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Bunheads

38 posts in this topic

A review. Did anyone see it last night?

The series has its origin in a script called "Strut," by Lamar Damon, who retains co-creator and co-story credits, but the teleplay officially belongs to Sherman-Palladino, who has replaced a drill team with a ballet class and created a heroine that Lorelai Gilmore would recognize as a wilder, less directed sister.....

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Yes, and it's wonderful, sincere, smart, and funny, but I was an unrepentant fan of Gilmore Girls. This series is everything Breaking Pointe is not, and to boot, it even has more dancing.

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Well, I saw and expected nothing from this...and, doggone it, enjoyed it. A real story! More mature, engrosing and believable than Bachelors and Bachelorettes at the Barre over on CW on Thursdays!

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I thought I would just stop for a minute to watch and got completely hooked in. I can watch Sutton Foster sing/dance/act to the phone book. What a star. Hour went by so much faster than BPointe.

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I never saw Gilmore Girls but I understand it was a good show. I gather from this episode that Sherman-Palladino is a sort of distaff Sorkin with mucho walk-and-talk. Some of it worked, some of it didn't - I was tickled by the extended Godzilla metaphor. I did not find the premise remotely plausible but Sutton Foster's performance did a great deal to lend credibility. However, a curve was thrown in the last few minutes of the episode that did much to undo her work. The next episode will certainly be interesting.

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I didn't get to see it, but tonight at ABT somebody told me that the Sutton Foster character is based on Heather Watts?

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Apart from both being intelligent, verbal, articulate, and retired dances, if nothing else, I don't think that comparison is very fair to Damien Woetzel.

The critics seems to think that it's based very much on Lorelai Gilmore.

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I haven't seen Bunheads and never watched Grey's Anatomy but happened to be reading Perez Hilton this morning and he reported that Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes has apparently criticized Bunheads for not having any girls of color on it. She used twitter to say, "“Hey @abcfbunheads: really? You couldn't cast even ONE young dancer of color so I could feel good about my kid watching this show? NOT ONE?”

Then, apparently she felt like she was too harsh and tweeted, "“did love seeing girls of all shapes and sizes. That was great. Am a huge Gilmore Girls fan. Just pointing out one issue…”

I'm just reporting b/c I have been reading this topic and then happened to see this. What do you all think of her criticism?

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The story is set in a little Northern Calif coastal town where the real-life demographics are properly portrayed. Have we become such a 'PC crazy' nation that we have to shoehorn people of all colors into scripts just to meet a quota?

The initial scene with the Las Vegas showgirls included women of color...as women of all colors do get jobs in Vegas.

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I didn't get to see it, but tonight at ABT somebody told me that the Sutton Foster character is based on Heather Watts?

That's right. A few days ago I posted a Q&A with Sherman-Palladino in the Links where she said that the Sutton Foster character's wild-thing-party-girl aspect was a loose imagining of how Watts might have ended up if she hadn't gotten her act together at NYCB. Maybe she would have been blacking out and finding herself married, however briefly, to the guy from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but who can say.

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The story is set in a little Northern Calif coastal town where the real-life demographics are properly portrayed. Have we become such a 'PC crazy' nation that we have to shoehorn people of all colors into scripts just to meet a quota?

The initial scene with the Las Vegas showgirls included women of color...as women of all colors do get jobs in Vegas.

I would call it a question of inclusiveness, not "quotas." And I've seen people of various hues in Northern California coastal towns.

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I think that the point of the setting in this story is that it's a little backward, sleepy town. Isn't there just one dress shop? It's not a big urban setting.

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I would call it a question of inclusiveness, not "quotas." And I've seen people of various hues in Northern California coastal towns.

The U.S. Census Bureau has a site where you can pull up the demographics of any county in the country. For Humboldt, one of the northernmost counties in CA:

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06/06023.html

It's 77% white/non-Hispanic. But do remember that Cal State University, Humboldt is there and that draws a more diverse student body than the permanent residents of the county.

http://www.humboldt.edu/irp/downloads/FactBook/2011_Fact_Book.pdf

Only about half of the incoming students are white (p. 6)

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The only reason I posted about Shonda Rhimes' tweets is that I think it is something that comes into discussions about ballet. I haven't watched the show, and it might actually portray the actual demographics of the particular town it is set in. I have no idea. I just was reading this topic thread, b/c I want to see Bunheads, but I don't even know if I can get ABC, b/c we never watch tv, and we have no cable. I think ABC is not cable so I probably can get it unless you need cable nowadays to watch the old "regular" networks. My partner has the tv set up with Wii, video games, Netflix, online programming, and there are like 5 remote controls, so I never even try to figure it out. I just watch ballet or use the internet upstairs on my computer! LOL

Anyway, I would like to see this show, so I've been reading this topic thread. Then, I saw the item on Perez Hilton and just found it interesting. The general public does seem to criticize ballet sometimes (Euro-centric, too white, dancers too skinny, etc). These are things I have heard come out of the mouths of non-ballet lovers. But I saw a black dancer in Miami City Ballet's corps last season, although she's no where on the roster online or in the programs. Maybe she is an apprentice (without a picture) I also saw Misty Copeland at ABT. But even in Miami and New York the ballet companies are not bursting at the seams with black dancers. I think there are more Asians and Hispanic ballet dancers than blacks.

So I think Bunheads might actually depict the experience of most girls who go into ballet. I wasn't trying to get anyone mad at anyone or start a controversy or get anyone mad about PC ideas. Just think it is good to have healthy discussion on the topic.

I imagine if I were a black mother like Shonda Rhimes I might wish for more depictions of blacks on shows like this simply so my daughters would think it is normal to want to do ballet, etc. I think she was expressing more of a wish than a demand or expectation that the show become PC.

Maybe the show will introduce a black character later on. The movie First Position did show how the one mother had to dye her daughter's garments a dark flesh color for her daughter Michaela DePrince, who was black. I found that interesting, b/c I never even thought about that being an issue. DePrince even said she's been told blacks are too muscular, not enough elevation, etc. So a character based on her would be fascinating for a show like this.

But I don't pretend to know the main themes of this series, so maybe there is an overall plot that is very specific, and the aim is not to go into issues like this. Either way it sounds like everyone on here likes the show, so I will find out if I can watch.

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I imagine if I were a black mother like Shonda Rhimes I might wish for more depictions of blacks on shows like this simply so my daughters would think it is normal to want to do ballet, etc. I think she was expressing more of a wish than a demand or expectation that the show become PC.

That's how I would interpret the wish as well, Bart Birdsall.

Demographics aside, the pilot has already demonstrated that whatever its other virtues Bunheads is not going to have the most plausible setup, so I doubt such an inclusion would present a ghastly violation of the show's scrupulous realism.

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Second episode aired last night. The cast struggled valiantly but sank into what I’ll call quirksand and Sherman-Palladino launched another monster curve at the audience in the last minutes. The dead guy called his lawyer while on the road from Vegas with a blacked-out showgirl in his car to change his will? Very forward-thinking of him. Plainly, there were some mother issues Episode 1 barely hinted at. Sticking with the show for the present, but it's not coming easy.

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OK, folks. There was some inclusion in last night's episode: At about the 44-minute mark, the camera panned through a group of students warming up in the studio and at least one African-American girl was very visible and a couple of other young ladies 'of color' (Latinas?). There were even two young boys in the class. Perhaps, in future episodes, these young 'extras' shown in the studio will come to the forefront in the drama? "Paradise, Oregon" now reflects a cross-section of society.

So far, ballet is a peripheral element in the big picture.

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I also appreciated the dance they showed at the end because it was entirely classical, they showed it in its entirety, and it was shot sensitively. Unlike the crass commentary put on top of Petite Mort in Breaking Pointe, they let the dance speak for itself and subtly showed the effect classical dance can have (yes, I was a bit moist-eyed at the end). Amy Sherman-Palladino loves dance, and it shows. I can't say the same thing about the producers of Breaking Pointe.

Those teen girls are definitely trained dancers even if many of them don't have the body type classical ballet asks for.

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It "kills" me that I find this show more honest and appealing then the "real" show featuring Ballet West.

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I think it's pretty natural for a European art form to have a heavy following of European descendants in the New World. Do we hold other dance styles to the same standard as ballet? If Disney made a TV show about Vietnamese Americans performing in a traditional dance school - would she twitter that there are not enough white or black people participating?

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I missed the first episode (I think) but have watched the next two, and for me the relationship between Sutton Foster and Kelly Bishop is the most interesting. The girls and the dancing, I could take or leave.

I much prefer the Sutton Foster character so far to Lauren Graham's, but Alexis Bledel's to any of the girls so far.

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Helene, I watched the pilot episode online. We don't get the channel here that broadcasts Bunheads, so J and I got caught up last week while in NY. I really liked it! J and were huge Gilmore Girls fans, so it was almost a given we would love this, ballet or no ballet. That it does concern ballet is the icing on the cake! :)

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Tuned in on Monday to watch what should have been the 4th episode....but no Bunheads to be found. Early cancellation?

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In the coming attractions, they said the next episode would be 9 July.

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Ah, so they're skipping a week. Thanks for the clarification.

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