Bunheads review – 1×03: ‘Inherit The Wind’

Courtesy of ABC Family

After last week’s episode saw Michelle (Sutton Foster) inherit everything from Hubble, this week we saw the aftermath and it included a rich recluse, an arrest, more kooky town folk and a healthy amount of drinking.

We also got to see more of the girls, but they still feel like a side story on this show

Let’s review.

Both Fanny (Kelly Bishop) and Michelle have a hard time adjusting to the news that Michelle is the sole inheritor of the house, the land and the building that houses the dance studio. For Fanny losing her house and land is understandably unsettling and she reacts by blaming the only person available to blame: Michelle (obviously). And while Michelle never asked to inherit it all, this does not stop Fanny from being passive aggressive with her throughout the episode, even paying Michelle for the water she wants to use for tea.

This, of course, annoys Michelle who isn’t even sure she wants to own anything, especially seven acres of land. She is a free bird, and is scared of having roots anywhere which might impede her hasty escape. Michelle tries to make peace by trying to go all Downton Abbey on Fanny and getting scones for breakfast (apparently she didn’t really understand the memo on carbs). Unfortunately Fanny is no Abbey fan.

Courtesy of ABC Family

While Fanny goes out to teach her class, Michelle is visited by Ginny’s (Bailey Buntain) mom who is also a real estate agent and tries to scare Michelle into selling the estate. Fanny witnesses part of this meeting and thinks Michelle is out to sell her down the river and they get into a big fight. Michelle decides to take Hubble’s sports car out for a drive to cool off and stalls on a private, but unmarked road. This gives us the opportunity to meet more of the kooky residents of Paradise, including the tow truck driver and local cop.

Alas, both are infuriatingly peculiar. They remind me of Kirk (Sean Gunn) on Gilmore Girls because I always had a love/hate relationship with him. While he was supposed to be this kind of wacky character, I often found him exasperating. This is the same reaction I had with these new characters. Although the whole scene is somewhat cutesy, the logical side of me got angry and annoyed with the silliness of it. Part of this is because we haven’t had enough town interaction yet, so these small bursts of whimsy feel out of place. While the rest of the cast and the other scenes are more firmly grounded in a reality that we can relate to, these whimsical scenes stick out like a sore thumb. What we are left with is a disquieting feeling, kind of like something out of The Stepford Wives.

Hopefully as the show progresses the town folk come out to play more often and help to adjust the tone of the show which will allow us to accept the silliness more willingly.

Courtesy of ABC Family

Meanwhile in actual “bunhead” land, we get to see more of the girls and find out that Sasha (Julia Goldani Telles) is the resident bitch (like we didn’t know this already). Also, Boo (Kaitlyn Jenkins) has a crush on Melanie’s (Emma Dumont) brother, Charlie.

Besides the whimsical new characters, ‘Inherit The Wind’ also introduces a few more of the bunheads’ parents. First up: Boo’s mother, Nanette (Jennifer Hasty) who is completely adorable. Nanette and Boo are definitely in the running for the title of “new Lorelai and Rory”. One thing that Sherman-Palladino does well is a mother/daughter relationships, and this one is another winner. I loved the chemistry between these two and I hope we get to see more of Nanette. On the other side of the spectrum we have Sasha’s mom who seems to be in the running for ‘The Real Housewives of Paradise.’ Cold and oblivious to her daughter? Check! Now we know why Sasha is prickly. I did love the touching scene between her and Michelle near the end when she catches Sasha at the studio late at night. I feel a surrogate mother storyline coming! Which would be good because I feel we need to start seeing more of a mix between the girls and Michelle and Fanny or else it’s gonna start to have the feel of the first season of the 90210 reboot.

Other Observations:

  • When Michelle went up the private road, she met the stranger who bought a bunch of land only to be a complete recluse. Despite some name confusion (everyone thought his name was Dave, but Michelle found out that it’s actually Grant), all signs suggest that this might be a new love interest for Michelle. Can you feel that chemistry? I know I can! Again Foster shines through this whole episode and especially this scene. She is so endearing and does so much even with a simple facial expression.

Best lines of the night:

  • Michelle (commenting on the girls taking pictures of their blistered feet): “Hey…nice pictures? Is this some internet thing that I am happy to be too old to know about?”
  • Nanette (addressing the low fat mac n’ cheese she made for Boo): “The entire house smells. Now I have never smelled a dead foot before, but…”
  • Michelle: “You’re calling that autobahn you have on your property a driveway? Boy, you are rich. You’re Manilow rich.”
  • Michelle: “I honestly didn’t think there was a scenario after the 1800s where people crapped in the ground behind their house and then just left it there. But apparently there is, and suddenly I’m thinking about, talking about, I’m septic tank girl.”

What did you guys think? Are you enjoying the crazy townsfolk? Are you empathetic to Queen B Sasha? Loving the relationship between Boo and Nanette? Is Grant a possible love interest for Michelle? Or is it too soon to even think about that?

Bunheads airs Mondays at 9pm EST on ABC Family

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