Bunheads” 1.18 ‘Next!’ – Recap and Review
Airdate 25 Feb 2013
Michelle wakes with a Godot in her bed, which she takes full advantage of with a morning phone pic of his naked chest (a scene not so charming if reversed). In the main house, Fanny (Gilmore’s Emily, Kelly Bishop) returned from her retreat to find Michelle’s brother Scottie asleep on her couch. Misunderstandings ensue and she chases him into Michelle’s bungalow for a nice bit of morning fiasco.
In the dance studio, Ginny’s been taking drawing lessons from Frankie, the boy she’s besotted with and is painting an indecipherable banner to welcome Fanny back. Truly is still inhabiting the studio, putting herself to use by zhuzhing up the costumes. She’s felt like a failure ever since her sister Millie kicked her out of her clothes shop, Sparkles, for falling behind on rent. Michelle joins in the morning practice ballet session while Fanny has put Scottie to work shifting bricks.
Roman and his necklace bring a letter to Sasha, on her request, detailing all his intimate relationships (a la Anna Karenina). She reads it in front of him, then later in her grown-up apartment with the girls, Boo, Melanie and Ginny. As she brings out a beautiful pot roast, she’s obsessed with being sexually inexperienced and over a pot of facemask, tells Boo they need to strike while the iron is hot.
Sasha: I think we need to consider having sex, now.
Boo: With each other?
The girls educate themselves on sex, safe sex and Judy Blume in a montage that would result in a rather different education than Rory’s Book Club List. Cozette drops Our Bodies Ourselves into the huddle, which is so explicit that Boo passes out.
Millie (Gilmore’s Paris Geller, Liza Weil) is explaining to Fanny that their amphitheatre project may be delayed due to inadequate builders. Fanny says it needs to be done in time for the Autumn show and asks her to put her mind toward helping Truly out. Truly is taking up room on the studio floor, comatose in a pile of tutus.
Millie: All she had to do was screw on a nut.
Michelle comes in and takes the room, limbering up for some practice. Sasha interrupts and asks for some time on Sunday (it’s Friday) to talk frankly about sex. Unable to run screaming from the room, Michelle agrees.
Sasha: Penis, vagina blah blah blah.
Michelle asks Fanny for Saturday afternoon off and asks Fanny what she does when the girls ask about sex, realising too late that none of the girls ever have.
It’s Saturday afternoon and with the masochistic Jordan filling in for Michelle, the four girls skip class only to see Michelle stop-starting her old blue VW Beetle down the drive. Worried that Michelle might be leaving town like at the last series break, the girls jump in Sasha’s car and follow, incidentally selling a truckload of brand new blue Minis. Just how guilty are her over-compensating parents?
Michelle has driven to LA for an audition in a church hall. As the girls see Michelle waiting in line, they run for cover (selling a boatload of multi-coloured Ugg boots), they Google the venue and event: it’s an audition for a musical version of Dark Victory, a 1939 Bette Davis movie where a young socialite is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and chooses whether to die with dignity – as Melanie says, sounds like a real barnburner. They pull a Goodfellas kitchen backdoor routine and spy on the audition process, which is brutal. The audition guy summarily dismisses swathes of auditionees, comes to Michelle and pauses… and decides to keeps her in.
A well-timed ad-break allows those left to learn the combo. Boo jumps out of hiding and joins in – quickly joined by the others and of course they have it down pat. Sasha drags Boo away from the rest of the audition process, to Boo’s dismay. Boo faces off against Sasha, saying that this could be her chance for the big time and she’s fed up of Sasha’s bossiness, including her plans about sex. Boo recounts her plan to wait for prom (in a year and a half) and defying Sasha, intends to stick with it. Their confrontation is only interrupted by Michelle’s group being called back for the next round of auditions, where she gets through again.
In her single audition, the catty piano guy wisely advises against anything from Les Mis (“Freakin’ Hathaway”) and picks out “If You Could See Me Now”.
To the girls’ incredulity, the audition people don’t even seem to be watching. Michelle performs impressively and afterwards, the pianist congratulates her on her performance, interrupted by a string of female dancers walking into the hall. He tells her these are the dancers for the show and that the auditions are merely a union requirement. Crestfallen and mad, Michelle tosses her stuff in the car and heads home. Sasha regrets not showing themselves to Michelle.
Truly meets Millie at the Oyster Bar where we find out that Truly not only didn’t pay their mom back for college, she didn’t graduate. Millie offers Truly rent-free premises to revive Truly’s shop and apologises for her previous behaviour. The two sisters seem finally to have turned a page in their relationship and as Truly goes to seal the contract with the traditional blue drinks, Scottie comes in under Fanny’s orders with a delivery for Millie. Millie eyes him like a side of beef while Truly pictures him in a delivery man’s cap. He leaves before they devour him alive and together realise that their sibling rivalry is back, with a vengeance. They both like Scottie. Poor Scottie.
After Michelle’s previous comment about the girls asking about sex, Fanny has taken it upon herself to educate the entire class with some frighteningly archaic props and posters. After she passes out a box of bananas, Michelle leaves the room.
Matisse: This isn’t going to work. I’m allergic to bananas.
She’s joined shortly after by Ginny, who asks about the audition. Touched, Michelle says it went fine. Ginny starts getting teary and Michelle asks if she’s OK. Ginny confides that she slept with Frankie – she’s not even sure they’re formally dating since he’s never really talked to her and hasn’t called since – and while Michelle tries to calm her fears that she’s not an idiot and that Frankie won’t ever talk to her again, all she can really do is hold her tight while Ginny cries on her shoulder.
Ginny: He was just so beautiful.
Closing credits to a fifties style dance routine to a steamy version of “Makin’ Whoopee” (is that Sam Phillips singing?)
This was the end-of-season finale and good news for fans – IMDb is showing season two episode one, entitled Honestly YA (Young Adult?). With any luck, we’ll see that amphitheatre in all its glory.
Sex! It’s fair to say Gilmore Girls didn’t shy away from the subject, with Rory’s first time becoming a confused mess and Lorelai being a single, available woman throughout. However, the Bunheads treatment is focussed far more on the kids than the grown-ups and considering the audience and channel, it’s to be expected. Personally, I found the various perspectives were handled with confidence and aplomb and it certainly didn’t feel like anything was being jammed down anyone’s throat. So to speak. So as we head into season two, we’ve got relationships coming out of our ears – Sasha wants to with Roman, Boo is abstaining with Carl, Ginny’s had a confusing start with Frankie, Michelle’s enjoying herself with Godot and Melanie is (currently) happily single. It’s really Michelle’s relationship (with Hubbell as well as Godot) that distances Bunheads from Gilmore. Without Lorelai to hang the show on, it’s all five girls that share the burden. Did you feel an agenda? Did it favourably compare?
Wonderful to see Scottie back and on tip-top comic form – and with some second season hijinks in order, I’ll be bound. Let’s hope it wasn’t the Millie-Truly-triangle that portended Hubbell’s demise.
The audition – anyone sense some real-life experience injected into these scenes? The bitchiness (the girl lying about which beat to kick on), the harshness (“no, no, no, no – wait – no”) and eventual pointlessness of the audition process. Were you expecting the audition outcome? Or one of the girls not being discovered?
Truly didn’t graduate college, Michelle didn’t finish high school. This might be out of place on a Gilmore Girls blog entry, but is a college education worth what it once was?
So, thanks for sticking with us for the end of Bunheads, season one? Sure, it was never going to be Gilmore Girls, but was it good enough? Too similar or too different (man, they just can’t win)? Do you think it deserves another season? What else are you watching and how does it compare? See you out on the discussion boards, guys.
Pics courtesy of ABC Family