In case you pirate literally everything and you haven’t seen any of the ads for it yet, Amy Sherman-Palladino has a new show. No, another new show (sorry, Jezebel James). I’ll skip the part about Gilmore Girls and how much I love it and get right to the goods. And before you roll your eyes about how stupid the title “Bunheads“ is or how ABC Family could never make anything good enough for you, Ms. Refined Palate 2012, just pause for a second and read the damn list. Okay?
1. This is not a show about dancing. It’s a show about people who happen to dance. This is not Make It or Break It, I proooomise. Sutton Foster’s Michelle is a former Vegas Showgirl who’s wondering where her life went wrong. It’s a show about wasted potential, about the choices we make in life and how we deal with the consequences. And it’s so good.
2. It’s not even really a show about teenage girls. Where did that marketing campaign come from, ABC Family? It looks like Bunheads is going to focus mainly on Fanny and Michelle, who are like 65 and 35 respectively. I will say, though, that the four young dancers they’ve chosen to hone in on are intriguing to me. They all have very different personalities and motivations, and, while they all benefit from Sherman-Palladino’s special sense of humor, they still sound WAY more like ~actual teenagers than like 98% of the teenagers on television. Props.
3. They do dance sometimes, though! And when they do, my heart kind of does this thing and I cry. I don’t want to talk about it. There were some very moving scenes of grown women and young ladies learning important life lessons from each other through the medium of dance, and I will not apologize for the sob fest that may or may not have resulted.
4. Am I on HBO? Gilmore Girls had Luke’s Diner, a quaint small-town haunt that served coffee and burgers almost exclusively (not even any cones for the ice cream). And, according to Lorelai, there weren’t any places in the whole town of Stars Hollow to buy booze. But Bunheads has an actual dive bar that serves actual alcohol! What the what. We have now passed Go! and we may now collect $200.
5. Michelle is a lot like Lorelai, but with a tighter grasp on reality. She has all of Lorelai’s wit and charm, her brazen attitude and fast-talking tendencies, but without the irksome, flat-out refusal to ever accept help from anyone—ever—or the uncanny ability to make every single conversation about her. Michelle has been supporting herself for a long time. She’s made some bad decisions, but she’s dealt with them. And now she’s tired. She doesn’t give up, but she accepts that life kind of sucks and takes it on the chin. Strong female characters, amiright?
6. Emily F$%&ing Gilmore. After rewatching the first 3 seasons of Gilmore Girls about 900 times, I think I’m finally ready to say it: Emily Gilmore is the best character. I’m serious. When Kelly Bishop cries, I cry. Do me a favor, after you see episode 2 of Bunheads, go and watch the Gilmore Girls episode “Forgiveness and Stuff.” And then come back here and high five me for making that sweet parallel. I’ll wait.
7. And oh my God is that Mitchum Huntzberger? Yes, it is. Beyond Emily, beyond the familiar La-La-Las, we have a whole slew of Sherman-Palladino tropes to hold on to. So the next time you feel the need to cry into your Gilmore Girls season 5 DVDs, you can just watch Bunheads instead. Gypsy the mechanic works at the local clothing store. Drella the harpist has a sweet cameo in the Pilot. Fanny’s crazy living room (pictured above) is kind of reminiscent of Lorelai’s. One of Fanny’s friends is basically the female Kirk (you’ll know her when you see her). I’m honestly just waiting for Sam Winchester and Peter Petrelli to stop in and say hey. But remember: this is not GG take two. This is like the Angel to its Buffy, the Torchwood to its Doctor Who.
8. The Best Soundtrack of all time. OF ALL TIME. ASP brought back GG’s genius musical team of Helen Pai and Sam Phillips for this show, so trust that you’ll be hearing a lot more Tom Waits and a lot less One Direction Monday nights on ABC Family. The Gilmores introduced me to everybody from PJ Harvey and XTC to the Shins and Ash when I was younger, and I can’t wait to hear more quality stuff on my TV you guyzzz.
9. “Every moment you waste in life is a sin.” My BFF Fanny Flowers tells us this in the Pilot. I have since been using it as a personal mantra / mission statement, and I would encourage you to do the same. This is real wisdom, y’all. Carpe those diems.
10. Plus, there’s a huge spoiler at the end of the first episode. Now, aren’t you just dyyyyyying to know what happens? I know you are. In 42 minutes of television, ASP takes characters, gives them stuff to do, establishes a pretty cool premise, there’s some dancing, and then BAM. JK LOL. It’s so extreme and so interesting and I’m so glad it happens. But you won’t know until you watch it. Hah!