Well folks, there’s good news and bad news. The good news? We finally got the Gilmore Girls cameo we (and by we, I mean I) have been waiting for all season! That’s right, Stars Hollow’s Jack-of-all-trades popped up in Paradise as a barista.
Now for the bad news: Hipster!Kirk was part of my least favorite storyline of the episode. No fault of Sean Gunn’s of course, it was the story itself I just wasn’t feeling. I mean, a huge chunk of this episode revolved around
Lorelai’s Michelle’s quest to get quick coffee! It would have been funnier as a one or two scene bit, but using it to drive the whole A-plot just didn’t quite work for me. Maybe it’s just hard for me to understand since I don’t drink coffee? I’m a tea drinker all the way! And I realized something when this quote from Pretty in Pink (one of my favorite movies–if you haven’t seen it, GO WATCH IT!) randomly popped in my head during Michelle’s coffee scenes:
Andie: You run yourself down. Why do you do that?
Duckie: I am not running myself down. Do you think I’m running my– I don’t think I’m running myself down.
I like Michelle’s character for the most part, but sometimes she can be a bit grating. I find this especially true during scenes in which she embarrasses herself or her one-sided banter drags on too long, like in the coffee klutz scene. I guess I prefer Michelle to be the witty straight man commenting on other characters’ kookiness than being the wacky one herself. It just feels like she’s running herself down otherwise.
Alright, enough with the negativity (for now…), let’s get to the episode!
Michelle discovers there’s only one place around Paradise to get coffee, and it’s owned by Bash. (Basically, he’s Paradise’s answer to the Soup Nazi.) But Bash is not your average barista, he’s an artiste. Or a bartiste if you will. ”I made a perfect likeness of Bob in the foam.” Unfortunately, this means you have to wait in long lines for him to create his magnificence, since he takes his sweet time perfecting each cup. Michelle can’t handle this, so she’s excited about the opening of a new premier supermarket in town, which will have it’s own café inside. But when Gypsy reveals The Association for the Preservation of Keeping It Real in Paradise (TAFTPOKIRIP) put a stop to the project, Michelle makes it her mission to change the board members’ minds. Determined to save the future espresso express, and help young love (Boo & Carl’s dance was meant for the store’s opening), she goes as far as tricking townspeople into attending a board meeting. Her plan to go Footloose on their asses is fairly successful, until the board explains their valid reasons for stopping the store.
It isn’t a complete waste though, as she finds a coffeemaker outside her door. The gift was most likely from her newest admirer Godot (remember him?), despite the fact that she rejected him. I don’t know about y’all, but I don’t really like the Godot/Michelle developments. The coffeemaker ending was sweet, but I picked up more awkwardness than chemistry. Of course, it was supposed to be a little awkward, but still. I liked her better with the director from last week.
In addition to all that, Michelle finds out an old friend of hers is putting a show together, so she tries to get into contact with him for a possible part. Throughout the episode she leaves messages with his assistant, getting increasingly desperate. It seems like he’s ignoring her calls though. This was no doubt on her mind during her coffee craze. We’ll see if that storyline picks up again next week.
Avoiding people was kind of the theme of this episode, now that I think about it. Ever since Charlie asked Boo about Ginny, Ginny has felt awkward about the situation. She can’t even think straight around him now that she likes him, so she tries to avoid him. Of course this just makes things worse, since her behavior gets even more bizarre. It also doesn’t help that Melanie is making her feel guilty for breaking “the Bra Code,” since Charlie was Boo’s crush first.
Another person avoiding his crush is Carl. He was still hurt over Boo not defending him to her friends, when they rejected his date for her, and he calls her out on what happened. Worried she won’t get to see him anymore now that their dance performance has been canceled, Boo admits that she likes him likes him. And then THIS happened:
Sadly, they’re interrupted by Melanie and Ginny. Ginny takes this as a sign that Boo has moved on, therefore making Charlie fair game. This does not go over well with Boo though (as Melanie predicted), who does not put her Charlie crush in past tense. Of course this upsets Carl, who was standing RIGHT THERE for the entire conversation, and he walks out in disgust. Poor Carl! Boo realizes too late that she screwed up, so she has a lot to make up for next week. I do love that he’s not letting her off easy. He clearly likes her, but he has self-respect. I can’t wait to see her try to win him back though, because I just love Carl! And I realized they remind me a little of Willow & Oz, especially circa season 2. Part of it’s the height thing, but it’s also their whole dynamic. Both guys have made their feelings clear, but they don’t want to be treated like a consolation prize. They have their quirks, but they’re comfortable with who they are. And sooner or later, the girls will fall for them because of that.
Amongst all of the couple chaos, Sasha has started cheerleading. She feigns excitement (giddiness even) in front of her friends–”Once you accept the fact that you spend a lot of time in sneakers, it’s kind of fun.” But cheer is obviously not all it’s cracked up to be. The only thing that truly puts pep in her step is bumming out the rest of the squad with her anti-cheer/sports rant. Meanwhile, Fanny is torturing her ballet dancers, looking for a replacement for Sasha’s role in The Nutcracker. Fanny refuses to take her back until Sasha apologizes, but Sasha’s as stubborn as Fanny. It seems Michelle makes some progress though, when she tells Sasha that quitting ballet is a huge mistake. I’m guessing she’ll be back just in time to play Clara in next week’s performance.
* * * * *
Oh Bunheads, I wanna love you so much, but you make it hard sometimes. Now don’t get me wrong, I actually liked this episode quite a bit, but I still found myself bored by some of it. And since the summer finale is airing next week, I’ve been trying to figure out how I feel about this series as a whole. I think I’ve finally figured out my main problem. So bear with me.
First, the lack of direction has been an issue since the beginning. It took a long time to establish the characters and story, and while the 10-episode run is almost over, it feels like we’ve only just begun (as The Carpenters would say). There seems to be very little progress made in many of the episodes. Maybe I’ve just gotten too used to shows like The Vampire Diaries, that power through storylines before you’ve had a chance to even wrap your head around them. The fact of the matter is Bunheads is not and will not ever be that kind of show. And I accept that. Their laid-back, one-day-at-a-time storytelling is a reflection of the sleepy town it’s set in. Which made me realize something else:
Viewers: Bunheads :: Michelle : Paradise.
(Sorry if I triggered anyone’s SAT PTSD with that analogy, but it had to be done!)
We, like Michelle, are the tv city slickers having trouble adjusting to small town life. We want our coffee now, damn it! So with that in mind, I can forgive the series for not having the fast-paced, cutting edge (toepick!) storylines of other shows. It’s not supposed to. I try my best to just enjoy the goodness we do get each week, and accept the rest for what it is. HOWEVER. There are certain scenes that don’t seem to really move the story along, and are just in there for the sake of banter. I get tired of those because they start to drag on, and it takes time away from more interesting scenes. I just wish they’d spread the drama out a little, instead of saving most of it for the very end of the episodes. That might stop some of the middle act scenes from feeling slow. I really did enjoy this episode, but I had to get that out.
Despite my negativity, this episode did get a lot of things right. They juggled multiple storylines pretty well, intertwining them just enough. All the main characters were present (including Truly!), even with all of the guest characters. And I love that the majority of the plots continued threads from previous episodes. Ginny’s disastrous attempts at avoiding Charlie were hilarious, and just plain fun to watch. I really loved Ginny in this one, in fact I declare her this week’s MVP! I also thought it was smart that they showed us the fallout from Sasha and Fanny’s showdown, but toned down the intensity. There’s only one episode left for them to make up, so it’s good Sasha didn’t do even more damage.
Favorite Quotes and Moments:
- The title of this episode was “No One Takes Khaleesi’s Dragons” — And so the show’s love affair with Game of Thrones continues. Get a room!
- Madame Fanny’s stick scares me.
- Melanie PLANTED the “drugs” (pizza spices) in her brother’s room to blackmail him into being her chauffeur.
- Cheerleading’s flexible schedule allows Sasha to watch tv! “I can just sit there, like someone from the Midwest.”
- Truly likes to light a scented candle to make the studio smell like pumpkin pie. She sometimes lights a vanilla one as well, so it smells like pumpkin pie a la mode! — Genius!
- “Are you gonna light the candle?” “No.” “Well then I guess we know why Fanny called me.”
- “You only do leaning heads with friends.”
- “I know his snort, lady! Trust me. Bright Lights, Big City was his favorite book.”
- Bash has two dads, but one was called Mom so it wouldn’t be confusing!
- The dancers walked into class with crutches and slings to save themselves from Fanny.
- “We’re not Gyllenhaals.”
- “Seriously, stop breathing.” “I’ll die.” “Yes, exactly.” – I want more with Charlie’s friend. That’s it, I’m adding Dez/Melanie to my ship list. hehe
- “So I didn’t know you liked basketball.” “Uh-huh. It’s got baskets. And balls.” — HA! The awkwardness and unintentional dirtiness of this moment was perfect.
- “I like coconuts.”
- “I’ve played craps with Dennis Rodman. I know crazy.” — Fun fact: I’ve seen Dennis Rodman twice in person, just by chance.
- “I don’t really ingest.”
- Melanie is PERFECT for Brigitta!
- About mustard: “I don’t want any of that fancy stuff they pass from limo to limo.” — Pardon me, could you please pass the Grey Poupon?
- “That’s a myth, just like Sasquatch or Rogaine. No one beats the Seattle baristas.”
- “You can’t own Shorty McShorterson and every other guy in the world!”
- “I sprained my spirit.”
So this summer’s penultimate episode had a lot of stuff going on, and was definitely setting us up for next week’s finale. I’m not exactly sure what we have in store for us in the next one, but I have hope for a lot of our new ships. But what did y’all think? Were you excited to see Kirk again? Which couples are you rooting for? And what are you hoping to see in our last Bunheads episode of the summer?