ALL TOLD TO DO THIS.

So DON’T DO THIS. 

The AA Jaggers beg you to hate-watch them instead.

#HATEWATCH BY IGNORING THE HALFTIME SHOW

Justin Timberlake has a new album called THE MAN OF THE WOODS that plays between country and dance-pop themes. It’s also called THE MAN OF THE WOODS and Justin Timberlake, who once was in a boy band, is most certainly not a man of the woods.

The last time JT was at a Super Bowl he ripped open Janet Jackson’s top baring a ringed nipple for the world to see. Jackson became an outcast. JT got invited back to the Super Bowl again.

 

Maybe he’ll make a smirking reminder to that fateful performance, when not trying to promote a weird new album. 

I won’t know. I’ll be watching  JANET JACKSON videos on YouTube.

Enjoy your Sunday. Be sure to go to church.