Bunheads is the tale of a Las Vegas showgirl who impulsively marries a man, moves to his sleepy coastal town, and takes an uneasy role at her new mother-in-law’s dance school.–Amazon
I loved Gilmore Girls. Well, okay, I loved the first three seasons of Gilmore Girls and then tolerated the later seasons because they weren’t the same. So when I found out that the creator of Gilmore Girls, Amy Sherman-Palladino, was creating a new show I was all over it. I was ready for it. This show did not disappoint. Yes, it was slow to start, and the first episode ends with this amazing yet scary cliffhanger and although the series has its ups and downs it is a slice of perfection all on its own.
Bunheads is the story of Michelle Simms, a former ‘bunhead’ or ballerina who ends up being a Las Vegas showgirl. She has a persistent admirer named Hubbell who offers her marriage after seeing her show for the umpteenth time. After noticing her life is at a dead end and her career is nothing she dreamed of she takes him up on the offer and ends up moving to his small, sleepy coastal down of Paradise, California. If you watched Gilmore Girls, Paradise will look familiar to you. Even some of the locals will look familiar to you.
In Paradise, California, Michelle ends up helping her mother-in-law, Fanny Flowers, who is enraged that her only son would not only elope, but elope in Vegas with a showgirl. Fanny however teaches at the local ballet school, the Paradise Dance Academy. This is a perfect thing for them to bond over, right? Not really. Fanny is stuck in her ‘old’ ways, and Michelle likes to mix it up.
Although there is a giant group of students that Fanny teaches, which is quite shocking for such a small town, the show focuses on a core group of four. You have Bettina, or Boo, who is an amazing dancer and gives it her all; however, because she is big boned, the dance world doesn’t really take her seriously, but it is clear that her family and friends love her no matter what. Then there is Sasha, the head of the group you could say, and often seen as the asshole. This is of course seen because she is considered to be the best dancer in the class, and is held to much higher standards than the rest of the class. Even with all of this going for her, her family life sucks and she is often jealous of her friends for what they have going for her. The third girl in the group is Ginny. Ginny’s mom is a wee bit crazy and this often effects Ginny to the point she is high strung and while her life isn’t remotely how she often wishes it would be it is clear that she loves dancing and her friends. Lastly, there is Melanie. Melanie is bitter, sarcastic and snarky. She calls out anyone when they are being annoying and deserve to be called out.
Although the four of them should probably never work as friends, they do, plus they look to Michelle and Fanny for leadership even though Michelle and Fanny, at the beginning, differ a lot. Over the beginning of the first half of the first season (ABC Family’s schedule is a bit weird) Fanny and Michelle begin to work together and realize they have more in common than they thought and continue to work together to not only change the school for the better but their lives.
To me, it is exciting to see how this show is different from Gilmore Girls, and it is, but also how same it is with the “la la las” and the guest stars.