Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Review: 'Nashville' Episode Four

Putting on a good face.
The big take away from tonight's episode of ABC's Nashville, is how little actually happens in the show. And yet, there's so much going on, so much bouncing from character to character, it's not immediately noticeable. All story lines inch forward, but only just so.

The show opens with a bang (har har) as we find Rayna and Deacon in bed together. But wait! It's a dream Rayna wakes from as boring Teddy walks into the room. Her face shows the confusion and shame that halmark her relationship with Deacon. The main story line this week on the Rayna front revolves around a fundraiser for Teddy at "the country club" where Rayna will perform, despite the negative feelings she harbors for the Belle Meade bimbos she grew up with, including Peggy (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) who Teddy seems a little too eager to greet. The night of the fundraiser, Deacon shows up late and takes a generally undeserved tongue lashing from Lamar. Deacon opens fire on Teddy (Everybody knows you're a straw man for Lamar!) and Rayna tells the boys to shut up. The performance is super unpleasant. Deacon stares down Teddy from the stage, who's swapping glances with Peggy of a different nature. And after? We get another vaguely written scene between Deacon and Rayna. She asks how he could put "us" in this situation and he asks "which us?" Tears are shed. Back at home, Rayna tells Teddy she's going to fire Deacon. But wait! At the end of the show, Teddy, who is becoming less boring and more scummy, meets up with Peggy in a secluded park type place and they discuss coming clean with something. He insists "no." Is it an affair? I'm hoping it's a shared cookie jar collection like that one episode of 30 Rock.

Switching over to the Juliette channel, she's in denial about the aftermath of her shoplifting scandal. Consider this episode rock bottom for her. Juliette bombs out on what was supposed to be a mea culpa interview with Good Morning America and storms out after 1) claiming that she was trying to keep the nail polish from slipping out of the basket and forgot to pay, and 2) refusing to answer any questions about her mother. On that last one, you really can't blame her. It's a messy relationship. Juliette's mom cooks her some goodwill mac and cheese and Juliette freaks out and empties her mom's bag expecting to find stolen items from the house. Guess what she doesn't find. Tears are shed. Oh, and sponsors pull out of her tour effectively shutting it down. So, what do you do when you hit rock bottom? Call someone else to come share your misery, i.e. post fundraiser brawl Deacon.

Meanwhile in East Nasty, Scarlett stresses about the publishing deal and just as she starts to make out with psycho boyfriend Avery, everyone's favorite third wheel and Zachary Levi lookalike, Gunnar busts in with the news that they got the deal. Hugs all around! Except for Gunnar. Womp womp. But here's where things get spicy. While Gunnar and Scarlett get a tour of the publishing office, he meets Hailey, an office assistant... and you know... yogurt-related flirting and what not. That night Hailey and her boss take Gunnar, Scarlett, and Avery to dinner at Watermark in the Gulch (hiyo local readers!) and Avery gets weird when Scarlett spins some songwriting philosophy at the table and then talks up his band. He bails pronto and in his most convincing turn as a hipster, says to her outside the restaurant, "My music speaks for itself!" Garbo– I mean, Avery, walks home alone. Next shot: Gunnar and Hailey the next morning in bed. Character-wise, I think it's weird because Gunnar's got a kicked puppy dog thing going on, all achey for Scarlett, so him jumping into bed with a girl he just met and the self satisfied look on his face the next day walking her to her car cheapens his character. Example, even when Jim was dating the purse girl on the Office, you knew his heart wasn't in it. It was always with Pam. Anyhoodle, oh snap Scarlett catches them on the walk of shame because she drove to his house for some reason. One lunch with uncle Deacon later, she asks Avery to support her the way she's supported him and the little pisser says "I'm trying" and slinks away, presumably to not wash his hair.

Basically, we got a lot more of what we already knew: Rayna's confused. Juliette's unlikeable. Avery's jealous. Scarlett's sickeningly loyal. Teddy's even shadier than we thought, real estate deal aside. And we didn't even get a song until about 45 minutes into the episode.

Apparently there will be fisticuffs next week. Can't wait.

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