“Bunheads” Recap: Pilot
This new summer show is smart and entertaining without an excess of drama and crazy out the question plot twists, which is a refreshing change to the inundating amounts of over the top yet entertaining shows out there. Bunheads’ creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, who is better known for being the creator of the hit TV series Gilmore Girls has struck gold again with Bunheads, which has that unassuming likeability and genuine relatable nature that iconic series tend to have.
The pilot starts off in Vegas where we meet Michelle Simms played by Sutton Foster in an opening showgirl number, which honestly is as iconic Las Vegas as it gets. You’re instantly captivated by Michelle with her humor and sharp remarks about life and people around her, which you witness from the start as she makes blunt yet witty comments about the topless less talented showgirls onstage while performing. Michelle’s life is dysfunctional and she knows it and you love her for it because behind all the imperfection her shear honesty is endearing. For Gilmore Girls fans in some ways Michelle is reminiscent of Lorelai Gilmore in the sense that she’s the opposite of put together but yet you can’t help but want to be her or be around her because she embraces who she is and doesn’t apologize for it.
Michelle enters the dressing room prepared to quickly leave and call it night in order to be well rested for her big audition for "Chicago." However before Michelle can make it out Hubble, who she calls her weird stalker shows up looking for her. Hubble is a determined guy who’s been after the affection of Michelle from the moment he first saw her dance --he is what you call relentless. He comes to Vegas every month just to see Michelle as always Hubble brings flowers and gifts for her despite her always coming up with any excuse under the moon not to have to talk or go to dinner with him and this time is no exception.
Michelle’s "Chicago" audition goes nowhere since she not even allowed to dance for the director who simply dismisses her. After having her dreams crushed she runs into Hubble who once again comes to see her after her show with flowers and a beautiful watch, which brings an already emotional Michelle to tears who doesn’t understand why he’s so nice to her despite her always blowing him off. She agrees to go dinner with him and it’s there that Hubble proposes to Michelle the idea of marrying him and letting him take care of her and she agrees.
They move to Hubble's town of Paradise, which turns about to be this cute little town where everyone knows each other and has no real form of entertainment since the only movie theatre closed down. Hubble’s house turns out to be a packrat’s dream which he explains is the result of his mom having decorated the place. The one room that doesn’t make Michelle want to run for the hills is Hubble's large room with a view of the beach that leaves you breathless. While enjoying a perfect moment Hubble’s mom Fanny pops up who is opinionated and quick witted. Michelle is thrown for a loop when she finds out Fanny lives with Hubble. Her response is priceless “you live with your mom like a serial killer.”
Fanny doesn’t take the news of Hubble getting married all too well but decides to invite the town over for a wedding party. Michelle is then forced to go out and buy something nice for the party, which is where she meets Hubble’s hysterical ex-girlfriendwho is just short of crazy and still in love with Hubble. The party doesn’t run smoothly in the slightest especially with the whole town coming up with stories that Michelle is a pole dancerand virtually every crazy thing under the sun.
With all the whispering about her Michelle escapes to Hubble’s room where he follows her. They share a moment of pure honesty. They end up kissing and sleeping together while the party is going on, which Fanny makes known to everyone at the party. Michelle completely humiliated leaves the party and ends up in Fanny’s dance studio with her dance students, the bunheads as Michelle calls them. She takes them through what a dance audition is like and gives Bettina confidence, a bunhead who has a true love for dancing but isn’t your typical ballerina.
The episode ends with Michelle and Fanny having an honest heart to heart over shots where they come to an understanding of each other. Michelle even admits she doesn’t love Hubble but would love to be able to love him.
The pilot ends with Michelle and Fanny finding out that something happened to Hubble while he was out driving looking for them. Next week we find out the fate of Hubble and what it all means for Michelle.
Reach reporter Pheobe Abraham here.