Series / Bunheads

"There's no crying in baseball! Or ballet!"

New series on ABC Family by Amy Sherman-Palladino of Gilmore Girls.

Michelle Simms is a classically trained dancer that wound up as a Vegas showgirl. One night after she is rejected from an audition for a touring production of Chicago without getting a chance to perform, she accepts the proposal of Hubbell Flowers, a traveling shoe salesman who lives in a house with a fantastic view of the Pacific in a town called Paradise. Hubbell fails to tell her that he lives with his mother, Fanny, who runs a ballet school attached to the house. And then he dies and leaves the house, studio and land to Michelle.

Was cancelled in 2013 after only one season.

This series provides examples of:

  • A-Cup Angst: All the girls, except Ginny.
    • "Unless I find a guy who's really into a well-defined clavicle, I'm dying alone."
  • Adorkable: Boo. Melanie and Ginny have shades of this too.
  • Adults Are Useless: Fanny, Michelle and the Jordans do all right, but this show features some almost comically inept parenting from the Torres and Thompson clans, to nearly the point of being Abusive Parents.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: This show loves this trope. Hubbell's for Michelle, Truly's for Hubbell, Millie's for Hubbell, Boo's for Charlie, Carl's for Boo, Dez's for Melanie...
    • Although for Hubbell, Carl and Dez, things change...
  • Ballet: But of course.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Truly and Davis. Dez and Melanie, apparently. More belligerent on Melanie's side since Dez is shown so far as being something of a Hidden Depths/Obfuscating Stupidity type guy who people assume is a Dumb Jock since he talks slow and quietly.
  • Chekhov's Zombie Apocalypse Mace: In "A Nutcracker in Paradise."
  • Childhood Marriage Promise : It's not official or anything, but Josh did give Ginny his grandmother's ring. Everybody refers to them as "married".
  • Cloudcuckooland: Paradise
  • Dancing Is Serious Business
  • Don't Explain the Joke: "We use him to keep an eye on things. That's our little joke, because he only has one eye to look at our things with."
  • Dream Sequence: Michelle has a recurring one about her non-audition for Chicago. Also the probable explanation for the ending of "Movie Truck". Michelle has another one in "A Nutcracker in Paradise." It has Hubbell in it.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Justified as much of the story takes place at the dance studio so of course the students (and sometimes Michelle) spend a lot of time in leotards. So it's not fan service at all, not one bit. Especially not the miner costumes in "It's Not a Mint."
  • Four-Girl Ensemble: The four main ballet girls.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Michelle and Hubbell qualifies. Bonus for being drunk and in Vegas.
  • Free-Range Children: Though the girls parents show up and are characters, the main four girls tend to have a ridiculously high amount of freedom. At one point, they end up going on a spontaneous road trip to Los Angeles.
    • Taken to extremes with Sasha. Her parents divorced and moved away. And left Sasha behind in Paradise.
  • Hidden Depths: Godot, the surfer/bartender, has a master's degree in oceanography and is genuinely insulted when Michelle assumes he hadn't even graduated high school.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: From "You Wanna See Something?" on (as well as two or three episodes previous), the episode titles come from lines in the script.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The ending of "Movie Truck" which has Sasha doing a dark and sensual dance routine (referred to by Word of God as "Sasha's Anger Dance") to the bouncy tune and silly lyrics of They Might Be Giants cover of "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)"
  • Mood Dissonance: At the end of the performance of "The Nutcracker Suite" The Ringer blithely dances a perfect routine as disaster unfolds around her.
  • Mood Whiplash: Truly interrupting Fanny and Michelle drinking and dancing together to announce that Hubbell had been killed at the end of the pilot.
    • In "A Nutcracker in Paradise," everything is going swimmingly and then Michelle accidentally maces the entire cast of "The Nutcracker Suite"
    • In "Blank up, it's time", the postcoital conversation takes a sharp turn when Michelle mentions Hubbell and starts welling up with bottled up grief
  • Motor Mouth: As the first season progresses, Amy Sherman-Palladino's signature style starts to become more and more noticeable.
    • In "The Astronaut and the Ballerina", Ginny reaches an impressive 270 words per minute during her rant about her mother.
  • Never Say "Die": Played straight by all the girls but Boo when they spread the word of Hubbell's accident.
  • One Head Taller: Hilariously, Mel and Ginny. Inverted with Carl and anybody since he's distinctly shorter than most of the cast.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: During the Joffrey auditions Boo is cut so Fanny has her put on a wig and sends her back in. She knows that the people doing the auditions don't really look at faces so will not see the deception.
  • Parental Abandonment: Sasha's parents split up and separately move out of Paradise - when she insists on staying, they give her a credit card and leave her there to get her own apartment.
  • Parental Substitute: Increasingly, Michelle for Sasha.
  • Reference Overdosed: As is typical for Amy Sherman-Palladino.
  • Shirtless Scene : Thanks to surfer guy Godot. The girls are completely Eating the Eye Candy.
  • Shout-Out: To Gilmore Girls when discussing Ginger Rogers:
    "They talked faster back then, it's funnier when it's faster"
    "No one takes Khaleesi's dragons!"
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Truly and Davis
  • Spiritual Successor: To Gilmore Girls.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: In-universe. Ironically, it's even used as the soundtrack to a dance number.
  • Technician vs. Performer: Sasha, Fanny, Jordan and The Ringer are the Technicians while Boo, Michelle and Carl are the Performers.
  • Two Plus Two: While they're all friends, there's a definite pairing off in the show of Boo with Sasha and Melanie with Ginny, with the first pair getting far more screen time. In turn, the foursome of students are usually separate in terms of storyline from the threesome of adults (Michelle, Fanny and sometimes Truly).
  • What Happened To The Dog?: And to the possum?
    • Forget the dog and the possum. Did anyone actually claim that baby?