This week Tiffany White and I take on two new television programs on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in our first Boys versus Girls post—ABC Family’s Bunheads and TBS’s Men at Work.
I’ve never in my life been the little girl with dreams of being a ballerina. I enjoy the idea of dancing, but my interest in it never developed very far beyond that. Maybe it has something to do with my solid lack of coordination, or fear of leotards. (Not to be confused with leopards, which are awesome.)
Anyhoo, despite my disinterest in the craft, I was pretty excited about the new series Bunheads, which derives its name from the common hairstyle worn by ballet dancers.
Why so excited?
I love dialogue. Banter, “speechifying”, you name it, when done well, I love it. If I could write only dialogue all day, I probably would. There are a few writers that are known for their abilities in the dialogue department (Sorkin, anyone?). One such writer is Amy Sherman Palladino. If you just said, “who?”, go to your room.
But seriously, Amy is the creator of The Gilmore Girls. If you watched GG (yes, in my head, this show is what GG stands for, not Gossip Girl) and hated it, you should probably just move along now. Bunheads will not be for you.
For the rest of you, Bunheads follows the character Michelle (Sutton Foster), a classically trained dancer turned Vegas showgirl who is feeling a bit sorry about her lot in life. As a result she agrees to marry her very persistent suitor, a sweet man who she doesn’t love but wins her over with tales of his hometown, Paradise.
Michelle arrives in Paradise to find a town that doesn’t exactly warm up to her, particularly her mother-in-law Fanny (Kelly Bishop). The only people in town that seem pleased with her arrival are four ballet students, excited about the prospect of knowing a “real” dancer.
As if being in this small town isn’t bad enough, a tragedy hits, leaving Michelle even more alone than she already was.
I’m really enjoying the show so far. I should disclose that I was a fan of The Gilmore Girls, and was a little worried this show would try too hard to be what Gilmore was. So far, it seem to be striking the right balance of being its own show, but retaining the signatures of Mrs. Sherman Palladino. The fast paced chatter, the pop culture references (although those seem to be toned down a bit), the three generations to relate to; it’s all there.
There is also something to be said for a new program that appeals to various ages. Family programming is hard to come by, but like Gilmore Girls, this show seems like it will be one that will be enjoyed by adults and young people alike. (Oh, and dudes, I know far too many of you who pretend not to like The Gilmore Girls, yet will sit through it, laugh, and want to see the next episode, so don’t get all “this is a girl show” on me.)
Bunheads is definitely off to a solid start. I give it a MacTV rating. Totally a pantry staple.
[Hey, non-cable peeps: You can watch the third episode on Hulu. The rights have not been secured yet to keep a queue of the shows, so fingers crossed they get them soon so you can catch up. In the meantime, you can get away with starting at ep 3.]
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech