BUNHEADS: 1.01 “Pilot”
I’m sure we’ve already had enough of the comparisons between Amy Sherman-Palladino’s new show Bunheads and her previously successful series Gilmore Girls. And I promise, I’ll get it out of my system quick. But I can’t help but compare the two: the small sleepy town with quirky characters, the recurring faces (did anyone else spy Gypsy in there?), and the fast talk. There were times that certain lines of Fanny’s could have been taken right out of Emily Gilmore’s living room. Heck, even the music was the same; I think I even heard Sam Phillips in there.
To be fair, many people probably tuned in to last night’s Bunheads because of the connection with the Gilmore Girls creator. I mean, that’s why I did. And in the end, we’ve got a brand-new series on our hands with a brand-new plot and brand-new characters.
So let’s look at that, and we’ll start with Michelle. Michelle, well, I can’t quite put my finger on whether I like her or not. There have been a lot of comparisons with Lorelai Gilmore (including a discussion I had with my own mother), but Lorelai, she is not. She’s ok, sure. But there’s a cuteness factor that I’m just kind-of missing. I don’t think she’s likable enough for my tastes, at least right now. My guess: She grows on you. Fortunately, I liked what I saw enough to feel like I want to see if that’s true.
The first episode was decent. I personally like Fanny, even in her Emily modes, and the scene at the end with Fanny and Michelle dancing together was genuinely fun. Seeing them relate to each other and their dancing careers was also interesting. These women have something they can build a relationship on.
Of course, all that is put on hold when Truly comes in with the news about Hubbell. In all honestly, I didn’t see Hubbell’s death coming. I didn’t really think he fit in with the show, so I’m ultimately not surprised, but I was imagining him to be more of a silent party, the husband that traveled and wasn’t around much. I was genuinely sad to hear about Hubbell’s accident, and I have no idea where it goes from here. Clearly, Michelle will be staying in town (after all, it’s only the start of the series), but why is still up in the air. It could be to help out Fanny. It could be to help out the girls. It could be that that moment in the bedroom put a mini-Hubbell in Michelle. I guess we’ll find out. All of these are just hypotheses. All I do know is that Michelle doesn’t really have all that much to return to.
As for the town, well, that’s my only issue with the show. It seems…too quirky? Is that possible? And I think that has to do with the names: Boo, Hubbell, Truly… I mean, really? You can still be quirky, even without the quirky names to match.
But there is some good room for growth, and personally, I want to see where it goes. Will it be more about Michelle and Fanny? How will the ballerinas play into their lives? Are they more just supporting characters like they were in this episode?
In other words, the episode offers something familiar (maybe too familiar) but still unique. It was a good introduction to a new series with a stunning end, but all arrows point to a hazy future we can’t yet see.
I’ll be checking it out again next week because, let’s be honest, I just need to know what’s going to happen next. Will you be watching? And what did you think?