I know, I know, I’m a little late to the game on this one – ABC Family’s new show ‘Bunheads’, starring Sutton Foster, premiered last week and I only got to it yesterday (and there’s a second episode now). But when I started watching it, I thought to myself, what should I do with these thoughts that are happening in my head right now? And then I thought, put them on the internet, self. So I did!
There are a few spoilers here, so if you haven’t seen the premiere and don’t want to know, go watch the premiere and then come on back. I’ll wait.
All good? Alright. Without further ado, here are my live blogged (technically not, because I was watching the show DVR-ed, but they were live out of my head, so I figured it worked) thoughts on ‘Bunheads’. Which, since I didn’t really do a full plot recap, is about a Vegas showgirl, played by Broadway superstar Sutton Foster, who impulsively marries a nice guy and moves to the kind of lovely quirky town that only exists on television. The nice guy is Alan Ruck, and Gilmore Girls queen bee Kelly Bishop is his dance-studio-doyenne Mom. All good? Let’s go.
Oh, and since there were ads and stuff, the timeline starts at 2:20. I figured you guys could figure it out.
2:20 – Wait, is that the opening bars of ‘The Jet Set’ from ‘Catch Me If You Can?!’
2:23 – It IS! Eenteresting – are Shaiman and Wittman just the go-to guys for Broadway on TV now? That’s okay by me. Did so few people see that show that they figured they could pass it off as a new number? Discuss.
2:30 – Minimalist title card, like SMASH. Are shows about the arts staying away from having their own theme songs?
2:35 – Sutton! Huzzah!
3:13 – Wait, WHO IS SINGING THIS OPENING NUMBER?!? It’s not the showgirls in red, nor apparently the ones in white. Is this a place where ladies dance around topless to original cast recordings? Because I usually just call that my bedroom.
4:45 – Alan Ruck! Alan Ruck is the most likeable man in the world. This probably means he will be playing a serial killer on ‘Dexter’ any day now.
4:56 – Wait, he brought her shoes?! No straight man brings a woman shoes unless he wants to watch her put them on and then masturbate.
4:56a – I do not know this from experience.
7:08 – Sutton’s big audition for ‘Chicago’ is on the stage of a theater. I have never, ever, encountered an audition that happened on stage at a theater, but I guess a dingy rehearsal studio isn’t so glam. I also have never seen a director, stage manager, and phone-to-ear assistant hustling at the same table. It’s ‘Chicago,’ people! It’s been running for 15 years! If you guys don’t have it together by now…
8:30 – Chris Hansen joke! Okay, I had to look it up, but that’s a big plus in my book – yay nerdy obscure jokes that require looking up! Also requiring looking up is the name of the assistant character on ‘The Drew Carey Show’, because that’s who the prostitute neighbor reminds me of. That eye makeup!
9:06 – Alan Ruck’s character name is ‘Hubbell’? Like the telescope? There will be at least one reference on this show to how he’s called Hubbell, so he can always spot a star. I guarantee it.
9:16 – I keep looking at those martini glasses – how could she leave the olives?! Booze-soaked olives are clearly the best part of a martini. Sutton’s character must be truly upset.
10:55 – Sutton Foster is a genius. She’s so funny and goofy and yet you really feel for her – how did it take her this long to make it to TV? Also, do NOT think you can have her forever, TV. Broadway had her first, and we want her back.
12:00 – Alan Ruck’s line after Sutton says she’s like relationship Godzilla from whom men flee just made me love this show. “I promise you I won’t flee. I’ll be the one scientist who understands you. The one who knows that you’re not burning the city down because you’re evil, you’re burning the city down to protect the giant lizard eggs you just laid in a cave by the ocean. A cave that no one knows is there but me.” Aww.
13:06 – Oh, she married him! Eek. Godzilla line or no, she did just call this guy a stalker not too long ago.
13:36 – The ballet studio! Love the red walls. Kelly Bishop as the doyenne of the ballet studio wears a scarf and walks with a stick, which is basically the ballet doyenne version of an audition happening on a stage.
13:42 – Ooh, one of the dancers is named Sasha. That name is so Russian that she must be the designated ‘really talented bitch’. Eating disorders and secret dreams of things other than ballet to follow.
14:07 – Is that the accompanist from Glee playing the piano?! Does he just show up on set when they need a musical director? Is Rachel Berry about to come in and belt ‘At the Ballet’? So many questions.
14:30 – Is this character really named ‘Boo’?
15:08 – Wait, so Alan Ruck’s character so far has shown up at Sutton Foster’s workplace for months despite her lack of interest, brought her shoes, drove her away while she was drunk, and lives in a house full of clown dolls?! Scratch what I said before about him playing a serial killer on ‘Dexter’ – he might already be playing a serial killer.
16:35 – Ooh, the Joffrey ballet summer scholarship competition. Shit just got real.
16:37 – Is it too much to hope that Cooper Neilson will drive up on a motorcycle at some point in this series?
17:10 – I’m a little distracted by Ginny’s terrible dye job. She does not look good as a blonde, it completely washes her out – did the show require this? Why is that?
18:23 – Sutton Foster’s face on her ‘Cause you’re Buddha’ line should get its own Emmy.
18:42 – Sutton Foster’s character to Hubbell: “You live with your mother like a serial killer?” Way ahead of you there.
23:47 – Like the idea of the insane shopgirls, but is this redhead too much? This town might be entirely populated with serial killers.
24:24 – Ooh, bitchy skinny Sasha is eating a cookie! This bodes well.
26:21 – It’s hard to take these conversations seriously while this character is named ‘Boo’.
26:51 – Wait, really, Sutton Foster’s character is just going along with this? Because by the time she’s dressed to impress at this welcoming party, I would be on the bus back to Vegas with this crazy story about how I married my stalker one night and barely escaped his crazy clown-doll house with my life.
27:59 – The shopgirl’s name is TRULY!? Maybe this whole show is actually a Twilight Zone episode about a woman with a normal name who gets stranded in a town full of space aliens who have all taken their monikers off objects and old Disney films. Take Sasha and run, Sutton Foster’s Character (who is actually Michelle. But if she stays in this town, they’ll all probably start calling her Sprockets.)
29:14 – Michelle calls out Truly as being a potential serial killer. Again, way ahead of you, and points to the show for having a character who can spot the show’s quirky elements, but seriously, Michelle. You are living in a town full of potential serial killers.
29:18 – Michelle says “I don’t love you, Hubbell.” Is this supposed to be devastating?! It would be sort of weird if she DID love him, under the circumstances.
31:34 – Kelly Bishop’s tone saying ‘sex’ multiple times in this scene should get it’s own Emmy. And I love that this show keeps calling out it’s own weirdness by having characters point it out. Nice touch!
37:31 – Sutton’s faux audition dance is adorable. I wonder if she and Emma Stone ever met, would they have to have a sort of OK Corral sort of face-off to determine who was the more appealing goofy/charming lady? Sutton would win with this dance.
40:15 – I sort of wish Michelle had accidentally played the original cast recording of ‘Catch Me if You Can’ for the faux audition, and then been really freaked out that that’s what she had been dancing to this whole time.
41:03 – “This is weird.” “What, sitting here? You’re used to dancing on top of the bar, is that it?” – Clever! Good writing, show! Appreciated!
43:30 – There’s weirdly a lot of death foreshadowing in this episode. Is Kelly Bishop going to die? Or, the town is called Paradise – is everyone really dead?
43:55 – I really, deeply love Sutton Foster’s long gold earrings.
44:56 – Ooh, it’s a Sutton Foster/Kelly Bishop fierce dance-off! This show is so weird. I think I might love it.
45:30 – “Hey guy I don’t know!” Again with the loving.
46:39 – Wait, HUBBELL is the one who dies?! I thought for sure it would be Kelly Bishop, leading to a lot of guilt and Michelle and Hubbell learning to love each other. Yikes, that’s dark. Unless it is revealed in the next episode that he actually was a serial killer, and everyone dodged a bullet.
OVERALL: I think I like it! More episodes will tell if they can get the balance of quirky and real right – that can be tough, but Amy Sherman-Palladino did nail it on ‘Gilmore Girls’. And man, does a show have balls to kill (what seems like) a main character IN THE FIRST EPISODE – take THAT, ‘Game of Thrones.’ But I love the clever, and the weird, and the Sutton Foster. I’ll be back!