Amazon Contextual Product Ads

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bunheads, a.k.a. Gilmore Girls 2

Did you ever have a really bad day, and then doing something reckless out of exhaustion, frustration, and possibly under the influence of alcohol? That is exactly the premise that Bunheads begins with. Michelle Simms (Broadway star Sutton Foster) is a Vegas showgirl who has given up on her more ambitious dreams. Failing yet another audition, she accepts the kindness of a dorky man who has long admired her (Alan Ruck, Spin City, Persons Unknown). Which leads to her marrying the guy, and moving in with him and his mother in a sleepy town. Yes, this sounds like the mistake to end all mistakes. But from the mind of Amy Sherman-Palladino, the creator of Gilmore Girls, it is simply the beginning of another quirky, fun series.

It's a bold move to kill off the husband at the end of episode one. It would have been nice to see Michelle with her groom for a bit, and Ruck is a wonderful actor. On the other hand, Michelle didn't love him, and even if they were both OK with that for now, that is a status quo that would not have lingered very long. If Ruck's character hadn't died, Michelle would be back on her way to Vegas soon, or would have had to fall in love with him, which didn't seem a likely scenario, especially not in the short term.

So, instead, Bunheads will be about two women brought together by their connection to a man, and how they move on without him, helping each other in unexpected ways. The second woman in this duo is Fanny Flowers (Kelly Bishop, Gilmore Girls), who is Michelle's mother-in-law. Michelle and Fanny quickly discover that, despite a rocky introduction, they have a lot in common. Their bickering is reminiscent of Bishop's previous character's mother-daughter relationship, and remembering that, it's hard not to see warmness present under the surface. These two gals will find their way, probably learning to rely more on each other than either would like to believe right now.

Michelle and Funny have a mission: to turn a young group of girls into fine dancers. This group is less developed in the first episode than the older women, but the basics are there, and surely they will be a large part of the show going forward. Sasha (Julia Goldani Telles) has all of the talent, but none of the desire. Boo (Kaitlyn Jenkins) is the exact opposite, desperately wanting her dream, but lacking in coordination. Melanie (Emma Dumont) just wants to have fun, while Ginny (Bailey Buntain) worries she doesn't have the right build to be a ballerina. Surely, they will all grow and become fantastic. The fun isn't in knowing the outcome, but instead, enjoying their witty dialogue and slow growth. With a cast this good, it should be thoroughly entertaining.

Like Gilmore Girls, Bunheads is set in a sleepy little town, which will likely provide much of the show's charm, as well as a sizable supporting cast of oddballs. In the pilot, viewers are introduced to Truly Stone (Stacey Oristano, Friday Night Lights), a dressmaker and clothing store owner who is in love with Michelle's husband. If the other, soon to be introduced, players are half as interesting as she is, Bunheads has it made.

Yes, it does feel a little bit like Emily Gilmore took over Miss Patty's life on Gilmore Girls and gained a new, unwanted replacement for her daughter, who has the same smart mouth and lack of style. Fanny's dance studio even looks like Miss Patty's! When will Kurt wander in? But for fans of GG, what's so wrong with that? This will definitely fill a void for those missing the show, and it looks like Bunheads is made with the same high quality, and just as much warmth. For that, I am most grateful.

Plus, being on cable, it might get a little more love than network TV would show it. Watch Bunheads Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC Family.

If you like my reviews, please follow me on Twitter!

No comments:

Post a Comment