This week in the TV world started with a very dramatic Super Bowl—and I’m not just talking about Katy Perry’s halftime show (or that exceedingly depressing Nationwide commercial). On Monday, Castle continued its strong streak of episodes in its P.I. arc. Tuesday’s Agent Carter took the team to Russia, and big changes were in store for character on both Parks and Recreation and The Mindy Project. Wednesday gave us a strong post-hiatus return for Nashville, another episode of Suits dealing with Louis’s feelings of betrayal and how it impacts the whole firm, and one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen on television on another completely compelling hour of The Americans.
There were a plethora of strong moments on television this week, but sometimes you just have to stop and single out one actor for their performance throughout an episode. This week, there was nothing that impressed me more than the heartbreaking work Connie Britton did on the latest episode of Nashville.
Nashville is a nighttime soap opera, but it’s grounded by some surprisingly honest and heartfelt performances. And this week, Britton’s performance was a thing of sincere beauty. She made me feel every bit of Rayna’s exhaustion and regret that she let things get so far with Luke before calling off their wedding. There was one moment when she went to hug her sister and her face crumbled into genuinely ugly tears (which I didn’t know an actress as beautiful as Britton could cry), and it was some the most realistic crying I have ever seen on television.
And then there was her scene with Deacon at the end of the episode. Declarations of love can often be so cheesy and overwrought, but both Britton and Charles Esten played Rayna’s confession that she still loved Deacon with the perfect amount of restraint. It was soft and simple, and that made it feel so genuine. There was such honest emotion and warmth between them in that moment, making it a scene I could watch over and over again, finding new things to love each time. On a show where it could be easy to veer into melodramatic performances, I’m always impressed by the grounded honesty shown in Nashville‘s best moments.
What was the best thing you saw on TV this week?