Tuesday, May 22, 2012

DANCE MOMS 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO: We've previously noted that forthcoming ABC Family show Bunheads seems to be designed for the ALOTT5MA demographic (Sutton Foster! Dancing! Amy Sherman-Palladino! Imperious and disapproving Kelly Bishop!), and there are streams of the pilot available, which I watched yesterday.  A few thoughts:
  • Unsurprsingly, Foster is pretty fantastic with the Sherman-Palladinoese (a related dialect to Sorkinese--similar speed, but more pop culture references), dances quite well, and looks fantastic (to borrow from Todd Van Der Werff's Glee reviews, the opening sequence, in which Foster is in a Vegas showgirl costume, is worthy of a "straight guys, watchin' Bunheads" recurring segment).  As a result, the show gets a little messy during the brief periods when she's off-screen.  There's a group of four teenage dancers who she's clearly going to become a mentor to (they are the other four billed regulars, I believe), and the stuff with them, while brief, is weaker.  It may improve as the various dancer characters become better formed, but right now, they're kind of boring.
  • Man, this is a lot like Gilmore Girls (this is a good thing)--strummy strummy la la transition music, wacky characters in a small town (plainly, a dress shop owner introduced in the pilot will be back), and Foster's Michelle is close kin to Lorelai Gilmore.  Kelly Bishop basically gets to play Emily Gilmore again, though the dynamic between Fanny and Michelle is somewhat different from that between Emily and Lorelai.
  • Alan Ruck shows up as the vaguely creepy (yet ultimately good-hearted) guy who has a crush on Foster's showgirl character and marries her (this is all dispensed with in the first act of the pilot), and I had questions about how the show would work given that he's a guest star.  The show unambiguously (and somewhat surprisingly) answers that question in the last scene, which will, I expect, provoke some divided reactions.
Even had the pilot been terrible, I would have given it a few episodes, but this is good enough that I'm assuredly in for the full 10 episode first season, though I'm hopeful the show will broaden its horizons a bit.


  1. isaac_spaceman1:31 PM

    Titlewise, Bunheads is the Cougar Town of the fall 2012 TV season, misdescriptive and off-putting.  Hey, Isaac, are you going to check out that new show, Bunheads?  I don't know, what's it about?  Not sure.  Is it about librarians with attitude?  No.  Bakers with attitude?  No.  People with asses on their heads, with or without attitude?  Don't think so.  What, then?  I dunno, I read about it on ALOTT5MA -- Matt says it stars Sutton Foster and has something to do with dancing.  Is Sutton Foster a man or a woman or a child?  Dunno, but Matt says it's like Gilmore Girls and he made a reference to a review of Glee.  Pass. 

  2. Alyssa3:13 PM

    This will definitely go on my DVR.  FYI, just looked it up and it will air Jun 11 at 9pm.

  3. Genevieve11:04 AM

    I was already in, but your review makes me happy - sounds like it will be way better than Smash (which I will keep watching but keep getting very annoyed at).

  4. Rebecca3:03 PM

    When I was in high school, the only hour my mother, my six years younger sister and I could spend in the same room was the hour that Gilmore Girls was on. I love this, although Kelly Bishop is going to have to do a lot of work to make me believe she would decorate her house like that.

    *Aside from Gilmore Girls having a very special place in my heart, I also watch "Make it Or Break It" unironically, so I may not be able to be trusted in these matters.

  5. Maddy6:22 PM

    I would say that the Alan Ruck character was more than vaguely creepy, but overall I liked it a lot. Also, the dress shop owner is Mindy from FNL!

  6. bill.6:39 PM

    I'm looking forward to it. But we're at the dance school 3-5 days a week and we called the girls bunheads before we'd ever heard the phrase. What else are you going to call them? Their hair spends so much time in a tight bun that when it's let down there's a natural bump.

    Occasionally one of the older girls will drop out -- about 14-15 tends to be a breaking point -- and almost the first thing they do is get their hair cut short.