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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Television: Bunheads on ABC Family

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Bunheads S1E5: Money for Nothing


I've loved every episode so far but this one, not so much.


It hit a couple sore spots: bill paying and charging a fair amount for services - two things I'm not very good at and causes me a lot of stress.


I watch Bunheads to get away from my problems not dwell on them more.


I know it was a way to get Michelle to start teaching but just yuck.


I think the storyline is going the direction of showing how teaching can be just as rewarding as performing and I think that's great - a topic not well covered in other dance media I've seen.


Boo's friendship with the bartender was sweet too. No idea where that is going, but I bet it is heartbreak. That's normal for a tv show as well as real life at that age.


I did love, love, love the ballet! I loved the cashier's costume, the story line, the ending! Loved every minute of it! I want to write a ballet!


Now let's not talk about bills anymore.

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I feel like they don't focus on all the young dancers equally. It seems to focus on Boo, just because she doesn't have the waif-like body type that a good number of companies want, but then the writers remind you, "Oh, yeah, Sasha has a dysfunctional family, so don't hate her too much because she's skinny!" Ginny comes up ever so often, and I can't even remember the fourth girl's name.


However, I think my two favorite lines from the last episode were:

"Nine?" "You sound like a German"

and "Don't tell Josh I just saw God."

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It is very odd pacing and emphasis all the way around. It feels a bit like a novel length book was written and we are seeing synopsis of each chapter. So right now, we see more Boo. Later we will see more Sasha. I have a feeling the other two girls will not have larger roles this season, but who knows.


I am looking forward to Michelle actually teaching a class.

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I have started really liking the show as we are into the middle of the season. I still have a hard time with Michelle's acting style. Very drama class with almost a vaudevillian feel, not natural feeling. I do think her lines are over the top funny but her delivery is awkward.

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Kristine, I agree with you. The conversations (especially Sutton's delivery) do not feel like they have a natural cadence to me. I saw her as Princess Fiona and she was great at that part. She seemed to have a similar style of delivery, but it worked better, to me anyway, in that more fantasical situation. It doesn't feel like real life. I am waiting for more emphasis on the dancers and the work time and energy they must put in at the studio. I'm getting tired of the rest of it and I feel like I keep watching to see something more about dance life. I haven't laughed at any jokes yet.

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I just started watching the episodes on demand. I agree that Sutton Foster's acting style on this show is a bit of an odd choice. I'm guessing that this choice is directorial and not coming directly from her (although we can't be sure). I remember when I first watched "West Wing"...every actor on that show had an odd cadence to their speach. Definitely had to come from the director. I've seen Sutton Foster on stage many many many times...and she is quite different in each role. But always unique. I adore her. This may not be her best work, but I still adore her (and acting for TV is nothing like acting for the stage...it may just take her some time to find her level. )


I like the show. I find it charming and entertaining. I don't care that it isn't particularly realistic. My life is stressful enough with things that are real. Just let me escape for an hour and be entertained. It works for me. And as far as Boo and her mom go: I think a lot of people are going to identify with her. I think that a lot of parents think they are helping/protecting their kids by discouraging (Or in my case...forbidding) them to follow their dreams. They don't do it to be mean. They do it to protect them from disappointment. If they only knew the impact it has on a youngsters life.



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I think Sutton Foster's delivery works better when they are doing those wonderful rapid-fire exchanges they had in the first two episodes. I remember watching the speed and snap of those and thinking they were pretty delightful. In the past few episodes, though, the cadence of the whole show has slowed down and it makes her dry, oddly cadenced speech sound wrong around that. I really want to like this show so I hope the writers settle down and figure out what they are doing soon. They seem to vacillate between really excellent spurts of writing and stretches of downright amateur writing.

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I am loving this show, and my non-dancing teen and I have seen every episode. My dancer pops in and watches the tiny bit of dancing. If you do a search on YouTube for "Bunheads Paper or Plastic" you will see the hysterical ballet (with quite nice dancing) accompanied by the very funny commentary of Fanny and MIchelle. My husband found it quite amusing.


The diversity of what brings each of the four young dancers to dance and to each other as friends and the portrayal of the complexities of teen girl relationships are so real and poignant. Boo's kindness, Sasha's prickly exterior that forms a barrier around a suffering awkward girl, Melanie, the probably bright, but socially ditzy friend, and cute as a button Ginny. The relationships of the girls to their families are given importance and help explain who the girls are.


I would just like to see a bit more dancing...

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I loved the dance at the end of the last episode, though I'm not sure I understood the placement. I think it was meant to be fantasy.


But wow, it really showed off that these girls can dance.

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My synopsis:

  1. More Truly – Yay! Love her. “Please let me be your shih-tzu.” Adorable! Who could say no?!
  2. What is kissing George Clooney like? Like kissing George Clooney!
  3. 24 hour ATM Cupcakes – More yay!!
  4. I love Sutton’s over-exaggerated, live-stage delivery. But I found it really weird that her portrayal of Michelle drunk sounds normal. Funny, huh.
  5. Why do nice girls always fall for absolute jerks? Boo, he’s not worthy!
  6. They Might Be Giants’ Constantinople was playing on my “Walkman” constantly back in the day. This show is definitely a rewind of my life in the 80s.
  7. The dance routine was wonderful but yes a bit jarring in terms of storyline placement. I do love how you can so readily see the solid ballet technique in a Contemporary piece.
  8. Movies in a truck? Paradise is a really, really weird place.

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9. "I understand cake."


That was the line that had me laughing out loud.


I watch this with my daughters, they are (obviously) both ballet dancers. But they watch for the dancing. I watch because I love Amy Sherman Pallidino. The show will make me let out a loud "Ha!" and my daughters will go "What?" Because the dialogue and the references are too fast for them. But they did get number 2 above!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bunheads S1E8: Blank Up, It's Time


Okay things I loved:

  1. Boo and the quirky boy dancer. That whole situation rings so true. It is so hard for boy dancers. They get grief from the outside and unless they are 6’2” and can lift them off their feet and are not completely bored with everything, tend to be made fun of by even fellow dancers! So unfair. He was wonderful.
  2. Michelle crying in bed. It was so sad, funny and tender. I am glad Hubble has not been dismissed so thoroughly so quickly.
  3. Love Fanny’s man friend. He’s handsome, funny and really lovely.

Thing I don’t love:

  1. Way overboard, too quick, too overdone – Sasha. So because her home life is a bit nutso, she lashes out against everything? Maybe, but not this fast. She just looked silly going goth and getting into a yelling match with Fanny. Too, too much.

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  • 4 months later...

just discovered this show today. Going to watch a few episodes to see what it's about.

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