Bunheads review – 1×06: ‘Movie Truck’

Courtesy of ABC Family

In this week’s Bunheads review, we experience an eternal dilemma that has plagued reviewers for many millennia: How is it that with so many storylines colliding in a single episode, nothing actually happens?

Let’s bitch!‘Movie Truck’ presents us with a particularly strange situation in which lots of things happen, but it seems like nothing has actually occurred. Here’s what we see (or in some cases, don’t see):

  1. Michelle (Sutton Foster) finally teaches
  2. Sasha’s (Julia Goldani Telles) family troubles appear to be getting worse
  3. Boo (Kaitlyn Jenkins) goes for a Dita Von Teese look to impress Charlie (Zak Henri) and instead ends up looking like The Observer from Fringe, and
  4. Truly (Stacey Oristano) hangs out with Michelle

That seems like a lot, right? And yet the show continues to flounder with its sloooooow pacing.

Last week explored the possibility of Michelle teaching at Fanny’s (Kelly Bishop) school, so it’s good follow-up that this week she is forced to fill-in when Fanny takes a last minute sabbatical. Fanny, you sneaky minx! Of course this isn’t the big story; this is pushed aside early on so we can focus Michelle’s birthday celebration and the return of Talia (Angelina McCoy). Two sexy ladies up to no good is always fun…unless you’re in Paradise. If that’s the case, then you sneak into the movie truck, get drunk, then drive to LA to hit up the cupcake vending machine.

And therein lies the problem: I get that Michelle is still contemplating what to do with her life (this is both the general premise of the show AND appears to be the only story Bunheads intends to tell about her). My issue is that everything about this storyline feels immaterial since nothing is moved forward. We don’t even get to see Michelle teach! WTF? At the end of the forty-two minutes, it feels like we’re in the same place we were when ‘Movie Truck’ began: Michelle is unsure about her future. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Bunheads – get on with it!

Courtesy of ABC Family

Luckily this storyline is somewhat saved by Truly, who is super excited about hanging out with women her age without being forced to discuss such literary gems as 50 Shades of Grey. (I don’t get this since that 50 Shades is clearly right up there with Tuesdays with Morrie, or the lesser known Two Gays with Morrie…What about A Tale of two Cities, or A Tale of Two Titties? I can go all night, folks!) It’s nice to see Michelle and Truly finally have some fun times together, and Stacey Oristano really does a superb job with her character. Her awkwardness is truly (pun intended) endearing. It looks like this budding friendship will give us some laughs in the second half of the season.

Courtesy of ABC Family

Meanwhile in munchkin land, the actual Bunheads are out past curfew as Sasha’s family life implodes. While I admit I ‘ve been hot and cold with Sasha since the show began, she did grow on me in this episode. This is mostly due to the fact that she didn’t really have any bitchy moments. Instead we get a heartbreaking scene with her and her father, which really helps to humanize her. Unfortunately, this scene  really makes me wish we could actually get some insight into this family dynamic instead of just off-camera shouting. We need to dig a bit deeper into this girl.

In addition to fighting with dad, Sasha – in a nice change of pace – keeps it real with Boo. This is good since the slightly awkward girl needs all the help she can get: she’s pining hardcore over no-good Charlie, even after he uses her to get another girls’ numbers. Ugh that scene is painful! Memo to Boo: Girl, this boy is bad news!!

Now in last week’s review I complained about the slow pace of the show. Problematically ‘Movie Truck’ does nothing to ameliorate this issue; I would argue it actually makes it worse. But even though it feels like virtually nothing happened, I still enjoyed the episode. That’s what makes Sherman-Palladino such a great show runner. While she could definitely speed things up, even when her shows aren’t fantastic, they’re still fun to watch (What can I say? I’m a sucker for these characters). Even when things got rough in season 6 of Gilmore Girls, I was there. And doggone it, I will be there for the Bunheads season finale, even if Michelle is still pondering the meaning of her existence! (But fingers crossed that the next episode will actually move us along on the whole “Michelle staying in Paradise” storyline.)

Other observations:

  • Are you seriously going to bring in Ellen Greene for two lines?? That’s like making me smell a fresh cupcake, then not letting me eat it. It’s both rude and…mmmm cupcakes.
  • Was Michelle’s birthday celebration really that great? Seemed like a bit of wash to me compared to the other epic nights she described.
  • Am I the only one hoping for a Liz Torres appearance?

Best lines of the night:

  • Michelle (as Truly’s book club discusses 50 Shades of Grey): “Great! Sorry to walk in on the end of literature.”
  • Michelle (to the stripper pole): “I’m not scared of you. See this, that’s a Nomi Malone, intimidating right?”
  • Sasha: “Boo, what are you doing?”
  • Boo: “Being invisible. It’s what I do best.”

What did everyone else think? Did you feel like anything moved forward? Is Sasha’s family drama old news? Should Boo really be pining over Charlie? And most importantly, do you love cupcakes as much as I do? Sound off below!

Bunheads airs Monday nights at 8pm EST on ABC Family

3 thoughts on “Bunheads review – 1×06: ‘Movie Truck’

  1. I love this review!

    I agree with you: the show isn’t moving fast enough (I don’t need to have things resolved in an episode, like it’s done in crappy shows, but I need development, for sure).

    I missed Fanny! She’s the one character who calls Michelle on her sh*t. Like you, I want to get know the other characters. If the writers going to be slow on plot/story, then at least they could be heavy on the characters and setting!

    To be honest, I was a bit bored with the Bunheads storyline. But Boo’s eyebrows were hilarious! I loved them. I hope she keeps them for a couple episodes. I want to see those eyebrows in all sorts of situations!

    • Yeah Fanny’s presence was definitely missing in this episode. Fanny needs to come back and straighten Michelle out. No one tells it like it is like Kelly Bishop!
      The eyebrows were golden! One of the better sight gags this show has done.