It’s not unprecedented for women to marry their stalker. There’s Agnetha from Abba¹, Ronnie Spector, pretty much every relationship before the 1970s – it can work, yo. It’ll be a cold day in hell before Bunheads‘ Las Vegas showgirl Michelle Simms (Sutton Foster) marries her persistent admirer Hubbell Flowers (Alan Ruck) though. I mean he’s nice and all, buys her dinner, flowers, gifts but he’s square as Poindexter, middle-aged, dull and shit. Yes, the life of a professional dancer is a miserable one and yes she’s not getting any younger and yes he is the one constant in a turbulent world and yes he’s just proposed marriage and yes she is drunk as a skunk but if you think for one minute she’s – oh she just has. Really good work Michelle.
So off she goes with her shit husbland who leaves her dry as Ryvita to his coastal retreat in the sleepy town of Paradise, Southern California. It’s exactly as beautiful as he described and, TBFWIA, his seaview home is stunning but he might have mentioned that he still lives with his mother, Fanny (Kelly Bishop) who runs the Paradise Dance Academy from the back of their gaffe. The mother-in-law is a hostile Fanny at first. Who is this showgirl stripper pole dancer strumpet skank come to take her son away from her? But over a couple of shots and a dance they bond and Michelle even meets some of the teenage girls under Fanny’s tutelage.
I’m talking about gal like Boo (Kaitlyn Jenkins) who’s got skills to pay the bills but is carrying a bit too much timber to be a prima ballerina. Then there’s fox eyed fox Melanie (Emma Dumont) the party girl – she’s a beer and blunts kind of chick. Life’s a riot to her. Sasha (Julia Goldani Telles) on the other hand has talent to burn but she doesn’t give a rat’s ass about dancing. Maybe if her gay dad came out that would help? I have no idea how but people keep saying it. Finally there’s Ginny (Bailey Buntain), a bubbly blond who
nauses everyone out wins people over with her endless supply of enthusiasm.
So I suppose Michelle may as well help teach then? She’ll need something to do now that Hubbell has taken a corner like Grace Kelly and lies dead like a cunt at the side of the road leaving Michelle a widow and his mother a large slab of grief and a daughter-in-law she barely knows. Add in that he’s left all his worldly possessions, land, house, dance studio and all to wifey boo and he’s done what he secretly wanted to do his entire life and properly fucked his mother. Really good work, Hubbell.
He’s left all his worldly possessions, land, house, dance studio and all to wifey boo and he’s done what he secretly wanted to do his entire life and properly fucked his mother.
So what about the Bunheads then? I’ll tell you what about them. It’s a good show. The dialogue is snappy, the dancing entertaining and Michelle and Fanny are a sympathetic odd couple pairing. The bunheads themselves are just regular girls with the hopes, insecurities and poor impulse control you associate with being dragged into young adulthood. The show itself will never reach young adulthood as it has been axed by ABC and so it joins the ranks of quite serviceable one season wonders better than many of the shows that outlive them. Bad luck, Bumheads. I guess the world just wasn’t ready for another show about stage school fucknuts.
The verdict: Black Swan for nice girls.
Marks out of 10: 7.5
¹ Dated him, whatever. Like you give a shit.