Episode 6: Movie Truck
By: Carlos Uribe
Bunheads is about a dancer who moves to a sleepy coastal town and becomes a ballet teacher.
Let's talk about the ending. This episode ended with Sasha doing a dance. It had nothing to do with the rest of the story and is truly the first part of the episode that could truly be considered to be just dancing. I'm not sure if this is going to be a constant feature of the series or not, but it is an interesting concept for the show to take. It is unique. The only issue that I have with it is that I don't find the dancing aspect of the show very interesting but I can imagine that people who are tuning in to Bunheads and expecting for there to be dancing would like it. That it's at the very end where I can easily tune out is a benefit. It would simply be better for the show if it found way to better transition to those dance scenes as it felt sort of abrupt when this episode did it. The lack of natural transitioning called into attention how out-of-place the dancing sequence was from the rest of the episode and therefore brought into question into what the series was doing.
The actual episode is fun and it proves that it doesn't need Fannie in order to be a good show. The episode ships Fannie off to some resort, only appearing in the episode to take a single phone call. This allows the show to do two things. It gives Michelle the sole responsibility of running the dance studio while at the same time allowing her to develop relationships beyond just Fannie. This series is odd. It should have taken the chance to help Michelle bond with the main teenagers more, but it instead choses to develop the relationship between Michelle and Truly a bit more. While I like Truly, she is just a recurring character and it's a bit odd on how undeveloped the relationships that Michelle shares with the teenagers. It's almost as if there's two different shows currently on the air: one featuring Michelle and one featuring the youth. The shows will sometimes meet for a few lines but they remain largely separate. Michelle isn't shown to actually teach any class, which is also an odd choice for the series to take. She complains about having to teach and is shown trying to learn some pole dance but there's no actual teaching in the episode.
She does have an entire different plotline this episode and that's trying to have the best birthday party in Paradise. Michelle is the kind of person that likes to have a big birthday with her best friend. This best friend actually does come to visit for the weekend and Trudy invites herself into the birthday celebration. It's a great plot that bonds Michelle and Trudy a bit while at the same time helping to cement the relationship between Michelle and her best friend from Vegas. There's even a hint in this episode that the best friend might decide to move to Paradise. I'm not sure if I like the friend enough to support this move but it would at least provide Michelle with a friend that she actually likes. The birthday celebration actually seems to be a success and it leads to some pretty good dialogue from our protagonist.
The teenagers spend the entire episode sneaking out of Sasha's place and going to see an R-rated movie at a movie truck. This movie truck goes from town to town, showing movies. It actually sounds pretty awesome. The movie truck does play into Michelle's birthday plotline but the teenagers and her barely interact. The movie truck plot largely goes to further reveal just how much Sasha's parents ignore her and how hopeless Boo's love for Ginny's (or is it Melanie's?) brother is. It does lead to some entertaining scenes but Ginny and Melanie continue to blend together into my head. They're just not as distinctive characters like Boo and Sasha happen to be. There's a part of me that wonders if that's because the series spends a lot of it's time on developing recurring characters rather than these two main characters.
Bunheads had a pretty fun episode but it didn't exactly do what it should have: develop the relationships between Michelle and the teenagers. This episode gave Michelle the perfect opportunity to do so and the series simply didn't take it. This season has been entertaining but it's suffering from it's lack of ability to provide a cohesive whole. There are many parts of the series but they have yet to somehow actually come together.