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Bunheads- “Pilot”

Bunhead: A nickame for ballet dancers named after their hairstyle.

I didn’t know why this show was called Bunheads. The name for this show should have seemed obvious to me. Then again, the last time I took a dance class I was five years old and I thought I looked ridiculous. Ballet is a kind of art form I never got into, but I think Bunheads is the show that expresses that passion. Bunheads comes from creator Amy-Sherman Palladino, who is mostly known for creating Gilmore Girls.

All the commercials have been advertising it as, “From the creator of Gilmore Girls” to get some viewers like myself to reeled in, and while I haven’t watched Gilmore Girls in awhile, it was one of the few shows I’ve watched on the WB, aside from 7th Heaven. Luckily, this is one of the shows to look forward to this summer

The series stars Sutton Foster as Michelle Sims, a Vegas showgirl who hasn’t broke out into the dancing world she once dreamed of. Michelle has an admirer (or stalker, give or take) Hubbell played by the excellent Alan Ruck, who always compliments her and greets her with flowers whenever he is in town. She has no interest in going out with him, even though the other showgirls would in a heartbeat (keyword: money). A friend of Michelle’s lands her an audition, but unfortunately she doesn’t even get the chance to dance. One look from the director, and she receives an automatic “No”. That moment would tear anyone’s heart into pieces. This experience is relatable to anyone who’s ever been the victim of rejection.

Hubbell shows up once again, and Michelle lets him know her audition did not go as planned. She finally lets him take her out to dinner, so she can go drown her sorrows in expensive drinks. Hubbell proposes a crazy idea: to marry and live with him. Michelle is not going for it at all, but next scene shows them driving away from Vegas into his small hometown. Michelle falls in love with the view from her bedroom, and it seems like she has had the right decision. Then we meet Hubbell’s mom Fanny (Kelly Bishop!) who also lives with her son. PLOT TWIST!

Fanny is furious to find out that her son got married and that she wasn’t even so much as invited. She decides to throw a wedding reception at their home and invites the whole neighborhood. Rumors float around that Michelle os a stripper/prostitute because this is what people in a small town do! Especially when it doesn’t help when you have sex upstairs while the party is going on! What a hussy! (That’s what my Gilmore Girl-y old lady character would say.)

Fanny has words with Hubbell and Michelle, resulting in Michelle storming out into Fanny’s ballet school. She sees some of the girls from Fanny’s class drinking beer, because that party is SO lame, am I right? After the girls find out she’s a professional dancer, Michelle teaches them what to do during an audition. After Fanny witnesses what Michelle is teaching, she’s realizing she’s much more than a Vegas showgirl. They go out to the local bar, have some shots and dance together. This is a nice moment, until the neighborhood girl who was in love with Hubbell delivers some bad news: Hubbell was hit by a car looking while he was looking for them. REAL PLOT TWIST.

This is a lot coming from just the pilot. i didn’t think the Hubbell character was going to last, but I didn’t think he would die! It seems that the show knows where the story is going, and I am excited to see the journey of Fanny and Michelle.

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