Bunheads

It was announced last month that "Bunheads" wouldn't be renewed for a second season—but Boo and crew weren't ready to hang up their pointe shoes just yet. The cast, choreographer Marguerite Derricks and director Amy Sherman-Palladino reunited last Saturday for one final farewell dance, and they filmed it for their fans. Check it out here: 

The first season of "Bunheads" closed its curtains this week with the finale episode, optimistically titled "Next." A rambling bildungsroman, the show is essentially a choreography of stories about dancers at all ages following their dreams and facing reality. Michelle wakes up with a gorgeous Godot and courageously sets out for Los Angeles to audition for a part in a musical. Even though the audition is a sham, Michelle’s performances earn her the admiration of her bunheads.

This week’s episode of Bunheads is all about men and women, sex, love and marriage. The only dance scene features modern choreography in miners' hats, dancing in the dark with headlights. Even though the paucity of dance is disappointing, the episode makes up for it with a choreography of flirtation and independence set in the dance studio when it becomes the evacuation center for Paradise during a fire. After finding a condom under the girls’ lockers, Michelle worries that her bunheads are having sex, and makes the boys move their cots away from the girls.

In this week’s episode of "Bunheads," we see playful performances from two dancers, each at different stages of life, each confronting different insecurities. As Ginny watches her dance friends leave the studio to socialize—Sasha flirting with Roman and Melanie being captivated by Cozette and roller-derby—she isolates herself in the dressing room alone. Her friends ignore her when she states her intention to audition for the school play, convinced that, based on her past actions, she will chicken out at the last moment.

This week’s episode of "Bunheads" opens with the dancers rehearsing in the studio, all in black leotards and tight buns. Watched with the volume turned down, the dancers appear to gracefully and seamlessly dance in unison. Turn the volume on and this vision of mature young ballerinas dissolves as Melanie and Ginny partake in a catty repartee about Melanie’s friendship with Cozette, which Ginny experiences as a best-friend betrayal.

This week’s episode of Bunheads, “The Astronaut and the Ballerina,” showcased the direction and meaning that ballet gives dancers’ lives. The characters participated in a human choreography as they tested their relationships and searched for a purpose.

 

Quirky and appealing as Amy Sherman-Palladino’s “Bunheads” can be, the charm flags quickly when she gets too far away from the dance studio. Last night’s winter season premiere spent many long minutes getting Michelle (Sutton Foster) back under the wing of Madame Fanny (Kelly Bishop) and the dancers back in training under Fanny’s eagle eye.

 

"Bunheads" returns this Monday night, bringing back the adorably nutty antics and zany ballets of Paradise Dance Academy. To celebrate the winter premiere of the show, Pointe is doing something a little different with our next cover: We're giving you an inside peek into the story of Kaitlyn Jenkins, the actress who plays Bettina "Boo" Jordan on "Bunheads." Jenkins grew up training intensively in the hopes of becoming a professional ballet dancer. But the reality was that her body never fit the ballet ideal.

The best "Bunheads" episodes—at least from the perspective of us bunheads—are the ones that involve lots of dancing. And the series' Nutcracker-themed summer finale episode last night certainly had plenty of dance, from Boo and Carl's sweet Fred-and-Ginger number to Michelle's fantastic Cabaret dream sequence (more of Sutton Foster doing what Sutton Foster does best, please!). Was most of the choreography a bit on the wacky side, as per "Bunheads" tradition?

Finding the perfect pas de deux partner is, in some ways, similar to searching for your ideal pair of pointe shoes. At first, you’re tempted to decide based on the shimmer of the satin or the prestige of the brand name. However, you soon realize the need to look beyond the superficial, and choose the something that offers unwavering support and makes you look your best. During last night’s episode of "Bunheads," Boo learned that there's more to a good partner than what meets the eye.