Lamar did die. But first, let’s catch up with the “younger crowd.”
Juliette’s new song, “Don’t Put Dirt on My Grave Just Yet,” may as well have been her plea to longtime manager Glenn, who just wanted to run away and leave her to a second-wind career as a smoky-eyed tween dreamcatcher. (I’m just going to recap as if things are normal, but wasn’t that basically what Juliette was already — a scantily clad nationwide hit with teens? Let’s not get too crazy about the difference between Nashville and the rest of the world here. I mean, I know it’s its own planet and everything, but come on!)
After a positive writeup in the New York Times (ONE glowing blog item and suddenly she’s ready to dive back into her career? Sorry, I’ll stop!), the Lady Barnes heads to Los Angeles for an image transformation via sleazy megaproducer Howie V (Michael Chernus, Orange is the New Black). It’s onto the “bigger and better,” whatever that means. All Juliette wants to do is rock a Rayna-rivaling “loose waves” hairstyle at home, cuddle with Avery, and bask in her new boyfriend’s perfect arrangement of her song. But Howie wants her to use a glitzy orchestra.
Highlight: Glenn’s “not buyin’ it” face
But wait, okay, now I really don’t get it. This orchestra was AMAZING. Did you see that conductor pouring his very life force into each twitch and cue? The glamorous harp player?! The vigorous string section? Juliette’s killer tailored black jacket? It was all working for me. (Maybe because This! is what I wish the American Idol live shows could be every night. Click over here to see my recap of that.)
Juliette Barnes: The real American idol.
Anyway, that orchestra ruled. But Howie V. wants more than an orchestra. Howie V. thinks his new pet needs to start thinking bigger than Nashville and move out to L.A. “New look, new home, new you, right?” Wrong. “Gotta strip that country twang out of your voice, and the transformation will be complete.” OH HELL NO.
And get this — though I may not even be able to type it, because I’m dying laughing at just the thought of it again — if Juliette’s willing to stick around for a photo shoot the next day, Howie V.’s good friend at Rolling Stone might put her on the cover. Ahhhhh ha ha ha ha ha! THAT IS NOT HOW THE COVER OF ROLLING STONE WORKS. Just ask Drake. Something else will always come up.
Glenn has enough loyalty to Juliette that he sticks around for the beginning of the shoot, even though his client is now the gothier “decorated dead bird” version of Dirrty-era Christina Aguilera:
But Howie V. demanding that Glenn make a coffee run for all the rich young Hollywood monsters — well, that was the last straw.
NEXT PAGE: Sign me up for the Avery-Zoey-Gunnar happy hour