Bunheads: Teachable Moments

Bunheads S01E07: "What's Your Damage, Heather?"

After an off week, Bunheads returned tonight with an episode full of humor, poise, and Heathers references. When it’s on, this show is light and graceful—like a gazelle, to borrow Davis’s analogy. Except, even better, because this gazelle is pop culture-savvy and loves fried food.

This week, we got to see Michelle as teacher, and the results exceeded my expectations. For the first time since Bunheads premiered, the plot felt entirely cohesive: Everything was intertwined, from Michelle’s plumbing trouble to Ginny’s boyfriend dilemma to Truly’s affection for the one-eyed plumber. Everything was as sharp and funny as it has been in past weeks, but this felt like a fully realized show. Like someone could ask me, “Seriously, what the hell is Bunheads?” and I could point to this episode, and I’d feel pretty good about it.

At first, it almost seemed as though Michelle’s transition to teacher would be too easy: She’s great at dancing and great with the girls. But what I loved about this episode was the way it explored that line between peer and teacher. Michelle doesn’t want to be put in an authority role, but she also gets that she has to step up and be assertive when the situation calls for it. She can’t just let Sasha steal from her or show up late, even if they’ve already bonded over onion rings.

What it comes down to is Michelle’s reluctance to be an adult: “I’m not a disciplinarian. I’m not a grown-up.” She went from Vegas dancer to widowed teacher—that would be a rough transition for anyone, and Michelle has had to do it in a really short period of time. Plus she never really asked for any of this. I wouldn’t say that Hubbel conned her into marriage, but she certainly didn’t give it the proper amount of thought. And Fanny did essentially force Michelle into teaching (even though it’s clearly the role she was meant for).

We didn’t get a full resolution, of course—this will likely be a struggle for Michelle in the coming weeks. But I appreciated the fact that she learned from her experience. “You can’t teach them things if you’re their friend, I guess,” she reflected. And I was glad Nanette was there to put things in perspective: “You’re having a bigger influence on these girls than you think.” The scene encapsulated the episode’s central conflict without moralizing or going the fully maudlin route. We learned a lesson, but it wasn’t shoved down our throats.

As for the girls, I have to say I’m less interested in Sasha’s troubled home life and more fixated on Ginny. Like Michelle, Ginny needs to act her age, and this episode was all about helping her realize she’s too young to be a wife. Without Josh by her side—assuming they don’t patch things up right away—I think Ginny will have more room to develop. Meanwhile, Boo’s useless pining after Charlie is a bit grating, but she’s charming enough overall that I can let it slide. Melanie is really the only weak link. Bunheads needs to give her more to do than just awkwardly flirt with her brother. (Seriously, does no one else find their relationship to be strange?)

There were other little bits that made the episode especially enjoyable. Aside from the aforementioned Heathers reference—I agree with Michelle saying you need to watch it immediately if you didn’t get that—seeing Todd Lowe as Davis the one-eyed plumber was a pleasant surprise. Nowadays he’s best known as Terry on True Blood, but Gilmore Girls fans will remember him fondly as Lane’s bandmate and eventual husband Zach. More Gilmore Girls family on Bunheads, please! I keep waiting for Sean Gunn to pop up in Paradise.

If I had any complaint about the episode it would be the lack of Fanny, who has been on vacation far too long for my liking. (Michelle’s impeccable impression of her mother-in-law almost made up for it.) Even without the Michelle-Fanny interaction, though, "What's Your Damage, Heather?" kept me engaged, and that’s a sure sign the series is coming into its own. The guilty pleasure that drew me in with Sutton Foster and Kelly Bishop continues to prove itself a legitimate joy.


QUESTIONS:

– Will Ginny go out with Charlie just because she can?

– Is this the end of the road for Truly and Davis?

– Would you eat a salad with fries in it?

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Will Ginny go out with Charlie just because she can?

=> I don't want Boo's feelings to be hurt, but since Charlie's a jerk, and Boo deserves a better guy, Ginny can take him.



Is this the end of the road for Truly and Davis?

Hope not!



Would you eat a salad with fries in it?

No. With fried stuff (like cheese), YES, but not with french fries. Yuck!
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Looks like Sean Gunn will be making a guest appearance in episode 9 (according to his bio page on this site). I'm crossing my fingers and hoping he plays a character who comes into town rockin' a "Babette ate oatmeal!" shirt!
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You'll see a shorten schedule for Kelly Bishop on this show..very sad. But that's in her negotiations for doing the show. She lives in NYC.
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I love this show. They can do whatever they want, just keep 'em coming
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And...
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How do you make it so that the more+ doesn't show up?

I want my comments to take up a full page too.
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I simply love this show! And not just because it reminds me of my favourite Gilmore Girls, no. This one has started winning its own place in my heart and I am pleased to notice that it is getting better with every episode. I particularly like Michelle's character, how natural and witty she is, and how often she makes me snort-laugh at her quick remarks. Fresh example from this episode: "Fanny forbids us to eat after sunset, to be exposed on direct sunlight and to bathe in the Ocean" Michelle: "So you're gremlins"...lol!!!
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It's true, I loved this show because it reminded me so much of Gilmore Girls, but it's clearly paving its own way, and getting better each week.
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What she said
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I loved Boo's mom with her magic purse and the crazy mash-up classes that Michelle kept spouting off. It started with hip-hop line dancing (Boo said that both were under-booked so she combined them) and then went wild and crazy from there. I was amazed that Sutton Foster could spout off those crazy long names.
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Will Ginny go out with Charlie just because she can?



I am hoping Ginny does not go out with Charlie because it would be messed up to Boo who is the most loveable character of the bunch. Also even if Ginny got too attached to Josh at too young an age, I think she should try to mourn the relationship, or at the very least pursue another guy. Ginny's mom is crazy though, depend on her daughters bf all this time.







Is this the end of the road for Truly and Davis?



I hope Davis shows up again because Truly needs some happiness even if temporary.





Would you eat a salad with fries in it?



Yes I would and I love that scene as it was the highlight of the show.
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Oh yeah, and I was hoping that Melanie and Charlie wouldn't be adopted siblings, because that somehow seems right for them.
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I too thought that this episode was fantastic, though could possibly have been better with Fanny, because Fanny (read: Kelly Bishop) is awesome. As for Todd Lowe, I'm a huge fan of his, and more of him is awesome, plus this was a great, hilarious role for him. I am liking the Sasha storyline, I don't get your disinterest, but whatever. I think the Ginny thing was good, not because I don't think she and Josh were bad for each other, I actually disagree with that statement, because Josh is pretty okay, but rather because that seems to be the direction in which Ginny was heading.



-I agree that if Ginny goes out with Charlie anytime soon that's pretty right harsh to Boo. She came right out and said she'd never thought of him that way and she's seen Boo pine for him for what I can only assume is at the least months, and possibly years. I'll be the first to say that it's an awesome feeling to know that someone thinks of you that way (I could use a little bit of that myself right now...), but that would not be a good friend thing to do. I have no problem with her dating immediately; I don't think there'll be a 3 month long mourning period because that wouldn't fit with Ginny, but don't have her start with Charlie. That is cruel.

-I certainly hope not. Todd Lowe! Truly! I think this is the beginning of the end of the road for Truly and Hubble. Though that truly (haha, right?) might get stretched out a few more episodes.

-I'd say that it sounds disgusting.... except that I want to try it right now.
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-If Ginny does then she's not a real friend to Boo.



-I hope Truly continues seeing Zach... oops I mean Davis!



-Salad with fries sounds delicious...especially if you have a chocolate milkshake on the side.



Can't wait till next week's episode & Sasha's freakout! Oh and yeah Melanie and her brother argue like a frggin' couple. The first time I saw them on the show together I thought they were a couple... WEIRD!
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another great episode, just awesome, this episode reminded me of Gilmore Girls a lot, GG did a lot with references to ,movies celeb and music etc, but also GG was very funny at times an in NY second the mood changed, last night Bunheads did that as well, Sasha and at the end with BOO and Ginny great great great show that keeps improving each weak, Michelle and a teacher is awesome, Truly should continue seeing Davis, unless BOO takes more interest in Charlie, so that Charlie notices ,Charlie is fair game take that any way you want!!!
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I can't believe I didn't realize Todd Lowe was from Gilmore Girls.



So, when watching this show, my wife usually falls asleep and I'm captivated....sigh.



Really don't care for any of the girls parents on this show. Very one dimensional, no wonder their children aren't more well rounded characters.



Is Ginny's mom Tom's (desperate housewives) other kids mom?

I will give her a step into a second dimension, with her desire for her daughter to continue to date a guy because he helps around the house. And that's she's lying to herself that she's actually looking out for her daughters well being because she found 'a good one'. The break-up should be a big step on Josh's journey out of the closet.
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I think Sutton has the best and funniest lines. Ginny would be a horrible friend if she got together with Charlie. I like the whole Truly & One Eye Davis thing going on. Salad with fries is a maybe.
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I have to disagree. I thought that this was the WEAKEST episode of the show thus far. It almost turned me off completely. The mean-spirited one-eye jokes, the borderline abuse between Melanie and her brother (you call that FLIRTING? Are you serious? I have 4 brothers and would never talk to them like that, nor they me) Sasha's...well, Sasha-ness...I was really disappointed in this episode. As for the questions:



- If Ginny was any friend of Boo's, knowing that boo liked Charlie, I would hope she doesn't. If she does, it will continue the mean-spiritedness that the show is starting to have.



- As Truly is one of the most annoying and inconsistent characters on the show, I really don't care if it is or isn't.



- I don't like salads, but my daughter, who loves both salads and french fries, probably would. I'll have to ask her. But think of this: croutons.
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wow lady, don't take the jokes too seriously, i think they're funny you just have to get the kind of humor this show has.. also, i understand by your comment that you are a mother so of course you don't talk to your brothers like that because you are a grown woman but I have to disagree, I have 3 brothers and I get along with them but we also fight A LOT and where's the fun if you don't? I have to say it is not borderline abuse as you call it.. it seems a bit harsh! they are just brother and sister being annoying at each other. I really loved the episode
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I WAS talking about when I was a child. Of course my siblings and I all get along now, but when we were children, yes there were arguments and fights, but there were never things like blackmail, harsh insults, threats, etc. That's not sibling rivalry; that's need for councelling. Normally this show makes me laugh out loud; this episode barely got a chuckle out of me.
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I agree. This is a very fun show and not to be taken too seriously. It has little to do with real life and therefore all's fair game....
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I actually agree quite a bit with Taccado. Sasha is looking for someone to reach out to her and care. Unfortunately, she went 1 step too far. Sasha just wants parents who care about her as more than their trophy. She wants Boo's Mom.



Fanny, she and Michelle are still the stars to me. I could tune in to watch them constantly. Although, Michelle and Truly are becoming a second.



Boo/Ginny/Charlie thing, I'm not sure. It would be nice to have Ginny have to hide it from both Boo and Melanie.



I hope Davis comes back from time to time.



And Sasha. I'm actually interested in her. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next.



I think Ginny might go out with Charlie. She may realize its not what she wants, she may like him, but i like the idea.



I hope Truly has someone. Davis would be okay, but anyone would be too!



And no... I would eat a salad. I would eat fries, I don't think i would combine them.
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Yeah, this was one of the better episodes. But a missing Fanny does put a dent on the show. She is central character, and I want her back, even though the point of her being away has obviously been to bring Michelle and the girls closer together.

Sasha's outburst about the shirt was also a little sudden, but her being repentant when Michelle yelled at her showed that Sasha clearly just hopes Michelle could be the cool mom figure that she is missing in her life. Boo has a cool mom (or at least a nice one), and Sasha is jealous of that. She clearly thought Michelle would be more tolerant of her behaviour, and even "borrowing" the shirt would be something Michelle would be fine with. And then Sasha was surprised that it didn't go down with Michelle as well as she thought it would.

I agree with Melanie being the weak link. I really see something in that character and it's a shame that she isn't used more.

Wow, I didn't realize Todd Lowe is so young! Usually you can easily add ten years to the age you think an actor is to get their real age. So assumed that Todd (looking 35-ish) might be 45. But Todd is actually just 35! Carrie Preston playing his wife on True Blood is exactly 10 years older.



- The show seems to be one that has all these incidents that could be set-ups for future plot lines, but never lead to anything. That's why I assume that Ginny and Charlie won't go out. However, I hope they would, just to stir things up. Otherwise we won't get to see Boo's reaction to it, and Charlie just remains the guy who randomly fights with Melanie.

- As I said above, many events in this show seem to lead to nothing. And I assume it applies to Truly & Davis too. It was a one off thing to show that Truly wants to get over Hubbell.

- To me, fries is a sallad! I get my 500 g of vegetables a day from fries.
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Very correct about Sasha. I thought that was obvious and that's why no one else had pointed it out yet. It wasn't exactly hidden.
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I really like this episode. I think it was best one since the pilot. Though I liked the episode i'm getting tired of Sasha's mood swings. Also when Ginny's mom was yelling at Michelle I was waiting for her to say that sounds more like he's your husband then Ginny's boyfriend. All and all a good episode and I can't wait for the next one.
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You're tired of a teenage girl? Oh my stop the presses we got a big one here. Lighten up Lacie...
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Oh man I forgot the best part of the whole episode. The patched up raggedy annie doll. That seemed like a mystery lurking there or is just me?
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nice to see guest appearance of Todd Lowe.. Gilmore Girls also made a Driving Miss Daisy reference when Emily had eye surgery and had Lorelai drive her around and ended up showing her that house they were going to buy for her and Luke. I'm confused as to what Sasha's deal is, one episode she'll be nice and one she'll be a jerk, and tonight I don't even know what was going on because she was kind of both. and I like Boo's mom



sure, I'd eat a salad with fries in it, I eat fries dipped in a milkshake/ice scream or put them on my Krystal's burgers (read as White Castle for some).. don't judge me! plus I know people who like them with different salad dressings, so it's about the same anyway
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Really liked this episode. I thought it was over, looked at the clock and realized it was only 9:35. But I was glad to have more [: I agree about Melanie--definitely needs more character development. But am I the only one who thought Michelle was a little harsh on Sash? Maybe it's because I'm not too far out of teen world, myself, where the risk of theft is the daily price of having any kind of possession. Seriously. High school basically runs on a surprise-communism economy.
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Also, just think of how you'd react if some girl you'd just met a month ago walked up to you wearing your T-shirt and acted just that "I don't care" about it. Especially after you've had a full day of teaching that you're not used to, I can easily see something snapping for a second and yelling at the kid for a little bit.
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Sasha cleary wanted some motherly attention and how could you think that teenage girls wouldn' simply adore Michelle. She's way cool...
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