I LOVED Gilmore Girls.
Ever since my friend Amanda turned me on to it a few years ago, about 4 seasons into it already being on, I was hooked. Sure, at first I was put off by all the fast-talkin’ (only because it reminded me of Dawson’s Creek era teen dramas). And I was still holding a grudge from when a woman I worked with at my college’s art office told me I looked like Lorelei Senior (“I look like a MOM??” I had no idea she was a really hot mom). But I was soon overcome with admiration for the cleverness of the script, the individuality of the characters, and above all an engrossing tv show that didn’t have to center around nonstop drama. I mean, there was drama. But there was also lots of storylines involving junk food and movie marathons.
After Gilmore Girls slogged through it’s last season (I say slogged because the network kicked off its chief writer and creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino for the last one and BOY could you tell the difference), I wondered what, if anything, could fill the GG void. Then I heard rumors of The Return of Jezebel James and got excited — Parker Posey AND Claire from Six Feet Under AND the creator of Gilmore Girls?? Match made in amazeville! … So of course, Fox cancelled it.
In the meantime, it’s been a bit depressing watching Lauren Graham on Parenthood, trying to pretend her character Sarah could ever be as powerful and independent as Lorelei. Of course she can’t. She has to be weak and indecisive. Ho hum. Not to mention Rory being all shades of crazy on Mad Men. Ugh.
But now this week - exciting news that a NEW Amy S-P show had landed - Bunheads!
It premiered Monday night on ABC Family, but even though I don’t have cable anymore ($200/month bills are not my bag), there’s a free preview up at the ABC Fam site. I had one friend tell me they loved it, and one hated it, so I felt I had the right attitude going into it. Sutton Foster plays the lead character Michelle - a Vegas showgirl who, tired after having her latest dream crushed, decides on a whim to run off with the sweet man who’s had a crush on her and brought her flowers on a consistent basis. She winds up in a quiet small town and discovers the town’s only attraction, and a place where she might make a new life - a tiny dance studio.
I was warned going in that it could be considered Gilmore Girls Lite, featuring a lot of holdovers - small cute town, strong witty female lead, Kelly Bishop, Gypsy from the repair shop … but honestly none of those similarities to GG bothered me. For one, this isn’t a mother-daughter thing. Michelle is very much on her own and not looking to be a mother to any of the dance studio girls. Also, Kelly Bishop’s role in this is far from Emily Gilmore, the wealthy WASPish Grandmother - in this she’s probably truer to her real self - a boozy, sassy older woman who used to be a killer dancer. The only thing that I found repellant in the GG comparisons was … the MUSIC. The “la la la” theme worked fine with GG, I got used to it. But for it to be in this too? Uh-uh, that’s where I draw the line.
So anyway, I loved the pilot. I super loved Sutton Foster (and the fact that I recognized her from Flight of the Conchords) and I’m so thrilled Amy S-P is back on the scene, we need more media creators like her out there.