Bunheads: Money for Nothing (1.05)

The show began with Michele finding an opossum in her bed. You read right, a possum in her bed. Terrified, she calls Fanny who’s nonchalant and tells her just to get up. Who thought this would be humorous? It wasn’t.

The theme is money. Fanny pays bills twice a year. She files bills in hat boxes: will pay, might pay and if there’s money left over she’ll pay. Then somehow a door opens and all the bills get blown all over the room in an implausible pattern that defies physics. So Michelle insists that Fanny go to a real accountant.

Meanwhile Boo has gotten a job at a smelly oyster restaurant with an obnoxious supervisor that reminded me of the editor at the Yale newspaper on Gilmore Girls. As low person on the totem pole, Boo has to do all the grunt work including jumping on the garbage in the dumpsters out back. Talk about far fetched. A lot of jokes about Boo smelling follow. She smells as she brings people food. What restaurant would put up with that?

Fanny suggests Michelle teach so they could get more income, but Michelle refuses because she doesn’t teach. Michelle learns that Fanny doesn’t charge most of her students anything. It makes no sense because it’s not an impoverished town. (If some people’s parents are out of work, it really wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to quit ballet. Fanny knows that it’s a long shot for any of them to make a go of it anyway.)

At the Oyster Bar, a hot guy appears as a new bartender. It turns out his parents own the place and he’s been surfing and mountain climbing in Costa Rica. The girls are smitten, accept Boo. She seems not to notice that she’s working with this gorgeous guy. Her friends now hang out at the restaurant to drool. One time they get all dressed up to eat fries and oogle. This would never happen and worse — it’s not funny. The writers don’t seem to connect much with American society. Are they outsourcing the writing? Do people in say New Delhi who’ve only read about California write this show?

Sasha tries to flirt with the bar tender, but he’s oblivious to her charms. He is kind to Boo and tells her that jumping on garbage is not her duty. He gives her his t-shirt to replace her smelly one. Sasha is jealous of Boo’s proximity and budding friendship with the bar tender.

Michelle offers to track down the deadbeats and that’s a disaster. She gets everyone’s attention, makes some wisecracks that no one laughs at and there’s dead silence. Next we see Michelle calling to apologize to the parents and cajole them into letting their children continue their free dance classes. This way Fanny doesn’t have to cancel the dance at the Flower Show. Fanny suggests that Michelle start teaching and Michelle just balks at this. Fanny’s right to point out that Michelle does nothing, which isn’t a plan.

Cut to the dance. The advanced class performs an original and rather good ballet, Paper or Plastic. The crowd loves it and it’s pretty fun so Michelle’s impressed and seems to warm up to the idea of teaching.

I was never convinced that Fanny’s money management would be so horrid, that she’d be afraid to insist people pay. Hubbell would have had or gotten life insurance. He’d have had a savings. Michelle should have a couple thousand by her age.

This episode felt like it was written to meet a deadline by sophomores who’d frittered away all their lead time.

Most esoteric reference: Pina Bausch

The Glee Project: Theatricality

This week begins with Michael saying something I’ve forgotten. Why is someone so forgettable still around? Then Aylin mentioned how it’s quiet without Charlie. She soon suggests that without Charlie on set, being around Lily would be more of a problem. I expected some sparks to fly between Lily and Aylin as the competition narrows. No big explosion this week, possibly next.

Robert introduced the week’s mentor with a promising, “This is someone I’m sure you all know . . . ” then in walks they guy who plays the Warbler who taunts Kurt and wants Blaine, a character who’s not worth learning his name.

In season one of The Glee Project they didn’t have to dig into the ranks of the characters that don’t matter, why do we get this guy?

The contestants sang “I Hope I Get It” from A Chorus Line and their performance was okay, much better than the number in the video. Ali won the homework competition and got some bland advice from an actor who isn’t featured that much in the series.

The video this week took place in a grocery store and the contestants played bored employees with overt disdain for their work. (I can think of a lot of jobs that are worse and around me few high school kids get or take those jobs so it was actually implausible.) Then they all start daydreaming about being an iconic rock star dancing around the grocery store. I really don’t imagine that Madonna’s stepped inside a grocery store in 25 – 30 years. She probably would be stunned to see how far they’ve come in the interim.

Anyway, everyone was assigned a different iconic rock star as follows:

Poor Nellie. Britney Spears? For real? Why should a beautiful, intelligent woman which a more interesting sexuality have to play the vapid Spears? Come on. Pick on Shanna or Ali for a while. Or try this – respect the performers and negotiate the sexuality issues more. I know that’s not common in Hollywood, but I know a lot of people don’t watch Glee because it goes too far with sexuality.

How I wish Nellie had just walked out after telling off the judges. Blow them away by showing how authentic and assertive you can be and direct it at them.

She did politely, almost humorously, protest asking “Why do you always do this to me?” She’s on the money. There’s a masochistic desire for the mentors to goad Nellie into getting “sexier.” I wish she had seen how they’re not going to rest till she’s off the show almost. It’s bizarre how they’ve focused on her in this respect. If she had walked off, she could have gotten more air time on her terms.

It could work for her as she’s got a beautiful voice. I think Cameron’s leaving last year was brilliant. People learned who he was and I bet he grew his following when he stood up for what he believed. People do respect that.

Nikki put Abraham on the spot by asking him if he thought he was androgynous. He got very emotional about this and I have no idea why she asked except whether it was to throw him off.

The video shoot went as these things tend to do. I missed Charlie’s antics which spiced things up by riling up the judges.

The video itself wasn’t great because the song wasn’t. These things are hit or miss.

Bottom Three:

  • Lily, didn’t get into the persona of Lauper as she so much prefers her own
  • Abraham, who just didn’t perform as well as the others
  • Nellie, whom the judges enjoy needlessly pushing in a direction that’s stupid.

Michael should have been there since he blows the lyrics in the studio, but he did well as Elvis.

K-Pop Group: Super Junior

Abraham got very weepy when Ryan asked him about the androgynous label and shared how he’d been bullied. Ryan and the others are quite impressed with Abraham as a shape shifter. In reality he looks like any K-pop star I’ve seen. He could fill in for any missing member of Super Junior. Crying works with the judges here. Sad to say.

The judges told Lily that she just didn’t pull off a character at all, while everyone else did. I think she got mad. She started by blaming Zach saying the direction was unclear, but that came to haunt her because he would have nothing of that. Lily’s shrewd enough to figure that crying is the way to go. Boy did she turn on the water works. She begged to stay on the show and claimed that she could act her way out of a paper bag. Hmm if I were a judge, I’d be skeptical since other than the week when she was a bully, which was not a stretch, she hasn’t shown any acting ability.

I watched this on Tuesday and am writing on Thursday and the only performance I remember, the one who’s voice still replays in my head is Nellie. She was sent home. Unbelievable. Then not really. I wish her well and would buy her music. Same with Dani.

Not sure who I want to win now.

I do think Abraham will stay in till the end as Alex did last year. I’d think Michael won’t and soon Blake may be in danger. He’s so bland. Aylin has a good chance to stay. I’m not sure about Lily or Shanna. Now that Nellie’s gone Shanna may be the one who’s pressured to strut her stuff.