From Vegas to Paradise: “Bunheads” Review

Written by Hana Elniwairi July 18, 2012

Every moment you waste in life is a sin; nothing waits for you, it all just moves along.

What is it?

“Bunhead” is the story of a Vegas show-girl, Michelle (Sutton Foster) who, after getting rejected at an audition before she even spoke two words, gets drunk and marries a long-time admirer of hers, Hubbell (Alan Ruck). So cliche, right? Well, that would be very true, and perhaps turn out quite disasterous, but this show is coming from the hands of Amy Sherman-Palladino, the creator of another incredibly successful TV show, by the name of “Gilmore Girls”. You probably haven’t heard of it; it’s a little old show nobody knew about at all.

That being said, “Bunheads” could very well become a very enjoyable, very popular show. The failed dancer story is merely the beginning, as Michelle soon finds herself in Paradise, a small town in California, where there is little to do or see, frankly. There, she meets Hubbell’s mother, Fanny, who is just a little bit (or a lot!) less than happy about her son’s impromptu marriage.

Who’s in it?

We are first introduced to flighty Michelle, played by Tony-award winner Foster, who has dreams and aspirations, but cannot seem to make them go anywhere. The audience is rather cleverly tricked into assuming that a main focus of the show will be Michelle adjusting to her life as Hubbel’s wife and perhaps learning to love him, but this may not be the case.

Instead, a more important character appears to be Hubbel’s mother, Fanny, played by Kelly Bishop. If she looks familiar, fear not, because you probably remember her as Emily Gilmore, Rory’s grandmother in “Gilmore Girls”. Interestingly enough, Bishop’s new character is very similar to Emily Gilmore, in terms of her relationship with Michelle, but the difference lies in the life she leads. Unlike Emily, Fanny appears a lot more free-spirited, and, despite first impressions, a lot more like Michelle than she lets on. Their relationship will most definitely be very intriguing, and perhaps not as smooth as you’d think, naturally.

Where’s it heading?

“Bunheads” could potentially become a very popular show, but there are a couple of future pitfalls it might encounter. First of all, while the flighty dancer who lost her way schtick seems interesting for now, there is the possibilty that it could get old rather fast. Michelle’s character is interesting, but it is difficult to see where else she might go in terms of her career and such. Sure, becoming a dance teacher seems a viable option, but judging by the way things went down in the pilot, that route could be way too easy, and perhaps end up being a dead end. I was looking forward to seeing Michelle attempt to perhaps fall in love with Hubbel, but again, it does not seem like that is where the show is heading.

However, that being said, the show’s title characters, the Bunheads themselves, have quite a bit of potential. At least two of them (Katelyn Jenkin’s Boo, and Julia Goldani Telles’ Sasha) were given a chance to shine in the pilot, and hopefully, we will see a lot more of them. Sasha’s apparent disdain for dance despite her immense talent is particularly interesting, especially in contrast with Boo’s passion for the art and her insecurity about her abilities.

My Rating (so far): 7/10

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About Hana Elniwairi

Hana is a student at UWO, studying Psychology and Creative Writing. She enjoys watching movies and TV, no matter how much she complains about them or claims otherwise.

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