By Anna Brand, Hollywood.com Staff
Posing With the Animals
Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) has to make up for that shoplifting situation. Remember? That time she went to CVS or whatever and paid for chips and candy, but not the cheap nail polish? She threw polish in her bag and waltzed away, but not before getting videotaped. So, here we are, at the zoo, posing with the animals. Juliette's publicist is all, ""Say hi to the adorable NFL quarterback who is here for fun just because he actually likes the cute animals"" (like most living, breathing humans). But Juliette is absolutely repulsed by this. ""He's here for fun?"" she questions. As if. But of course, once she gets a closer look at his perfect jawline and innocent eyes, she's all smitten. Forget the ""rodent"" climbing all over her curly locks. Forget everything! This is going to be her big turnaround. Sweating a nice guy who also just happens to look awesome in tight pants? What could be better? Rating: 8/5, because really, what could be better?
The Unlikable Underdog
I'm just going to say what we've all been thinking: Avery f**king blows. He's not as cute as Gunnar or Deacon. He's definitely not as nice as Gunnar or Deacon. And it's clear he's not as talented as Gunnar or Deacon. But he's still freakin' around. He just won't go away. He's hanging on Scarlett like she's a coat rack from the clearance section of T.J. Maxx. He uses her for her almost-fame. And also, what's with that stupid choker necklace? I mean, honestly, what in the hell is that? Anyway, so Avery gets a gig or something at a bar that isn't the Bluebird and is all like, ""This is my big break!"" After his performance, he goes over to some big shot and tries to woo him, only the dude really isn't all that interested. He's not, but the cougar to his left is. Oh, she's interested all right. She can't get the image of Avery sweating on stage out of her mind. Sweating the good stuff. The young stuff. So, she's going to undress him help him out, she thinks. Make him a big star. And he can barely answer her. He's too excited at the prospect of sleeping with a filthy brunette to get the words ""hell yes"" out. Rating: 9, because where there's a young hot male musician, there's a middle-aged ""manager"" with an agenda.
When All Else Fails, Change
Rayna James (Connie Britton) is getting kind of boring. I'm sorry, but she is. She's wearing weird big dresses from Annie Sez or something and singing the same damn tunes with the same damn band. She needs something big, something that's going to get her ahead of the country curve. So she seeks the help of big-time music producer, Liam McGuinnis. She's got a vision of him changing her sound and her image and like Tami Taylor, she's not taking ""no"" for an answer. Even after he compares her to a mom in an SUV which hello, she's driving a Range Rover she goes back for more. But things aren't looking so good. He's still not buying that she can be hot and young and fun and sexy. So she does what any woman on the cusp of a breakdown does: grabs the whiskey. They take shots and shots and more shots and maybe even body shots until he's so into her they record a song. Sort of. And it's pretty awesome. This is what she wants now, and she'll battle her label until they agree to it. Rating: 6/5, because yes, she wants to feel liberated again, but come on lady. You still have two kids relying on you to get to school in the morning.
The Diner Date
Don't you miss it? I do. I miss ordering chocolate chip pancakes at 2 am with boys and talking about high school and drinking full fat Coronas and screwdrivers, the two drinks I knew of during diner days. Juliette's ""date"" with the hunky quarterback isn't much different. Okay, so there are no pancakes, but still. You might have even forgotten about the time she banged Deacon after knowing him for all of 30 seconds. Or the time she seduced her producer or whatever and then molested him in the coat closet. Yep, this time is different. She's, dare I say, acting her age. Almost. Minus the whole, ""Let's go somewhere in my fancy jet"" thing. Rating: 10, because for once, Juliette is so close to being a normal twentysomething girl. And even she can't stop it.
Oh Teddy. My dear Teddy. What am I going to do with you? You're so close to being dead, I think. I don't know what's going to happen. What I do know is your combover and polo shirts would not last a minute in jail. The campaign is a mess, first of all. He is behind in the polls, surprise, surprise, and his sweet father-in-law is not happy about it. Teddy can make all the pretty speeches he wants, but the problem is he's got a past. A past that is about to shake Nashville so hard Lamar's toupee is in danger. So what's dear old dad going to do about it? Frame the opponent, that's what! Like the good old days! Some clean fun. He has a cop follow the poor lad to (he says) just hand out a traffic violation, but OMIGODWHATISTHIS the cop finds drugs! How'd they get in the car? I'll just let you guys be the judge on that one. OH, and how could I have forgotten. Teddy's embezzling friend-slash-secret lover-slash-maybe the mother of his secret children (taking a gamble on that one) is going to support his campaign by volunteering! How sweet of her. It makes perfect sense. Best part, the photos of the two of them by the water holding arms and looking all affair-like have been leaked. Yep. They're out there now (well, depending on if his opponent goes through with releasing them, which of course he will) and then there's no turning back. Rating: 9/5, because staying close to a love interest while appearing to be doing good for the community is rule No. 1 in stalking etiquette. Just ask Felicity.
New Bars, New Cougars
Say goodbye to the Bluebird, people! Well okay, not goodbye forever, but for the time being until Avery is hopefully cut from the show. Remember that woman I was telling you about? The one with the cleavage and the scary eyes? Well, he's agreed to take her up on her offer, even though Deacon already told him to stay away. STAY FAR AWAY IDIOT. But he doesn't. Why would he? And we find out she only signs guys younger than 30 who also sleep with her. Sounds like a good business, to me. I mean seriously, I want that job. Anyway. So we've established he's got nothing to lose at this point. He goes to her home with hopes of a career and maybe a hand job, and though she's willing to do a lot more, some weird conscience thing inside him takes over and he walks out. Rating: 1, because I cannot believe he wouldn't sleep with her. I mean, come on. Avery?!
Guess what? I was right. He went back in. Boom.
[Image Credit: ABC]
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