I haven’t seen one episode of Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones, but I recently made it my mission to embark on a frenzied catch-up binge of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s new show, Bunheads (which probably says a lot about me), and it has me completely rapt in ways that have caught me pleasantly off-guard.
Initial fears of it being a comforting but comfortably redundant successor to Gilmore Girls all but evaporate by the time the novel dance and dream sequences weave their way into the narrative. I think popular opinion would agree that Gilmore Girls soared when everything kept within a narrow course of quicksmart quips, teen relationship drama and quirky small-town festivities — the reliably sound season 1-4 stretch — but Bunheads finds a whole new slew of exciting narrative and creative freedoms within these artistically liberating segments; an expressive mode that was only briefly, though powerfully, touched upon by Gilmore Girls in that one episode containing Lorelai’s ribbon nightmare.
As alluded to by the AV Club, it turns out the dream motif-studded end stretch of the series ends up erring closer to Twin Peaks than Palladino’s old show—especially in the finale’s triumphantly surreal fantasy sequence which provides a fragmented, Freudian abstract for all the show’s orbiting themes and conflicts.
And those dance numbers! The only one I can find on YouTube is this slinky, Single Ladies prance set to They Might Be Giants’ “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”, which is a shame considering the high calibre of them all. But for anyone dubious of Palladino’s familiar veneer, an ambitious show of its own offering awaits.
Or if that isn’t convincing enough, Chris Fucking Eigeman shows up in episode 8, you guys.