'Nashville' Season 5: Does the Show Work Without Rayna?
'Nashville' Season 5: Does the Show Work Without Rayna?
Alexandria Gunn
Alexandria Gunn
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Nashville Season 5A saw the heartbreaking death of the heart of the show. Many fans wondered just how it could go on without Rayna Jaymes acting as the glue. Some have begged Connie Britton to return, but the show must go on without her. The writers have tried, but does the show really work without her?


Too Many Jumpy Storylines

Without Rayna, Nashville has had to focus more on other characters. Maddie and Scarlett have been pulled to the front, trying to hold up Juliette and Deacon's storylines. Gunnar got more attention, while new characters Hallie, Jessie and Alyssa have appeared and attempted to gain support.

While we've had more focus on these characters, there's been a major downside. The storylines have become jumpy. We've had a couple of weeks on one specific storyline and then it's just been abandoned. The Season 5B premiere hinted at a big storyline for Daphne covering teen depression but it was abandoned two weeks later. Juliette has matured and then gone back to her old ways within an episode.

Deacon's storyline has been the most consistent, yet there has constantly been something missing. His character just isn't the same (for obvious reasons) without Rayna by his side.

Nashville Season Finale Recap: Will Zach Destroy Highway 65?>>>

The Show Lost Its Heart

Rayna and Juliette were the heart and soul of the show. Nashville lost its heart when Rayna left, and the soul just can't hold it up on its own. Unless Juliette becomes a more mature character, someone else needs to step in and take over the spot that Rayna left.

At the same time, many fans don't want to see Rayna's character replaced. There are hints that Jessie is going to try to replace our favorite maternal character, but she's falling flat right now. Part of that is the writing, as the writers attempt to remain true to their fans. In reality, Juliette could become the Rayna with Maddie as the new Juliette. It would keep Juliette and a Jaymes girl in the limelight, with Deacon working on balancing the two out.

Nashville: Will Losing Highway 65 Be a Good Thing?>>>

Something Needs to Change for Season 6

The last two episodes of Nashville Season 5 just came out of nowhere. Suddenly, Zach was threatening to pull his money out of the label, all because Deacon didn't want to do commercials anymore. Then Brad became the villain, wanting to take over a network and exploit all the artists' brands. While we could just about see Zach's storyline happening, Brad's came out of left field.

MacKenzie Rhodes helped bring back a storyline from earlier in the season, but just didn't gel with the actual episodes. The only good was to see that Juliette yet again has the potential to grow.

If Nashville Season 6 is to be successful, something needs to change. There is a chance the show could survive without Rayna, but someone needs to fill the void that she has left. The best options would be Juliette or Maddie. Fans are already connected to them and feel something for them. One of the best storylines would be to finally see Juliette become the mature, guiding star that she's shown she can be.

Do you think Nashville Season 5B worked without Rayna? Are you hopeful for Season 6? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Nashville will return to CMT in January 2018. Don't forget to like BuddyTV's Nashville Facebook page for updates straight to your newsfeed.

(Image courtesy of CMT)