By Debra Schreiber/Pittsburgh
Courtesy of ABCFamily.go.com
ABC Family’s new series “Bunheads” premiered on Monday, June 6.
The show, from executive producer Amy Sherman (“Gilmore Girls”), follows Vegas showgirl Michelle (Sutton Foster) from Sin City to a small town (called Paradise), where there is apparently no movie theatre, for her new husband. But there is a dance studio.
The studio is owned by her mother-in-law Fanny (Kelly Bishop) and home to bunheads. What exactly IS a bunhead?
“Anyone who devotes their life to dance,” said Emma Dumont, who plays Melanie Segal on the show.
“Just someone who … ballet consumes them,” added Bailey Buntain, who plays Ginny Thompson.
“Just kind of an obsessed ballerina,” agreed Kaitlyn Jenkins, “Bettina ‘Boo’ Jordon.”
(Watch the interview HERE)
And then there’s the obvious: a ballerina. Ballerinas wear buns.
But Vegas showgirls wear glitz outfits with big feathers.
The costumes in the opening scene, when Michelle was still in Vegas, were brilliant.
Courtesy of Insideetv.ew.com
As the show opens, she loves her job, but hates that topless girls who follow her act, saying that it’s a terrible message to the girls of America, “Hey girls, forget about actually learning to dance, just take your top off and stand there.”
After the show Michelle tells her BFF that it sounds like she’d be leaving her Vegas job soon for a role in “Chicago.” Then love steps in. Or, rather, a present-toting, flower-wielding admirer who appears once a month to court Michelle. We are led to assume that this has been happening for an entire year. “Stalker” was probably an adept title for Mr. Hubbell. Michelle quickly ditches him. Quick time lapse to the a.m. and then, as Michelle put it, “show time.”
The “Chicago” dream came to a quick end (a.k.a. a “no” the first time the director laid eyes on her). Back to a run-down apartment Michelle went. Back to the Vegas show. And back was Hubbell, this time with jewelry and another dinner invitation. This time, Michelle went.
During dinner, Hubbell proposed, prompting a humorous no from Michelle… followed by a very drunk yes. Then, hello Paradise, and hello mother-in-law who was trained by Balanchine and runs a ballet studio that looks to have been converted from a barn in her back yard.
At the studio, Michelle meets several of the bunheads. Only the first episode and we’re facing body image and dieting issues for ballerinas. Though bunhead Sasha is thin, the others girls are a tad more shapely, with one constantly complaining that her breasts are simply too big.
“But none of that means you shouldn’t try,” Mother tells a sad, “big-boned” Boo.
Mother is also on the hunt for a missing tutu. If not found, “The Nutcracker” won’t have a Clara. She is preparing her students for a visit from the head of the Joffrey Ballet School as well. And she has to handle Michelle joining her and Hubbell in their home.
Mother provides a less than warm welcome (though she does offer to through Michelle a wedding party) and neither does anyone else in town, especially a sales associate from Sparkle who claims that Hubbell was the only man she ever loved. Michelle and Mother eventually warm up to one another in a sort of “Gilmore Girls” mother/daughter relationship spin.
Courtesy of Poptower.com
However, Michelle doesn’t love Hubbell. And she tells him at their party. He seems to think she will grow to love him. I think he loves her because she reminds him of his mother.
But will we get to see their relationship blossom? Find out next Monday at 9/8c.
Watch “Bunheads” anytime on ABCFamily.com.