Bunheads: Inherit the Wind

What does everyone who has no job and finds themselves in a new town need? Friends? In the case of “Bunheads,” Amy Sherman-Palladino gives our main character independence and a reason to stay in the small town. We didn’t really think she was going to return to Vegas where she was already burning out, did we? This episode if available on-demand.

At this point, we have Michelle (Sutton Foster) freed from a loveless marriage of convenience by having her husband of less than a week, Hubbell (Alan Ruck), die off-screen in an auto accident. We don’t see his funeral, not really. We don’t want to get into real emotion. Fanny (Kelly Bishop), Hubbell’s mother is the only one who shows real sadness over his death and she goes into melodramatic overdrive by attempting to have a wake that would have rivaled Tom Cruise’s third wedding if Cruise were Tibetan Buddhist instead of weirded-out Scientologist.

The big surprise at the end of the last episode, “For Fanny,” was that Hubbell changed his will. Instead of leaving it all to his dear mom, Fanny, he left it all to Michelle. That’s a lot to do in less than a week–something like two days or less.

So now Michelle learns that the house is just part of an estate. That comes from Clair, a real estate agent who comes over with a friendly food offering and takes Michelle around to explain all the problems Michelle must deal with–gardening, forestry, a septic tank. Apparently Hubbell took care of all because Fanny is helpless and Michelle is also pretty  helpless having lived only in apartments and never long-term.

We also learn that Hubbell was in-the-closet cool. No he wasn’t gay. He had a red restored Mustang convertible. You think he’d have taken that to Vegas just to impress this showgirl he had been semi-stalking. Did Hubbell impress you as a red sports car kind of guy. Well, maybe his father (in another movie but that was a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT) or maybe Hubbell has already hit his midlife crisis.

In any case, writer Sarah Dunn now has provided Michelle with a cool ride ad a meet-cute for her real reason for staying. Another rich guy and this one a geek, but a cool geek named Grant. Grant has loads of money that he made in Silicon Valley and he has a telescope where he spies on various things like the coast and the nude beach. Unfortunately, both Grant and Michelle agree that the people who want to be on a nude beach aren’t really fun to look at nude.

Back at the ballet class, we learn that Boo (Kaitlyn Jenkins) has a crush on Melanie’s (Emma Dumont) older brother and Sasha’s mother is cold while Boo’s mother is cool in the loving sort of way. The little bunheads are also entering a competition for the ugliest set of feet (part of the dues one’s body pays for dancing). Then there’s that Joffrey Ballet summer audition thing that apparently is cancelled. Do we care?

We can’t have Fanny living with the ever-so-rich Michelle any more, especially if we want there to be the possibility of romance between Michelle and Grant so there just happens to be a guest house on the seven-acre estate and Michelle moves in. This is only day three of Michelle’s life in Paradise, California and for a sleepy small town, things certainly move fast. How long before Grant and Michelle are a couple? Or will this be a classic will-they, won’t they tension to keep this plodding little series going? Wouldn’t it be more interesting if Fanny found someone and that someone was Grant?

About Jana J. Monji

I've written for the Rafu Shimpo, LA Weekly, LA Times, Examiner.com and, more recently, the Pasadena Weekly and RogerEbert.com. I formerly worked for a dot-com more interested in yodeling than its customers.

Posted on July 6, 2012, in TV series and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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