Bunheads

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Adam Lenhardt, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I watched because of Amy Sherman-Palladino. Pretty good pilot, liked everything except the ending. She's sure not running from the "Gilmore Girls" comparisons, and that's not really a bad thing. She's the only one still bringing Mayberrys to television.
     
  2. xfile94

    xfile94 Stunt Coordinator

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    I just happened to see the end of the show. Was Alan Ruck just there for the first show?:eek::huh:
     
  3. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Yes
     
  4. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I can't stand the title. I think everyone in the theater watching the promo was laughing at it and wrote it off because of the awful name. Who cares if it's an actual industry term? I was surprised when I heard it came from AS-P.
     
  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I also hated the title. All I thought of was Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia look.
     
  6. Steve Armbrust

    Steve Armbrust Second Unit

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    I liked the pilot too, except for the ending too. I think the show would be a lot more interesting if the love/not love angle with her and the new hubby were still present. It added some edginess that might now be lacking.
     
  7. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    Yeah, that ending seemed almost out-of-place (certainly out-of-left-field, at the very least) for a Sherman-Palladino joint.
    I like Sutton Foster (having seen her onstage), but her face in the first episode was TOO expressive -- she needs to realize she's not trying to reach the cheap seats in the theater anymore; the camera is right there in front of her face. Her acting came off a bit too stylized for TV (even a Sherman-Palladino show, which can be -- for good or ill -- quirk-tastic).
    With her talent, though, I'm sure she'll feel more natural as the show progresses, and it earned my curiosity for another week (never in a million freaking years thought I'd ever be saying those words about something airing on ABC Family).
     
  8. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I liked the second episode more than the first, because it wasn't so jam-packed. They're doing a nice job of building out an eccentric cast of characters. I think the characters of Michelle and Fanny are well defined, too. My main criticism at this point would be that the show spends too much time with the four girls, of which only the dark-haired skinny one has any complexity. Otherwise, they're the underdog, the clueless one, and the blond one.
    Nice to see David Burke pop up at the end as the lawyer.
    Is Paradise on the west coast or the east? From the pilot, I'd assumed it was in California a ways south of Los Angeles. But since then I've read a lot of reviews placing it along the east coast in an unnamed state.
     
  9. Steve Armbrust

    Steve Armbrust Second Unit

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    I assumed it was in California too. But I was bothered by the town's remoteness, i.e. no movie theater and nothing to do in town. (But wait, didn't the girls ditch school and go to a movie in the second episode????) Anyway, I can't imagine any California coastal town being remote.
     
  10. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Good catch on the movie theater slip-up! Glad I didn't catch it while watching, or it would have bugged me. Tonight's episode confirmed that it is indeed California. I think we'll just have to toss the realities of the California real estate market out the window and conceptualize the show's Paradise, CA as somewhere between Mayberry NC, Everwood CO, and Stars Hollow CT. The roads into and out of the real world only appear every so often and for the right reasons, like a drive-through wedding procession.
    The show's still establishing itself, and I only have vague ideas of what the formula is going to settle into once it does. The show's miles away from reality or realism, but even when I don't believe it I'm never less than entertained by it. And certain scenes, like after class when you see the students meet up with their parents and the difference between Boo's relationship with her mom and Sasha's relationship with hers, have real weight. It's nothing that hasn't been done before, but that's because it repeats itself through just about everyone's adolescence.
    I loved the scene in the dance studio, where Michelle peeks in and sees Sasha dancing late at night. At first she just thinks that Sasha's that much of a perfectionist. Quickly, she realizes something else is going on and uses the anecdote about CYA stories to sniff out Sasha's home life a bit. She asks if Sasha's alright, and Sasha says yes. She knows that's not so, but doesn't push. Michelle and Sasha are the two most broken characters in the cast, and I'd love to see them get to the point where they'll open up to each other in a way they don't to anybody else right now.
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I'm surprised to hear the show is quality. The preview was atrocious. It was the worst sort of Disney tween dreck. But Adam likes it. And EW compared it to Parenthood. I'll have to see if it remains good and is worth putting into the TiVo.
     
  12. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I wouldn't compare it to "Parenthood" (at least not the first two mostly stellar season of "Parenthood"), in that the show doesn't attempt to exist in the real world. The Paradise, California of the show could be Mayberry, NC or Everwood, CO or Cicely, AK. Aside from one very shocking event in the series premiere, the real world does not intrude upon it. And much like Mayberry, the episodic conflicts are primarily White People Problems™ with no lasting consequences after the episode is over. The ongoing plot lines are a bit more serious: the two adults leads are dealing with serious loss, the pretty popular girl comes from a brutally unhappy household with parents trapped in a loveless marriage, the quirky sweet-hearted girl struggles with body issues and self-confidence. It's mostly fluffy and light in tone.
    But nobody writes like Amy Sherman-Palladino, and her words are a joy to take in. The dialog spouts out of the protagonist's mouth like a firehouse, pouring out a mile a minute with several twists and turns before there's a pause for breath. Kelly Bishop and ASP are the perfect pairing between writer and performer, and neither has lost a beat since "Gilmore Girls." The girl who plays the pretty skinny, miserably unhappy dancer is a very good actress. And the quirky supporting cast that fleshes out the town's population is an absolute hoot -- particularly Gregg Henry as the waste particle proprietor of Paradise's only apparent eating establishment.
    It's not the best show on ABC Family -- that would be the magnificent "Switched at Birth" -- but it's a lot of fun in its affected way, and it fills a niche that no other show is targeting right now.
     
  13. Mikah Cerucco

    Mikah Cerucco Cinematographer

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    Bunheads is nowhere near as good as Parenthood. I really like the first episode, but am liking each subsequent episode less. The whole "parking on a private road" line was irritating. With the most recent episode, I started to feel like I was watching iCarly or Hanna Montana (shows I don't watch). It doesn't seem as good as I remember Gilmore Girls being. Gilmore Girls had more depth and didn't seem like a sitcom. I'm not sure how long I'll make it, but it seems a quality show for the people it's aimed at.
     
  14. Steve Armbrust

    Steve Armbrust Second Unit

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    It is no Parenthood, but except for Switched at Birth and the fading light that is now Secret Life of the American Teenager, Bunheads is the best thing on ABC Family and one of the best programs airing this summer. For me, it passes the "what do I watch first when the DVR's full" test. (Well, in the summer, the DVR is never full, but you know what I mean.)
     
  15. AlexF

    AlexF Supporting Actor

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    I finally got around to watching this show and I've definitely enjoying it so far (through 2 episodes). The concentration on the kids makes sense, seeing that it's ABC Family.
    I really enjoyed the dialogue and it was very reminiscent of Gilmore Girls (another show I really enjoyed). It was a pleasure seeing Kelly Bishop again, although it took me a good 10 minutes to actually remember her name during that first episode! :)
     
  16. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I'm six episodes in, still enjoying it and trying to figure out what it wants to be. I think next week's episode will give us a better idea of where the show's headed, because Michelle's storyline is going to be intermingled with the kids' storyline for the first time. Kelly Bishop is indeed fantastic on this.
    The end of last night's episode had a terrific dance number over the end credits featuring Sasha to "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)". I hope that becomes a regular feature of the show, because all of the girls come from a dancing background rather than an acting background, and some of what they do is just magic.
     
  17. Steve Armbrust

    Steve Armbrust Second Unit

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    I enjoyed the dance number too, but it didn't seem to have anything to do with the rest of the show. It would be nice if the musical numbers were more integrated, like the previous week's ballet.
     
  18. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    A few episodes back they compared the town to Ojai, CA "an hour north". So that puts it north of L.A., and completely in fantasy land.
     
  19. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Yes, how do you find the show's Paradise CA? You fly to the second star to the right, and straight on till morning.
     
  20. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Good episode tonight. It was nice to see Michelle finally deal with Hubbel's death. And it was nice to see that she saw herself as a widow, even if she didn't know she did.
    I wish the Sasha meltdown would come to a head already. The interesting stuff for me is in the fallout, not the buildup. We all know where this is headed, so lets get there already and see what happens next.
     

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