I finally caught up and saw the midseason finale. And after ten episodes? I definitely do like it, but I also don’t quite love it. It’s best when watching several episodes in a row, but given the choice there are other shows I would watch first.
The Good Things
Should always be positive first!
I like the characters… mostly. Melanie and Ginny were so underused to start with that it took me until halfway through to manage to remember Melanie’s name. It doesn’t help that it’s so similar to Michelle, either.
Boo is probably my favourite, and I like Sasha too.
I like the story, once you get over the abruptness of the end of the pilot. I’m not sure how else it could have been done without getting rid of Fanny, but as much as I like her, I’m not sure she is needed.
If the story had been a Vegas showgirl who inherits that place and has to take over the dance studio (like the opening credits suggest), it could have been much the same without having to have a Hubble. (And possibly make it like some other show that I don’t realize I’m describing.)
The Not-so-good Things
The opening credits. I don’t dislike them. I just think they’re misleading. Michelle might be sort of starting to take over the studio, but it hasn’t happened yet. (I would list ‘lack of ballet’ as an issue, but it’s not like we never see any, and let’s be honest, much more would then be too much.)
The randomness that was the end of Movie Truck and the dream sequence in the finale. The dream made some sense, at least – as a recap if nothing else – but that last scene of Truck was just completely random. A problem easily sorted by doing it more than once, or using characters we actually know.
The finale was good – not quite a tearjerker, but it came close. I put it under not-so-good for the fact that while it’s a good cliffhanger, and we do know we’re getting more episodes, most of the ways it goes next are going to be unrealistic.
The girls love her, sure. The parents aren’t going to forgive her any time soon, though, and won’t want her taking over the studio. Fanny managed to go from being impressed by her to upset with her, so would she really make her stay? On top of all that, it’s not as if she’s made any other friends to either stay for or be persuaded to stay by.
Finally, of course, The Gilmore Girls comparisons.
If it had been completely different we would have found ways to compare them anyway. But it feels like they’re trying a little too hard; if it had stopped at ‘small town with wacky characters and a main character who talks fast’ it could have just been Palladino’s style, and been its own ‘new’ Gilmore Girls.
Instead, in the space of ten episodes, we have Michelle (who reminds everyone of Lorelai – points for her not being a single mother, but you could argue that Fanny fills that role) and Sasha (who, if you look at her at the right angle, looks like Rory – which you’re only looking for because you’re thinking about the Gilmores). And that’s not mentioning Kelly Bishop in a role similar to Emily, Sean Gunn in a role similar to Kirk, and an appearance by Rose Abdoo (Gypsy. Was the role similar?)
Just because there are bad points above doesn’t mean I don’t like it. There’s always something to be found ‘wrong’ with even your favourite shows.
I like it and I’m going to keep watching, I just hope that it takes it easy with the Gilmore references and learns to become its own show. And I say that as a Gilmore fan.
Otherwise, maybe they should add a subtitle: Bunheads: Emily and Lorelai, Take Two. Who’s with me?