June 12th, 2012
09:45 AM ET
Can lightning strike twice? Amy Sherman-Palladino didn't just create and write fan favorite TV show "Gilmore Girls" - she was (and still is) Lorelai Gilmore.
After her follow-up, the sitcom "The Return of Jezebel James," flopped, how might a new hour-long series on ABC Family turn out?
"Bunheads," which premiered Monday night, is another in a long line of great shows with bad titles (see "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Cougar Town," for example).
Tony winner (and let's face it, current queen of Broadway) Sutton Foster is perfectly cast as Michelle, a Las Vegas showgirl who follows one of her stalker/admirers on a whim back to his hometown after a disastrous audition. Oh yeah, and they got married in Vegas.
It turns out that the hometown, Paradise, California, is almost a West coast version of "Gilmore Girls'" Stars Hollow. It also turns out that Hubbell, the stalker/admirer, lives with his mother ("like a serial killer," observes Michelle), who happens to teach a dance class.
If Lorelai had no kids and decided to train as a dancer instead, that would be this show.
The fast-paced dialogue is still there. It's even remarked upon by Hubbell's mother, Fanny: "Oh my God, the quips, the chatter. Don't you ever just shut up?"
That's Kelly Bishop - yes, "Mrs. Gilmore" is in another terrific role. Hubbell, by the way, is Alan Ruck ("Ferris Bueller," "Spin City") who is also great in practically everything.
We don't know quite enough about Michelle's young dance students, but I'm sure that will change with time (perhaps one will emerge as the Rory). I definitely intend to keep watching to find out.
One thing we do know is that Hubbell will not be a regular character... because it looks like the episode ended with him dying in a car accident. Well, there's a plot twist.
This is the best summer series since "The Middleman," which coincidentally also aired on ABC Family. Here's hoping "Bunheads" lasts a good deal longer than that.
Did you enjoy the premiere as much as I did? Share your video recap or comment below.
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