I died a little inside when I heard Gilmore Girls was ending. For 7 years, my Grandma, my BFFQ and I had faithfully kept up with the magical fantasy land of Stars Hollow. I loved Gilmore Girls because it had a certain humor, a certain heart, and an intelligence I hadn't ever seen on TV. And, while I have certainly watched and loved other shows since GG ended, I have still never seen anything like it. Amy Sherman Palladino (hereafter referred to as ASP) debuted a new show a few years later called The Return of Jezebel James, which was canceled after only three episodes due to what Fox called "unacceptably poor ratings". I don't remember much about the show other than I didn't care for it. For me, it was just too different.
Enter Bunheads. I was so worried about this, you guys. I really didn't want to be disappointed by another show ASP did, because I love her and I think she is brilliant. So, with much trepidation, I sat down and watched the first episode last weekend.
I am not a professional TV reviewer, but I am a professional Gilmore Girls fan (rabid, even), and I am telling you right now, Amy got this right. Why? Because it is a LOT like Gilmore Girls. What do the people want?! More of the same thing! When do they want it?! About 3 years ago, but now will do.
There are some key differences, mostly to do with Bunheads' heroine, Michelle (played by Sutton Foster). She actually has very little in common with Lorelai Gilmore other than a smart mouth and razor sharp wit. Where Lorelai never moved her body unless it was in pursuit of more coffee, Michelle is the opposite as a professional dancer. Where Lorelai was an independent, responsible, "bootstraps" type, Michelle is a mess. She is impulsive, irresponsible, and ran off and married a guy because she felt bad about herself. OK, so maybe Lorelai did do that once, but still! Also, Michelle has no children, thank goodness.
Even so, the similarities are astounding. In the premiere of Bunheads, I spotted three GG alums: Alex Borstein (Drella the Harpist), Rose Abdoo (Gypsy the Mechanic) and Kelly Bishop (Emily the Grandmother), who will be a regular. The show is set in an idyllic small town, with quirky characters. Where Luke's stood in our GG setting, there is a bar, where Luke has been replaced by a couple of surfing hippies who say "Man," way too much. Sam Phillips, who did the music for GG, is also on board for Bunheads, and he brought his acoustic strummings and la-la-la's with him. Finally, most importantly, that quick witted, smart mouthed humor from GG is gloriously present in Bunheads.
So, if you like Gilmore Girls, you will like Bunheads. Almost certainly. But what if you didn't? I STILL think you'll like Bunheads. They don't talk as fast and don't make quite as many pop culture references, and there is pretty dancing.
Moral of the story: Bunheads captured just enough Gilmore Girls charm , while adding just enough that is new and different to attract a whole new audience Watch Bunheads. You'll like it. I promise.