Howdy folks! After taking last week off, Bunheads is back. Money (or lack there of), auditions, and fixer-uppers were the focal points of this one. But before we discuss the latest episode, let’s just enjoy this moment one more time:
Since we last visited Paradise, Michelle has officially moved into the guest house. Her belongings have been delivered from her Vegas apartment, along with a ton of junk her former landlord just wanted to get rid of! But even worse than getting stuck with all this crap she doesn’t want? Having to hang curtains. Oh, the HORROR!!!
Meanwhile, Fanny is making preparations for the Joffrey Summer Program Auditions, which were to be held at her ballet studio. The dance-floor is not quite up to snuff though, so unless she gets it repaired, the auditions will be moved to a studio in Ojai. Once Truly explains why the auditions mean so much to Fanny, Michelle tries to get the floor fixed for her. And since they can’t afford to pay for the repairs, Michelle tries to get the work done for free by flirting. Her attempts at seduction are unsuccessful— “So. No one wants to do me, or your floors,”— but luckily Fanny’s feminine wiles are persuasive enough for the both of them.
With the auditions now going ahead as planned, the young dancers are gearing up for the big day. Boo is doing her best to eat healthy and stay optimistic, but her mom’s attempts at being “supportive” actually undermine Boo’s confidence. Realizing she bought a condolence cake before the audition even took place, AND left it out in the open for Boo to see was just heartbreaking. And interestingly, the roles are reversed for the girls this week, when Boo pushes Sasha away for talking about her mom. It goes to show Sasha isn’t the only one with family issues.
In addition, Boo has been shutting Sasha out because of the drama from the last episode. This is clearly painful for Sasha, who spends the whole episode trying to get back in Boo’s good graces. So when Boo is unable to afford new pointe shoes for the audition, Sasha steals money from her mom’s purse and buys the shoes for her. I loved that she pretended they were just a spare pair, even if Boo could see right through her story. Their rocky friendship is one of my parts of this show, so I really enjoyed this storyline. And what do we call the girl version of “bromance” anyway? Because whatever it is, it’s exactly what the Boo & Sasha dynamic feels like to me. And I’m loving every second of it.
Now I was a little worried going into this episode, since I found the last one to be slightly disappointing. But I was pleased to see at least a few of my concerns addressed in “Better Luck Next Year!” For one thing, this episode marked the return of TRULY! You know I was happy to see her again. In fact, Truly’s presence alone made me like this one more than the last. (How tragic yet hilarious is Truly’s gift/curse, by the way?) But we also got to see surfer dude Rico and his wife, plus Boo’s mom once again, which proves the show understands the concept of recurring characters after all.
Another concern we talked about previously was the show’s pacing. The first couple of episodes seemed to cover one (consecutive) day at a time, which made the series feel like it was moving pretty slowly. So I was glad this episode established that Michelle has now been in Paradise for about a month. It means we can move on from setting up the basic premise, and just get on with the show itself. Likewise, I am so glad Fanny and Michelle were getting along better in this episode. Of course they’re going to have their difficulties, but the “misunderstanding→fight→find common ground” formula could get old pretty fast. It was just nice to see them accepting each other.
This episode also had a bit more of the humor I felt was missing last time. I was sad Boo got rejected (three times!) during the auditions, after everything she went through, but that audition sequence cracked me up. And as a girl born and raised in Southern California, I find all the references/insults to real SoCal towns pretty funny. The previous episodes gave us Carpenteria and La Cañada, and now we have all the Ojai and Oxnard jokes. Keep ‘em coming, show!
But now for the downside of this episode: I honestly didn’t even notice the sidekicks (Ginny and Melanie) were missing until they showed the preview for next week’s ep. I understand not every character can appear every week, in fact it’s kind of good they don’t force characters in just for the sake of having them there. BUT…the fact that I didn’t miss them just shows how underdeveloped those two really are, and they’re supposed to be main characters. I like them when they are onscreen though, so hopefully we get to know them better in the upcoming episodes.
The Obligatory Gilmore Girls Comparison:
- The conversation about why/how Sylvia Plath may have killed herself.
- The house and ballet studio are on Forrester, which was also Dean’s last name.
Favorite Quotes and Moments:
- “We don’t sleep together, why should I get used to it?”
- The landlord alphabetized her CDs!
- Sasha kicking the other dancer off the barre. Literally. — Hilarious!
- “Wait…I did drink last night. And I had a candy bar.” “So it was a combo.”
- “HEY, TRY TO FIND OUT HOW HUNGRY THEY ALL THINK THEY’RE GOING TO BE!”
- “Is my toilet on a timer?”
- Game of Thrones reference.
- “Hey, do you do curtains?”
- “There’s no English! THERE’S NO ENGLISH!”
- “It’s the kidnapping capital of California…They mistreat animals too.”
- “It’s dirty, and all the people are high on mushrooms, and wear sandals.”
- “I’ve always been able to tell exactly what everybody wants except for me.”
- “Who’s Phillip?” “Don’t know.”
- Truly & Michelle bonding over Jason Priestley. — They really do have the same taste in guys!
- That old picture of Kelly Bishop was gorgeous.
- “Did you seduce him, Mrs. Robinson?” “To a degree.” “Coo coo ca-choo.”
- “You said, ‘Got off!’”
- “Trina got cut.”
- “It’s like being backstage at The Carol Burnett Show.”
- “I fouettéd in a wig!”
So what are your thoughts? Do you think Fanny “got off”? Who were you rooting for: Boo, Trina from Simi Valley, or Selma the farmgirl? And finally, is Gary Janetti haunting your dreams too?