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Nashville 2: Achy Breaky Hearts

Nashville’s second season sees Rayna’s love life become more complicated, writes Lesley Goldberg

With Nashville’s second season hot on the heels of its first, and premiering on M-Net tonight at 9.30pm, creator/executive producer Callie Khouri talks about whether Rayna and Deacon are on a path towards a romantic reunion and if an Avery-Juliette pairing is on the cards.

Rayna’s (Connie Britton) love life is growing more complicated by the minute. 
After splitting from Teddy (Eric Close) last season, the country music diva has revived her career thanks to bad-boy Liam (Michiel Huisman). This season she finds a new love interest in fellow star Luke (Will Chase) and, after a near-death car crash, still can’t shake her attraction to former flame Deacon (Charles Esten). While fans are still rooting for Rayna and Deacon to find solid footing again – they have a shared interest in the emotional (and musical) well-being of their daughter, Maddie (Lennon Stella) – each of the men around Rayna brings something positive to the singer’s life.
We caught up with Khouri, who discussed Rayna’s romantic interests, hope for romance with Deacon and what’s on the cards for Juliette (Hayden Panettiere), Avery (Jonathan Jackson) and Scarlett (Clare Bowen).

It seems like Rayna’s going to be getting a lot of loving this season (three so far). How will we see her love life further complicated?
It’s really nice to see her with these options. I think she’s a character that is really on a journey. Each of these guys represents a different aspect of herself. We’re enjoying having Luke around – she’s getting to be with a guy who is way less complicated than Deacon. He’s more of an equal for her. He’s someplace she can really be herself and all that she is. He knows what it’s like to be a superstar. She doesn’t owe Luke anything and he doesn’t owe her anything. Liam is the guy you hope somebody gets to have a fun fling with.
Rayna has been a traditional country music star for years. She reached a point where her audience wasn’t really responding to the last couple of albums. She had to reinvent herself, and Liam is a perfect person because he helps empower her.

Is a Rayna-Deacon reunion inevitable?
They’re parents together so they have to come to a workable relationship for Maddie’s sake for sure. We keep it fluid and loose, so we’ll see. We haven’t really decided.
Avery and Scarlett aren’t on the best footing right now.
No, they’re not. Scarlett is really floundering. Scarlett was a character who came to Nashville to be with her boyfriend, who disappeared before her very eyes and turned into somebody else. At the same time, she turned into somebody else. But it wasn’t like she moved to Nashville to be a country music superstar. She was a waitress and a poet and sang in church. She hadn’t even written songs before she met Gunnar. She’s got a lot to deal with.
How will we see Juliette and Avery’s relationship progress?
We keep a lot of the relationships very fluid. We like to see the chemistry with the characters and where they go. Even though we have long season arcs, we’re on an episode-to-episode basis.

How would you describe the season two finale?
Expect it to be very emotional this year. – Slate

Catch Nashville, Mondays on M-Net at 9.30pm 

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