Bunheads review – 1×07: ‘What’s Your Damage, Heather?’

Courtesy of ABC Family

After last week’s dance of rage, Sasha (Julia Goldani Telles) seems to be spiraling down the evil rabbit hole, to no one’s amusement.  Meanwhile, Michelle (Sutton Foster) is finally teaching, but the sense of purpose we thought she would get from it is nowhere to be found.  Well played, ASP.  What we do get is an episode where relationships are tested and Fanny’s (Kelly Bishop) presence is sorely missed.

Let’s bitch!

This week Michelle became the teacher we all knew she could be, but it seems to have taken a toll on her and she isn’t as comfortable with the position as we had hoped.  It also seems that when Fanny goes out of town, everything and everyone falls apart.  This was by far the best thing about the episode (if you don’t include Jennifer Hasty’s Nanette – more on her below). This week we were treated to multiple storylines involving the bunheads and Michelle and their relationships to one another.  For organizational methods sake let’s go down the bunhead list.

Sasha – After last week’s angry dance, she took a few days off to go to a spa and came back with her best Eva Rodriguez impression.  Of course this was short lived as Michelle gave her a stern (yet hilarious) talking to, in which we learned that Michelle does not want to be an authority figure but will be if Sasha doesn’t smarten up.  This was a great scene that allowed us to see the dynamic between these two.  Fanny is the authority figure, Michelle is not.  She is the good cop.  And while Sasha might have tried to test Michelle, it’s nice to see Michelle stand her ground and refuse to let Sasha act out.  The young bunhead is clearly looking for authority figures in her life to replace her barely-there parents and Fanny and Michelle are a good pair to fill that void.  And while Sasha’s hot and cold ‘tude has always been a little annoying, this week it’s balanced out by the many other storylines, which is a good thing.  (Although judging from the preview of next week’s episode it seems we are in for a big blowout, including angry purple hair…yeesh!)

Melanie (Emma Dumont) – Umm…she’s the funny one.

Courtesy of ABC Family

Ginny (Bailey Buntain) – After hearing about Michelle’s wild teenage years, Ginny decides to dump her boyfriend that she has had since grade two (totally weird!).  This prompts her mother to confront Michelle.  But in her attempt to reprimand Michelle about negatively influencing Ginny, her mom managed to make it all about her and what the loss meant for her life.  It was a sad scene, not only because it made Michelle feel like she was corrupting these girls but because Ginny’s mom is so obviously selfish and doesn’t even know what her daughter wants.  It did give us more insight into the world of Ginny, which is something we haven’t had the opportunity to see so far.  This is a good thing considering this is episode seven and the most I could have written about Ginny would’ve been, ‘the perky one.’  Ideally we’re looking for more than a single generic descriptor for these girls (see Melanie above).

Boo (Kaitlyn Jenkins) –  Boo is clearly the girl who is closest to Michelle, and who respects her the most.  She proved this this week when was the only one who refused to rifle through Michelle’s things (So rude!). It’s not easy being Boo: always dieting, working at a job with a boss that doesn’t respect you, and pining over a boy who clearly doesn’t think of you that way.  It was heartbreaking to see Charlie (Zak Henri)  finally talk to her, only to have him ask Boo to talk him up to a newly single Ginny.  And the ever big-hearted Boo actually does it!  Honey, if that was me I would have told Ginny that Charlie had crabs (but I’m a bitch that way).  And speaking of bitches, when did Ginny become one?  All of a sudden Miss “I don’t need a man” is all up in Boo’s business!  Did she hit her head and forget that Boo has been lusting over Charlie for a long time? Yeah, okay, Ginny said she wouldn’t date him, but did she have to look so excited about it as her friend sat there with a knife in her heart?  Ginny is officially on my sh*t list.  Nobody messes with my Boo.  Luckily Boo has a great mother, and Michelle (Side Note: I loved Nanette in this episode.  We need more Nanette) After all these crazy parents it’s nice to see someone who can actually take care of their kid…and Michelle.  Like I said before, more Nanette, please!

The girls obviously look up to Michelle.  And the fact that all of their relationships are complicated only makes things more exciting for us viewers.  With that said, despite some great interactions between Michelle and the girls, Fanny’s presence was definitely missed again this week.  The show just isn’t complete without her.  While I love Sutton Foster, her manic tendencies tend to overwhelm the show without Kelly Bishop to reel her back in (think Lorelai without Luke or Emily).  Fanny and Michelle are like the ying and yang of the show, the one can’t exist without the other.  And while ‘What’s Your Damage, Heather?’ had many things going for it, the absence of Fanny was definitely noticeable.  The vibe of the show just isn’t the same without her.  So it will be a great relief to find her again in next week’s episode.  Until then…

Other Observations:

  • So happy to see Todd Lowe back in the Sherman-Paladino world again (especially since his True Blood role continues to waste his talents).  His fling with Truly (Stacey Oristano)  is something I look forward to seeing more of in upcoming episodes.
  • Was I the only one craving one of Nanette’s pumpkin chocolate chip cookies?  With a grape juicebox, of course.
  • I am really enjoying the dynamic between Truly and Michelle.  It’s great to see their friendship blossom, and to see Truly come out of her shell.
  • Everything like the Heathers reference?
  • The inclusion of the townspeople is starting to feel a lot more natural. Thank goodness!

Best lines of the night:

  • Michelle: “Nobody’s happy with a salad.  The salad just punched itself in the face.”
  • Michelle: “Well…it’s not weird like, ‘see that guy eating that other guy’s face over there.  He’s so weird’ weird.  It’s more like, ‘no other guys since the second grade?  That’s weird’ weird.”
  • Nanette: “You can’t listen to Claire, she’s unstable and her hair doesn’t move.”

What did you guys think?  Are you enjoying the interaction between the girls and Michelle?  Excited for the return of Fanny next week?  Are you loving Nanette as much as I am?  Is Ginny on your shit list too? Hit up the comments below

Bunheads airs on Monday nights at 9pm EST on ABC Family

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