“So that was a condom, not a mint?” and Other Reasons Bunheads Should Not Have Been Canceled

Gilmore Girls is my favorite show of all time, and when I heard that Amy Sherman-Palladino was writing another show, I had to watch it. Bunheads (ABC Family) did not disappoint! Although the story line is different, it made me realize why I like Gilmore Girls and Sherman-Palladino’s work so so much. Bunheads has the same clever and fast-paced dialogue that I love and missed (and A S-P apparently can’t get enough of Waiting for Godot jokes). Like the citizens of Stars Hollow, the kooky residents of Paradise, CA, remind us that we are all a little bit crazy. It was even fun to see a few familiar faces, like Liza Weil, Kelly Bishop, Sean Gunn and Rose Abdoo, in new and equally wonderful roles.

Needless to say I am extremely sad that the show has been cancelled. I am sad because I think more shows should be like this one. I am sad because if I had a daughter or a little sister, this is the kind of show I would want her to be watching.

The girls (Sasha, Ginny, Boo, and Melanie) are good role models. They are passionate and dedicated young ladies who spend hours everyday practicing the thing they love until they get it right. At the same time, they are still normal teenage girls who enjoy sleepovers and going to the movies. No one is without flaws, yet they are intelligent, talented and motivated, and these qualities help them navigate the drama that friends, family, and romance bring to their lives.

Example: at the end of the season, Sasha decides that she wants to have sex. But she wants to make sure she is ready, she wants to be informed! So she rounds up Boo, Ginny, and Melanie…and they read about it. They go to the library. She seeks the advice of a trusted adult. This plot development, where Sasha and Boo consider taking their relationships to the next level, was handled in such a refreshing (and adorable!) way. Sex wasn’t made “unsexy” but it was treated like the real and very major decision that it is, and I think more people need to see that kind of behavior on television.

The ballet itself also makes the show special. The girls aren’t just attending class–performances add another artistic dimension to the episodes that is really beautiful. I’m not a dancer (and I imagine that people who do dance will have a different response to this aspect of the show) but I really came to see dancing as the form of expression that it is. The moments when Michelle and the girls are dancing were an essential part of the storytelling, like dialogue and music.

For example, this scene which expresses Sasha’s emotional turmoil, or the final scene of the show, a dance to “Makin’ Whoopee”–a fitting musical choice in light of the episode.

James Poniewozik wrote a great article for TIME about the show. The importance of the show, he says, is “to prove that there are different kinds of stories worth telling outside the usual genres.” He also writes, (and I’m quoting him because I literally cannot say it better): “But death is not the only thing that makes your life worthy of your attention. There’s growing up, finding your limitations, learning who you are. There’s being grown up, being forced to reassess your life, figuring out who you still can be. There’s wanting things and pursuing a calling–which does not always have to be building the largest meth operation in the Southwest.”  Bunheads is not Breaking Bad*–it doesn’t have that kind of suspenseful, high-stakes, high-adrenaline feel, but that might make it all the more worth watching. And like Poniewozik also points out–between Fanny, Michelle, and the girls–this show speaks to multiple generations

I am disappointed, but I’m not the only one. I hope to see more from Amy Sherman-Palladino in the future, and some more creative and intelligent shows like Bunheads on television.

 

 

Poniewozik, James. “On the Importance of Bunheads”. TIME. 26 Feb. 2013 Web. 4 Aug 2013 http://entertainment.time.com/2013/02/26/on-the-importance-of-bunheads/

*I am not hating on Breaking Bad.

 

One thought on ““So that was a condom, not a mint?” and Other Reasons Bunheads Should Not Have Been Canceled

  1. That was a good read! This is a perfect opportunity for you to continue Breaking Bad! The final season starts on Sunday. 🙂

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