I am not a normal viewer of the ABC Family cable channel with its heavy focus on teen girls both as an audience and subject matter of their shows. The only logical reason for watching the “Bunheads” premiere Monday night was the show was created and scripted by Amy Sherman-Palladino who also created “Gilmore Girls”, and to see Tony winner Sutton Foster as the lead. The pilot was excellent but I hope it doesn’t focus too much on the teen girls in the cast at the expense of Foster and the other adults.
“Bunheads” tells the story of Michelle Simms, played by Foster, a Las Vegas showgirl who impulsively marries a traveling salesman/”stalker” named Hubbell (played by Alan Ruck) and goes with him back to his small hometown of Paradise. What he forgot to tell Michelle is Paradise is a really small town, and that he lives with his mother Fanny, played by “Gilmore Girls” vet Kelly Bishop.
In the pilot we get to meet Truly Stone played by Stacey Oristano, who still pines for Hubbell and the teen girls who are students of the dance school that Fanny owns. (Oh I said the same thing – how convenient that a showgirl marries a man who’s mother owns a dance school… HA!)
I loved the pilot until the final scene…. it was such a shock. It caught me so off guard. That can be good or bad depending on what you expect for future episodes.
I love Sutton Foster – she has such an expressive face. Her theater training shows up strong. Too many actors on TV try to hide their expressions or don’t know how to deliver lines with feeling. Foster is able to do it. Her whole body seems to express her character.
Besides Truly, I hope the town isn’t boring characterwise – I figure will meet the real estate agent mom and the closeted gay dad of the dance school students but it will be interesting what other characters the town will have. Since this is from the creator of the Gilmore Girls I’m still waiting to see who the Taylor character will be….
The show is on ABC Family and it follows “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” so I assume “Bunheads” will be focusing more on the dance school girls and their interactions with Michelle and Michelle’s relationship with Fanny will be less important.
I loved “Gilmore Girls” but I’m not looking for a carbon copy but it would be nice to see what I liked about “Gilmore Girls” in future episodes of “Bunheads”.