Bunheads 1.03 "Inherit the Wind" Review

The concept of home and finding one's place is all throughout Bunheads. Michelle thought she had hers on the dance floor and in front of the crowd in Vegas, before years of partying and career intertia left her feeling burnt out and directionless. The house that Fanny shared with her son, loaded with bric-a-brac and Buddhist shrines, very much bore the imprint of her personality - a little kooky, a little messy, a little spiritual, a lot eclectic. Poor Hubbell finally found the place that he always wanted to be once he married Michelle, the six years of groom Halloween costumes preparing him for the real thing, but he didn't get to enjoy the relationship after years of searching for "the one".

That same theme took on a more central role in Bunheads, with "Inherit the Wind" finding Michelle examining the home that Hubbell left her, to the dismay of Fanny. It was a strange plotline, in that it was arguably the most thoughtful that the show has made Michelle and it contained some of the most broadly funny scenes of the series. That kind of tonal confusion, the laughing when you should be crying conundrum, may prove to be a problem later on in the series, but once you let it go in this particular instance, there was a lot of fantastic material to be mined. It wasn't even about the lack of tension from whether Michelle was going to stay in Paradise or not; you knew and I knew that she'd stay on her newly acquired property, Fanny's objections be damned, but that didn't matter to me. What mattered was watching Michelle try to work through the complicated emotions that she had upon getting the house, weighing her guilt at accepting such an extravagant "gift" from her late husband with her desire to find anywhere else on the planet to live and her capability of doing what Hubbell would have wanted in her situation. And that was good, good stuff, Michelle's snark being turned up the more heavy stuff she had to deal with and curve in the straightaway of life she had to take. I appreciate how lively and funny Bunheads can be, the pop culture references and snappy dialogue seemingly increasing in pace with each episode, but what keeps me engaged is the darker elements, the gray area that Michelle is currently living in, the fear that Fanny has of her own mortality. Read More...


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