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Bunheads: The Small Town Gets Bigger

Bunheads S01E02: "For Fanny"

For anyone who missed the first episode of Bunheads, here’s a quick summary care of our leading lady Michelle: “Well, we got here. I bought a dress. Went to a party. Fought with his mom. Had sex. Danced with his mom. He got in a car accident, and now he’s dead.”

The premiere of Bunheads ended on a dark note, as we learned that Hubbel--Michelle’s husband of about a day--had been killed in a car accident. It was a bold move for ABC Family’s new series, and that bleakness and melancholy carried into this week's second episode, "For Fanny." Bunheads could have become a total downer, but luckily the show is already proving itself adept at walking the comedy-drama line.

Leave it to Amy Sherman-Palladino to know exactly how to get the best of our emotions: Gilmore Girls was the same way, blending light banter and small-town problems with serious life issues and the occasional punch to the gut. It’s trite to say that a series can make you laugh and cry--and frankly, there are plenty that can do both--but Bunheads seems to be following the Gilmore Girls tradition of flitting around tones so seamlessly that it never seems manipulative or heavy-handed.

Just as importantly, Bunhead’s second episode expanded the town of Paradise: This isn’t Stars Hollow, but it’s full of just as many quirky secondary characters for our core cast to interact with. Gilmore Girls was always about the relationship between Lorelei and Rory, but it wouldn’t have been the same without Babette or Miss Patty or--God help me--Taylor Doose. These are the oddballs who made small-town life seem so appealing (or at least entertaining to watch), and I’m glad Bunheads is on track to give us equally memorable weirdos.

I’m sure everyone else watching Bunheads squealed with the delight at the introduction of Ellen Greene. (Just me, then? Fine.) She was a joy to watch on Pushing Daisies, though most of us will forever associate her with her role as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors. Greene herself is enough to get me watching a show, but her character is already leading the pack of charming strangeness: she does found-object sculptures (which led to a scene in which she basically asked Michelle what Hubbel looked like naked) and makes observations like, “I just think the town could use a woman who used to be a man.”

Then there’s Rico, because every town needs a gruff but lovable bartender to confide in. He and Michelle both hate brunch: What are the odds? And Truly, the woman in love with Hubbel, continues to waver between pathetic and really creepy, insisting that she be able to call Fanny “Mom.” Michelle even picked up a dog, apparently, after an old man asked her to walk it--and presumably take care of it for the rest of its life. I don’t want to live in Paradise (yet), but I’m definitely down to hang out there once a week.

I think I gushed enough about leads Sutton Foster and Kelly Bishop last week, so I’ll just say that they continue to do great work. The bickering and the grieving and the bonding: This pair just belongs together. Throw in the four young ballet dancers—I’m still getting a handle on these girls, but I definitely appreciated them more this week—and you’ve got the makings of ABC Family’s next hit. I’ve felt compelled to explain to friends turned off by the title “Bunheads” (and I can’t exactly blame them) that this show is already a lot better than anyone is giving it credit for.

And to those of us concerned that the series wouldn’t provide Michelle with a legitimate reason to stay in Paradise, "For Fanny" ended with the revelation that Hubbel had left everything to her--she now owns the house, which I guess makes Fanny her tenant? Look, it’s kind of a silly conceit, like so much of what Bunheads has given us so far, but it also solves the problem of keeping Michelle around, and I’m looking forward to seeing what new sparks fly between the odd couple now forced to share a roof.


QUESTIONS:

1. Will Fanny accept that Hubbel left the house to Michelle, or are we in for a legal battle over ownership?

2. Are you a Sasha, a Boo, a Melanie, or a Ginny?

3. Hubbel’s best friend Jerry: definite new love interest for Michelle?

Comments (56)
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I can't help wondering if they're going to make Michelle pregnant. They seem to be making a big deal of reminding us that she and Hubbel had sex.
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Let's just hope that it doesn't turn into Gilmore Girls, because that show tripped after losing it's balance of drama and comedy. When the drama was just so much you thought you might drown in it (because people created problems where there are none and started behaving really stupid to make those problems stick), that's when I dropped the show.

So far I love Bunheads! Looking forward to the next episode full of funny banter.
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I did not watch Gilmore Girls, but so far I am enjoying this series. I love ballet, and I love the quirkiness of the characters, especially the older generation.
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3. i thought that also but it'd be kinda creepy so i hope it's not
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I dont want to get my hopes up, but so far I really like it although I saw only half of Gilmore Girls.
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Truley enjoyed Gilmore Girls, Bunheads waiting to see how it grows. Figures Boo was the mousey one on the premiere, not on this episode. Wait til we find out that the party sex leads to a baby! Wow won't we be surprized.
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Never watched Gilmore Girls but I love the creative writing on this show. I love Sutton Foster and it cool seeing Gregg Henry again. I like the adults more than the ballerinas so far but I am hooked on the show. Wish Hubbell was back though!

And man, the actress from Friday Night Lights has a complete turnaround for a character. From stripper to meek mouse.
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Watch Gilmore Girls. Now! Hahah. It is amazing. :) If you like this you will one hundred million percent like GG.
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Watching Michelle is like watching a young Lauren Graham on Gilmore Girls and I will watch Bunheads just to have that dynamic back!!

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Actually, like all the characters here, Boo's a keeper...
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Like the show but don't like the teenagers. Don't know why, just don't.
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gilmore girls moments: 1. mitchum hutzberger!

2. think of england!



michelle is getting funnier and quicker. the whole "crisis mode" thing is very lorelai gilmore.
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this show just gets better! and all you peeps saying you;ve never watched gilmore girls seriously need to, stat.

1. i think the next episode will start like this one where fanny and michelle are at odds again but i highly doubt michelle would just kick her out so i think they might work it out.

2. i like melanie the best, her slightly airheaded energy is so much fun to watch. although i have to ask, what name in the english language could "boo" possibly be short for???

3. possibly.

4. were they talking about a real mark wahlberg movie? if so, which one??
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Bonnie? Or she could just actually be called Boo... people have named their kids weirder things, Satchel for example :)
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I seem to be the only person going into this with a fresh perspective. I never watched "Gilmore Girls" (yes, I HAVE heard of it) or "Pushing Daisies" (wanted to, but it was on a bad time for me). That said:



I love this show. It's new and quirky, and unbelievably brave. I adore the four ballerinas (the bit with the excuse notes just about killed me), but don't see myself as any one of them. Not overly fond of the hen-party friends of Fanny's. They're not friends; they're "yes-men" (well, yes-women). Truly's schtick is cute, but will get really old, really fast. Loved the memorial dance, but unfortunately didn't see any connection to Hubbel in it, aside of the fact that "the song was in his CD player". I screamed "YES!" when they were able to make a feasibly possible will explanation. I was really wondering how they were going to do that.



Looking forward to next week!
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Michelle's dialogues reminde me so much of Lorelai's. There's the Amy Sherman we love! :) i'm loving bunheads just because of michelle (lorelai :P) and fanny (lorelai's mom :P). as for the girls, i guess i'm a Boo. without the ballet skills, lol.
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I never saw Gilmore Girls, but I fell in love with Bunheads during the first preview commercial. I think Michelle's relationship with Fanny and her new town will be a one step forward, two back process, until Fanny realizes Michelle is carrying her grandchild. I hope the show will carry long enough for the "new love interest" to develop 2-3 seasons from now: Hubbell should have classy friends like that. (and I don't know about question 2: never had dance class until my Zumba cd's, but love to move to music of many kinds, and watch every movie and show about dance I ever hear of. So, I'm probably one of the kids on the back row!)
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So sad, everytime I read GG I think about Gossip Girl instead of Gilmore Girls (also because here in Italy the title was "A Mom as a Friend"..very bad title..)...

I really like bunheads I had some fears from the first episode, but the ballet theme is well integrated so far (and not too much) the character are organic...I hope this show last...It's really better that a lot of others show and it has a lot of potential for a long running life, like they can keep the school and change the ballerinas...
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AH! Non ci credo che sei italiana!! Dai!

S "Una mamma per amica" nun se po senti'-

Ottima scelta l'avatar con Sophia Bush ... love OTH :)

Ciao.
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Then you should have enough money not to be posting this crap here - unless of course you're lying - moron...
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You know, it's rude to talk to bots like that. Bots have feelings too :(
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Really...Sorry...
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I'm thinking now that I don't want this show to end any time soon, and Bunheads - while being a great name - might be a turn off to some people, but what's done is bun...
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Amy Sherman-Palladino - Nice done
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Definately liking it so far, its been really fun and the dance at the end was great
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When Gilmore Girls started the whole witty-banter and talking styles took a while to settle in to its rhythm but the characters seemed very solid from the beginning. After 7 years on GG, Amy Sherman-Palladino clearly has worked out how to have the banter running at full speed on Bunheads from the get go, but I think the characters will need a little time to settle in and sort themsevles out. That's fine, and makes me excited that each of the first few episodes will just get better and better and the show gets comfortable with itself. I only hope sorting those wrinkles out doesn't turn off impatient viewers because I really believe that this will end up a fantastic series just as GG was.
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So far I like this show and am looking forward to see how it develops.



Even though I liked GG, Bunheads is beginning to feel too much like GG re-incarnated it is like ASP doesn't know how to do anything else... but at least it is entertaining. Also two episodes have aired and both essentially end exactly the same 1) Mother and Daughter in-law have a fight 2)They make up and get along 3) At the very last moment another point of conflict introduced to create drama for the next episode. this will get annoying if it keeps up.



A:

1) Legal challenge, not quite a battle but she will not just accept it.

2) no

3) I hope not, but ASP likes to tease with relationships, so probably before the season ends.
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1. Yes

2. When I was a teen I think I was probably a mix of Boo, Ginny & Sasha

3. Dunno
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1. Yes

2. No

3. God no, no love interests until season 3 at least.
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The minute Jerry walked into the room and said hi to Fanny I knew he was Michelle's new love interest, I hope we're wrong, it's way too obvious. To be honest his whole show feels like Gilmore Girls 2, but that's okay I like it anyway.
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Did anybody else notice that the bartender is Mitcham Huntsburger (Logan's Dad from Gilmore Girls?). I'm loving this show, it makes me wish even more that I was a ballerina!
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Yes we all know who Gregg Henry is and he was on The Riches, Hung, and many other shows...
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Liked this episode more than the 1st one! I still can't believe I like a show named Bunheads but anyway it's a sweet show, hope it keeps that way. I agree with you I cared more about the girls in this episode than in the 1st one. And you are not alone I was really happy to see Ellen Greene, big Pushing Daisies fan!



1. I think there might be a conflict but they work it out somehow. It's funny that in both episode Fanny ended up liking Michelle or getting along well but in the end something happens that makes her dislike her again ha!

2.Neither... I gues lol I'm man, but so far the most I like is Boo

3.It could happen but I think Michelle need another kind of love interest rather than Hubbel's best friend.
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Amy Sherman Pallidino, sorry...
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Totally agree with your review Louis.

1. Fanny will not engage a legal battle over the house, she's buddhist!! :)

2. I will always be a Miranda

3. No no no! We need a Patrick Wilson/Josh Lucas/Will Arnett kid of guy.
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Would love to see that coupon for renting the Intrepid - anybody?
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What we are in for is some great TV - Sasha, Boo and Ginny. Actually Jerry might be Luke...
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My one and only complaint is that last week the review for episode one - which I was a day late watching - was down the second day although the artical abot which reality show makes you puke less stayed up all week. So I didn't get to have my say. My say is this. I loved Gilmore girls and the one person I would have chosen to be in Bunheads - Kelly Bishop - even more than Lauren Grahm.



Love Bunheads even more than GG, so far - probably because its just so nice to have the band back together and the only character I don't like is nobody. This show is fantastic and fresh and new and wonderful, so Thanks Amy Sheriden Pallidino where do I send the money...
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http://www.tv.com/news/bunheads-watch-like-nobodys-watching-28869/
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Thanks, and I did read it. This show needs to go great guns for at least 7 seasons...
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The article is still up... so no complaints at all then??
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So far,,,
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Also, now that Liza Weil has been killed off on Scandal, she needs to make at least an appearance...
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I LOVE this show! It probably makes me a total girl (which I am, so that is okay) but I love it. I was practically counting the minutes. Like you had said last week, I was hoping they didn't concentrate too much on the girls, so much so that they forget about the adults, but they haven't. The show is still more Michelle centric, and I love watching it. It is a treasure to watch capable writing and acting come together to create something heartwarming. And what a tribute to ALan Ruck as well as the two leading lady performers to bring me to tears for a character that was on 1 episode. 1. Honestly, I don't think there will really be a fight. In fact, I think that Fanny might be seeing more of what Hubbel saw in Michelle and say, "This is what my son wanted." I think the fight will come more from the town. I think if Fanny fought it, Michelle would cave in, because she already doesn't think she belongs. I do think there will be a scene of Fanny packing and Michelle asking her to stay. 2. Ginny. I can't run either. 3. My thought was that Jerry was possibly Michelle's new love interest. I don't think they will push that on us yet. Whether or not they had been married long, there has to be SOME sense of decorum. Maybe get to know the characters and then by the end of the season? I'm sure it will still be too soon for some, especially creepy Truly, but probably okay for Fanny.



Oh yeah, Ellen Greene had me singing, "Down on Skid Row."

More+
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You big old dumb girl, from another big old dumb girl, I agree with everthing you said.
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still think it has too much of a Gilmore Girls vibe and even though I loved that show, I'd like it more if this separated itself overall but it's not as similar as the plot made it feel



also, glad to see the other half of the Darling Mermaid Darlings back on TV!
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More Gilmore Girls 10 years after is only great news. Bunheads rocks
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There can never be enough gushing about Kelly Bishop. And while I was unfamiliar with Sutton Foster, she seems to be handling it all well. And I too (almost) squealed with delight in seeing Ellen Greene. The cancellation of "Pushing Daisies" is something I still mourn. The fleshing out of the town and the four main dancer girls is something I am quite looking forward to. This is going to be great. ASP knows how it works.



-I don't know if it'll get full on legal, but there's going to be at least some town uproar over this. You don't just pass it on to someone after 2 days. Not in this town (at least, not without some argument).

-Boo and Ginny.

-Not definite, but something. Personally, I'd rather it go to someone else. I'd rather he be used in a different way, but I haven't yet made up my mind in what way, so I guess that's not really that helpful, is it?
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Sutton Foster btw was the one and only fan of The Flight of the Conchords...
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Nope. Sutton Foster played Coco, a short-term girlfriend of Bret's. Mel, played by Kristen Schaal, was the one and only fan of The Conchords. Schaal was most recently seen as Kenny's replacement page on 30 Rock.
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Possibly, I suppose. I'm not going to look, I believe you...
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Never enough gushing is correct FTW...
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1) I think Fanny will accept it, but she will try to get Michelle to leave anyway and just own the house from afar. Although I loved the line from the preview for next week: "How cocky being land-rich has made you!" I intend to say that to everyone from now on. It's very Dowager Countess.

2) I am probably part-Boo, part-Ginny. So... Goo. Maybe.

3) It certainly seems possible.



I also love Ellen Greene and miss Pushing Daisies. She was glorious in this episode and I hope she is featured much more in episodes to come.
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I don't care where it goes because I trust me some Amy Sheridan Pallidino...
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