‘Nashville’s Pill-Popping “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad” Makes Us Wonder What Other Soap Opera Tropes Are Left

On Wednesday's latest Nashville, the walls finally came crashing down for Scarlett. It's like they say in country music circles: You can't feed a fragile ingenue a steady diet of pills, parental abuse, and pressure without some lasting damage.

So now that "pill-popping" and "psychotic break" have both been removed, at least for now, from the list of soap opera tropes Nashville can call on — what will they turn to next? The sheer number of options terrifies me for what it means about this show's longevity (it could go on forever, like a sustainable energy source), but I guess better to know the enemy? If we think about this stuff early enough, often enough, it won't sting as bad when it actually shows up on screen.


Rayna was briefly in a coma at the beginning of this second season, but amnesia trumps coma at every turn with its "I... don't... KNOW" breakdowns and the fact that whoever is suffering might inexplicably be wearing medical tape around their head. If anyone on Nashville is a candidate to lose their memory temporarily — or miraculously, completely — it's Teddy, who could be mentally reborn as a street busker or friendly baker. We'd all instantly love the show 150 percent more.

We're having a baby!

The revelation of Maddie's true parentage effectively syphoned this plotline back in Season 1 (to say nothing of Peggy's miscarriage this season), but with enough distance from that it's high time for MORE BABIES. My vote? Juliette and Avery. On the spectrum of terrible potential parents that exist in the city of Nashville they may actually be the least terrible, and moreover a baby would deeply complicate life for career-driven Juliette.

Everyone's an alcoholic

Obviously, Teddy's already an acknowledged alcoholic, which we've seen dramatized in several "LEAVE ME ALONE!" Johnnie Walker-flinging outbursts. But one alkie in a city founded on songs about whiskey bottles feels woefully inadequate. Just give every single character on the show a drinking problem! To know that every single scene could end in tears, shadow-boxing, vomit, or some combination of the three would be amazing.

Scarlett's been kidnapped!

History, and soap opera history, has seen lots of babies kidnapped in the hope of a generous ransom, and, since no one in Nashville more closely sounds like or resembles a baby, Scarlett's the obvious and best choice to be whisked away. Bye, Scarlett!

Complete and nonsensical partner swap

It happens to every series. The usual will they-won't they stuff grows stale, or the relationships formed from them grow stale, or whatever — the writers are just bored of writing the same situations over and over again. So why not match up characters who previously had no connection whatsoever and see what happens?! That's how Gunnar and Rayna will finally get together, and have long, soulful chats about artistic integrity. Deacon, learning that Scarlett is in fact not his niece, will start exploring feelings he's been bottling up (drinking pun intended) for so many years...

Teddy finds oil beneath the city of Nashville

This seems like a soap opera plot of some kind? I don't know. Personally, I think this would make for a really interesting Nashville development. But then literally any idea would make Nashville more interesting than it currently is!

Avery can't read

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Gotta fill airtime somehow.

Image: ABC