Bunheads (“I’ll Be Your Meyer Lansky”)

Season 1, Episode 13
Date of airing: January 21, 2013 (ABC Family)
Nielsen ratings information: 1.127 million viewers, 0.580 million viewers with Adults 18-49, 0.5 rating with Adults 18-49

It was a solid episode, but I was unable to get to all the storylines of the hour. At least the writers tried to bring Melanie front and center, give her a story and develop her as a character, even though I still don’t see her as one of the main characters of the show, despite the fact that she has always been part of the main bunheads of the show. Still, Melanie’s sudden care for her failure of a brother seemed out of character, even if her moments of action, when she violently took revenge of the people who failed her family and friends, were pretty cool. When she pulled Charlie’s ex-girlfriend down to the floor, I almost laughed out loud (thanks to it being a completely unexpected moment), but when she ripped the chair away from Godot, I was actually laughing. The story turned even more amusing, when she said she saw herself as Hulk, and that she couldn’t help herself. But yeah, either Melanie was acting out of character in these Hulk moments, or the writers finally gave her a character trait, in which she will turn into the Hulk, when someone hurts her brother or her friends. It’s a nice character trait, but unfortunately it is one that came a little too late to the party. Was there no other story during the previous twelve episodes for which Melanie could have turned into a raging Hulk?

Introduce things that are in your way into an impromptu dance.

I was happy to see that Cozette and Frankie continued to be part of the story. Cozette taking over Paradise, and the girls commenting that exact fact, amused me, and I must say I kinda like Cozette, because she happened to be the perfect character. She has no faults at all, there is no drama with her, and the world brightens up when she is around. Maybe television needs a character like her every once in a while, whether she will be used for humorous effects or simply just as a character, who proves that there can still be bright spots in the world, kind of like Kimmy Schmidt. I can only hope though that Cozette won’t have a dance number in every episode now. Just because one of your cast members happens to be an alumni of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE doesn’t mean you have to use her in every episode to sell her talents to the viewers, even if her dances happen to be pretty great. It makes her character look like that her portrayer was cast for one thing only: her abilities to put on a good dance show. I laughed when Cozette and Frankie won trivia night though — were they even playing? Were they even in the Oyster bar during trivia night? Dammit, these two are just too perfect. Which is why I hope that Ginny won’t end up with Frankie, because then she would have peaked with her men — half a season after Michelle told her to get out there and collect some experience.

Meanwhile, I loved seeing Michelle and Fanny together, planning for the future. The amphitheater was indeed a nice idea, and the premise of the two getting a partner in to get the finances and immediately build an amphitheater was also not a wrong one, although one might question if Millie was the right kind of partner to get the project started. The story was generally great, because the writers were finally going into the economics of things for once. All the time characters on scripted shows have land that should be worth millions, but they don’t do anything with it, and I question how they were able to keep their land, not get broke in the process. I was thinking the same when Michelle was touring the land in the third episode, hearing about how costly it might be to keep it standing. I’m glad to see the writers didn’t forget that story and picked it up again here. And with it, the writers even created a storyline to keep themselves busy with for a few episodes, maybe even for an entire season, if BUNHEADS would have ever scored a second season.

Melanie hulked out.

Sasha’s storyline is still dramatic, but I don’t know if it was such a good idea to mostly end the episodes with her and another twist to her story. I like her, and I like the drama, so I don’t give a damn if the episodes always end with her, but generally speaking, other people might not be entertained by the fact that episodes always end with the same character and an evolution of the same story. It might also be considered lazy writing, even if the writers room has realized that it’s fun and great to write for Julia Torres. Still, Sasha being thrown in front of a decision to make was pretty great, though now I’m waiting for Michelle to offer Sasha to crash at her place, or to secretly sleep in the dance studio and no one notices. That she would have to learn how to support herself is a great premise though. It might end how LIFE UNEXPECTED started, but still, Sasha is about to grow up quickly.

And finally, there were the little things. I still love Truly, and maybe I started to love her a little more in this episode. “I’m stuck” was funny as hell, and I start to really adore Stacey Oristano, but maybe it’s just the way she portrayed her character. Her complicated relationship with Millie interested me more in this episode than the previous one, and it almost seemed like Millie was guaranteed to be in the show for a little longer than just the usual three or four-episode arc. Also, I liked that Godot came back, was made smarter, and wasn’t just thrown back into the show being Michelle’s love interest. Okay, he is her love interest, but the writers weren’t bringing them together immediately. Sometimes, shows do look better when the writers try not to serve up tropes.

To the Millicent Stone Art Threater!

Best part of the episode: Cozette and Matisse did a number “inside” Sparkles. It looked better than I thought it would be, although it’s about time that either Fanny or Michelle comment about the dances their students deliver on the fly.
Worst part of the episode: While I appreciate the inclusion of some economics in this episode, the way the writers pushed Eric’s boring economics lesson to be hilarious was just awful. The guy could have been a hero to those woman by using easy English language to the two that couldn’t keep their heads up, but no, the writers had to be “funny” about this one. Hell, Eric didn’t even figure that the amphitheater was a good idea, and all Fanny and Michelle needed was a bit of start-up money. He did not support the women in the slightest.
Weirdest part of the episode: Wait, Godot let a sure thing go with Michelle, just because she decided to be a little dumb during the trivia night scene? I cannot believe that Godot is a man who doesn’t take the first-best opportunity, as soon as the woman enters the fray.
Player of the episode: Melanie avenged her loved ones, and for that she deserves this useless internet point. Now I want to see Melanie smash up some weird dudes. Roller derby is boring, she should do some kickboxing instead.

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