Bunheads: Dirty Dancing

Bunheads S01E08: "Blank Up, It's Time"

Last week’s episode of Bunheads put Michelle in a leadership role and showed how the series could integrate the adults and the teenagers. This week's installment, "Blank Up, It's Time," wasn’t quite as cohesive: Fanny and Michelle got their own stories, outside of teaching. But even if it didn’t all come together, the different parts mostly worked on their own.

Maybe that’s the way it needs to be—silly name or not, Bunheads has a lot of stories to tell. The quiet town of Paradise is surprisingly active, and perhaps there’s too much happening for a more limited focus. Of course, I’m biased toward an episode where the adults get to let loose a little.

Hey, Michelle had sex! And so did Fanny, presumably.

I didn’t realize how much I’d missed Fanny until she was back: Yes, let’s express even more admiration for Kelly Bishop. This week, we got some interesting parallels between Fanny and her daughter-in-law—they both though they knew what they needed from their relationships, but they quickly realized they were wrong. It was nice to see a different side of both of them. Especially Fanny, who’s been a bit of a cold fish until now.

Who knew Fanny had a sort of boyfriend? Her relationship with Michael was exactly the kind I’d imagine her to have—matter-of-fact, convenient, uncomplicated. But as Michelle pointed out, maybe Fanny wanted more from her beau than that. And indeed, by the end of the episode, she’d admitted that she missed him and asked him to stay indefinitely. Fanny isn’t cold: She’s just limited in the way she sees things. It was surely Michelle’s influence that helped her explore a need she didn’t know she had.

And Michelle, who tried to enjoy a little casual sex, realized that she has baggage to work through when she broke down while thinking about Hubbel. Bunheads has kind of brushed past the major character death in the first episode, so on that level, it felt right to finally address it again. But we’re also getting to see more of Michelle, a woman who uses humor (and a very fast speaking pace) to repress the less pleasant aspects of life. It was a bummer to see her break, but it’s also necessary to understanding her as more than a gabby reference machine.

(Quick note: Michelle’s hook-up Conor was played by Chris Eigeman, whom Gilmore Girls fans will remember as Lorelai’s boyfriend Jason. Can we get a GG actor in every episode? I’m into this.)

As for the dance studio side of things, Sasha continued to flip out and eventually chose cheerleading over dance. Um, okay. I get that she’s having trouble at home, but I still think this story is clunky. She goes from rebellious tan lines to blue hair? And then she joins the cheerleading squad? It’s an assemblage of clichés that don’t really work for me. I swear I don't set out to rag on her every week—I think Julia Goldani Telles is one of the show’s most captivating actors. I just can’t bring myself to care about Sasha and her mood swings.

Boo’s budding romance with Carl, however—that I’m into. Of course she’d end up falling for the awkward guy she didn’t want to be paired with. But obvious or not, it was cute. And how obnoxious of Melanie and Ginny to tell him off: So far, Carl’s only fault seems to be that he does a Stewie Griffin impression, which is usually the sign of a tool. I’m hoping Boo can get past her friends’ disapproval and finally move on to someone who isn’t Charlie.

And the dancing! The dancing was charming and lovely. I keep forgetting all of these young actors are dancers, too, so it’s always a pleasant surprise to see them in action. It's easy to get lost in the performances: Throw in a couple dances and an uneven episode’s flaws melt away.


QUESTIONS:

– Was it too soon after Hubbel’s death for Michelle to sleep with Conor?

– Which Gilmore Girls actor are you dying to see on Bunheads?

– How long until Sasha gets an attitude adjustment and rejoins Fanny’s class?

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Loved seeing Kent from SYTYCD!
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Sashas parents don't give a s***. She is acting out like any teenager does at one point (when growing up it's normal to test your parents' patience in order to see how far you can go with a certain behaviour), but since she can't make her parents react she simply (probably subconciously) found someone else to play the part. She just needs to know that someone cares enough to yell at her and I can toally understand why she does what she does. (My sister was (sometimes still is) just as rebellious as her - except she's acting out towards my parents ;) )
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I love this show and the reviews! I'm looking forward to the finale, but am hoping it comes back quick!



-It wasn't too soon for the casual tryst, I guess, but maybe, since she actually realized she missed him.



-Sean Gunn, Scott Patterson, Michael Winters, David Sutcliffe, Keiko Agena,yYanic Truesdale, Liza Weil, and Danny Strong.



-Sasha might make it back for the finale. It isn't much of a cliffhanger.
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- no way! i thought it took too long actually... cuz we all know hubbel wasn't her soulmate anyway...

- KIRK!

- i don't mind really cuz i like her being a rebel lol
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I find the kids storylines better then adults but still good show.
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Did anyone else notice that Fanny's two main relationships are with Michael and Michelle, male and female versions of the same name?
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Loved this episode. Carl was awesome! Hey, I know this was the point, but I think I'll be stuck my whole life wondering what the "blank" was in "Blank Up, It's Time"...
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It absolutely has to be "sack"; there's nothing else that makes sense.
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This episode was a VAST improvement over last week's downer! Probably my favorite episode of the season thus far. The dancing was incredible. (I disagree with what you said about a couple dance sequences melting away an episode's flaws: a few eps back, the totally random and disconnected dance at the end of the episode WAS the flaw.)



- I don't care for the concept of casual sex, so no: she should not have slept with Conor. I loved her breakdown. She discovered something about herself there.



- Never saw Gilmore Girls and am sick to death of the references. Just because it's the same creator doesn't mean it has to be the same show.



- I think Sasha will rebel for a few weeks until she realizes that ballet is her life...and gets over herself.
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It might not have to be the same show, but it is really close.. That is why the references.
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u r just not enjoying the gg references cuz, as u've pointed out, u've never watched it, cuz if u had, u'd be loving it

it has nothing to do with being the same show! they're just REFERENCES
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sasha's atittude its kinda nice actually...wait for it... because she is the main confused and mean character, we need her. the public needs a girl who makes us say: what are you thinking girl? i like her but i prefer her a little por b*tchy

- it was jus right for her to sleep with a guy and then cry afterwards... i was just about to forget about her widow status

- i am dying to see lorelai... not gonna happen but still it would be nice

-at least 3 episodes according to me xD
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we need someone with a little attitude. Sasha makes me think of Paris on Gilmore Girls. Boo Roy and Michelle is Lorali with her quirky remarks. Fammy is still Emily in some ways.
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-See, I thought that this portrayal of Michelle was just about perfect. It's much more in her character to have something more along the line of a quick fling than was her marriage to Hubbel. But given the rather quick step away from the Hubbel conversation, I thought this was a perfect moment for her to be confronted with her husband's quick and untimely demise.

-I would absolutely LOVE to see, as I'm sure many others, Sean Gunn. Apart from that, I really could get behind seeing an Edward Hermann appearance.

-I say that takes another 4 or 5 episodes, so that's hanging over our heads through the "summer finale" and into the next couple episodes whenever on earth the show starts up again.



And I am really getting a kick out of every single dance sequence they include. Absolutely, more please!!! Boo is a gem of this show, too. Good stuff.
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I love Boo and Carl!!! Loved seeing Digger. I missed Fanny!
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Oh, and all the Boo we can take - which is a lot I'm sure. Boo is the sweetheat of all time and everyone knows it...
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Totally agree with you on the Boo issue!!!
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I truly missed Truly this week. I find Sasha's story not all that unreal and a cry for help. She is a wonderful dancer and actress and will deliver in the end I believe. I don't always agree with the twists and turns of our story but I'm usually happy with it when its done. I'm truly amazed and delighted with the frequency this show appears on my TV and I fear heavy withdrawl issues for many when it takes its first break. I'm hoping it regenerates with the frequency of The Secret Life of the American Teenager which I used to like and have since strayed as it seemed to lose track of itself. Anyone from GG is certainly welcome, of course but I find it quite unnecessary to tell Amy Sheridan Pallidino her business. Season 7 off GG was dismal without her so I for one choose to let her do her thing and enjoy it. My question is, what would a mash-up of Amy and Aaron Sorkin be like...
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I couldn't agree more with everything you said! (especially season 7 of GG). I can't wait for more all the time!
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- I do think that it was very soon after Hubbel's death for Michelle to hook up, but the fact that she had the breakdown made it make sense to me.



- I wanna see Scott Patterson (Luke) or Milo Ventimiglia (Jess) or Jackson Douglas (Jackson) on the show next! That would be great! Of course it would be amazing to give us Lorelai or Rory... but I don't really see that happening.



- I give Sasha until the end of the next episode to come to her senses. Dance is too important for her and she is too good at it to leave it for long.
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They have got to find roles for Kirk-make him some straight laced smart guy(a banker type),Luke-make him one of the girl's dad, make Patty one of Michelle's friends from Vegas,have Michele be a choregrapher Fanny uses, & of course Taylor Dosey. But of course she needs to find a spot for Richard! Make him a quirky Kirk like character. Just make sure he has no contact with Fanny. That would be too weird.
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Kirk is on next week. Guess we will see what the plan is!
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They way they've been playing the Sasha situation is more like this. They keep putting her in a situation were she goes head to head with either Michelle or Fanny, two authority figures she likes and respects, not because she's being a brat but because she wants to hear no for once from a responsible adult. Whenever they start yelling at her she always looks like she holding something back, maybe even a literal cry for help. They've sort of stunted her characters emotional growth and all the teens of

Paradise or maybe I just think that because I live in LA where everyone has pretty much been divorced at least once. I guess I should assume that the writers are following what would actually happen in a sleepy little town. Sasha is the beautiful, talented, neglected little rich girl who hasn't been control of her life for awhile now and so she uses her weapons, her body and her teen angst, to hide and reveal that she's only somethingteen and needs guidance. I don't think she has mood swings or needs attitude adjustment I think something just had to break under the pressure of all her parents hating each other and it just happened to be just before the show season rather than during. Plus Sasha can't talk to her friends because she feels like they'll pity her which they do and she represses rather than expresses. She know the only two people she could trust to tell it to her straight and give her a little dose of tough love are Fanny and Michelle. I like Sasha I can sympathize but the show has shown that they can move on from her. It was never the Sasha show maybe in Paradise but from the television screen she's just a small fish in a an ocean. So I'm not worried when they focus on her.
More+
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Very well said. The teens on this show act like teens should, or rather do, in real life. Amy Sherman Pallidino - I'm not sure why I call her Sheridan at times and I apologize for that - gets it and is a genius when it comes to storytelling. This show is so very GG but yet it's not as it has a life of its own. I don't pine for any of the GG characters and the similarity between Michelle and Lorelei is quite acceptable. I confess I didn't get on board with Parenthood even though I like Lauren Graham very much - and what's Rory up to these days besides hanging with Dr Who?

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I liked how the dialogue referred back to the show at the beginning when the girls watched Ginger Rogers' dance:

- "They talked faster back then. It's funnier when it's faster."

- "They would shoot a whole dance sequence in one shot, no editing." (For example Sasha's dance at the end of episode six.)
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It's fun, isn't it :)
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The GG actors popping up each episode is amazing. I would love Lorelai, Kirk, Taylor Doosy hell lets just bring the whole crew over. It's not like they're doing much. As far as the episode goes I too missed Fanny. I love her lover and I hope he sticks around for more kinky breakfast.
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Kirk is on next week! Enjoy!
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Obviously, Michelle thought she was ready, but her reaction said the opposite and I think it was too soon. We haven't really seen Michelle grieve for Hubbel. I'm not saying she needs to crawl into bed in a pair of black pajamas and spend a month sobbing uncontrollably, but a few scenes where she talks about him, their relationship, missing him would suffice.



I would love to see Lauren Graham make a little cameo. Seeing she and Michelle have war of wits and talking speed would be worth watching. I think Liz Torres would be a fitting guest star as well.



I don't have a guess as to when Sasha is going to get a well deserved kick in the butt, but I hope it's soon.
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Straightening out teens is not as easy as TV would suggest in most instances. I think Amy Sherman is getting it right quite regularly, so don't guess just enjoy...
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