Brittany Goldfield Rodrigues
Bunheads can now be added to the long list of cancelled television shows featuring some of Broadway’s greatest names. This is such a phenomenon that Megan Hilty, Andrew Rannells, Laura Benanti, and Neil Patrick Harris sang about all these cancellations at this year’s Tony Awards.
Bunheads, the dance-heavy ABC show from the brain of Gilmore Girls writer Amy Sherman-Palladino, was a hoot. Starring Broadway royalty Sutton Foster, the comedy was cancelled after a two-part season. The show followed Michelle, a dancer with Broadway dreams who marries a guy after one date. Shortly after (hours after) the two say “I do”, her husband passes away leaving her half his estate. Now, she has to share the estate with his sassy dance teacher mother. The story is warm hearted; the blossoming relationship between Michelle and her mother-in-law Franny (Kelly Bishop) was a fan favourite.
The show was loved enough for additional episodes to be ordered, but apparently not enough for a second season. This is a bummer because the show had everything a theatre nerd could love. It had funny one liners, pop culture references, a quick back and forth between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law, and was so outrageous at times that it worked. Those are only a few of many reasons we will miss this show on our television sets. Here are some others:
1) Sutton Foster
This woman alone is a reason we will miss this show. She better be back on TV soon, because syndicated programming needs her quick wit, sarcasm, and hysterical facial expressions. Some (try most) of us will not be able to see Foster perform live on stage, but her being on a weekly show ensured that we would be able to watch her work her performance magic. On Bunheads she sang, danced, and wore some questionable outfits, but she player her character brilliantly, and made us fall in love with Michelle.
2) The Franny/Michelle Dynamic
Girls are catty, sarcastic, manipulative, and these two were an accurate portrayal of the ups and downs of a relationship with a parent. Michelle’s mom was emotionally distant, so Franny was a mother figure to Michelle. She called her out on her immaturity, but was always the first to thank her or praise her when appropriate. Their hilarious back and forth dialogue made the show entertaining and quirky.
3) Teens with TEEN issues
Boo, Sasha and the game were refreshingly different from the sex-obsessed angsty teens that are normally seen on TV today. Instead of being shallow and annoying, they were teens with an innocence to them. Their relationship and how it changed mimicked how friendships bloom and sometimes come to an end in high school. They struggled with what it means to be in a long-term committed relationship, and what it is like entering into your first. They supported one another, but importantly always called each other out when they were acting irresponsible. Oh, they were also spectacular dancers with incredible moves.
A show needs a wacked out character to be successful, and Truly was that for Bunheads. She was always overly anxious, bubbly, paranoid, and just an all around nut job. We loved her for her big heart and her longing to be part of the community. Plus her antics always had us laughing and really empathizing with her. She was adorable and difficult not to love. The best Truly moment hands down was using the dance studio as her makeshift store… obviously Michelle and Franny were not enthused by their studio becoming a fashion show, but it was amusing watching Truly try to get away with it.
5) The Boys
For a girl-centric show, they did a good job of incorporating a few lovable male characters. The girls’ boyfriends were possibly the best a teenage female could ask for. Instead of portraying teenage boys as horny animals with no good intentions, Bunheads portrayed a nicer, more modest teen boy who just wanted to keep their girlfriend happy. Jeanie, Boo, and Sasha all lucked out with boys who truly wanted to make them happy.
What will you miss about Bunheads?