Bunheads: 1.02 “For Fanny”

Season 1 Episode 2
Airdate: June 18, 2012

Michelle and Not Emily Gilmore arrive home after learning of Hubble’s untimely demise. NEG doesn’t say a word as she goes room to room turning the lights out. She is very stoic about this. She lived through the Depression so is used to dealing with the pain of loss. Well…maybe she was too young for that. But she survived the Carter Administration.

Melissa looks at photos of her two-day long marriage. She grabs a wine bottle (of course) and stares into the sunset over the ocean. Or I guess sunrise. She was up all night drinking wine.

Over at school, two of the four ballet girls sit on the bleachers during gym class. NEG wrote them notes to get out of playing sports because it could damage their ballet abilities. I am surprised that her note carry weight. But then again, I have never had a gym teacher who gave a shit if some girls wanted to sit out. A third ballet girl joins them to say that Hubble was in a car accident, but can’t say the word “dead”. None of them can. Why can no one say “dead”? Is that bad luck amongst Northwestern cultures? Did ABC Family not allow them to say he died?

Basic cable never shows anything anymore. I’ve only ever seen Die Hard III: With a Vengeance on cable and I think I’ve missed a lot due to censoring. Like, why were all those black guys so angry that John McClane is standing around in Harlem wearing a sign that reads “I HATE EVERYBODY”? It seems like a mild statement to take such strong offense to.

How about how that entire movie was Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson running from payphone to payphone? When they start remaking the Die Hard movies in 2019, they are going to have to totally change Die Hard III (starring Ashton Kutcher and Nick Cannon) because payphones don’t seem to exist anymore.

NEG stays upbeat as she plans the memorial. “Buddhists believe that everyone comes back,” she tells Melissa. Well that’s interesting, since no other religion has a concept of life after death. But this is the Pacific Northwest where no one is Christian. It’s too mainstream.

Crazy salesgirl (CSG) walks through the door and puts something in the fridge. “I blame you,” says CSG to Melissa.

“Me too,” replies Melissa. Don’t be so hard on yourself, Melissa. Maybe she only said that because it’s not a good idea to disagree with someone who is clearly mentally disturbed and also doesn’t like you. I am still holding onto my theory that Hubble is alive but chained up in CSG’s basement. She forced him into a tuxedo. Later today, she is going to meet him in a soiled wedding dress (she purchased the first day they met) so they can be married by her cat.

The three girls get Booboo out of her Spanish class and tell her about Hubble. Booboo is the first person to say he’s dead. The four sneak out of school. What about the other girls who take the ballet class? Are these four only friends with each other?

Over at the gazebo, NEG plans the memorial with her fellow members of the Eccentric Old White Ladies Club, Local 4774. NEG printed Buddhist prayers off the internet. I am starting to get a good idea of how Buddhist NEG is.

Hey look, there IS a black person on this show!

Kept out of the preparations and feeling lonely, Melissa twirls around in the dance studio but leaves when she hears some girls approach. But not the four girls, some other girls. The B team.

But then our four girls arrive followed by the rest of the class. The students stretch while waiting for NEG to come and teach. I wonder how many of them don’t know about Hubble.

Instead of the class, NEG is still with her group of women who look like lesbians but probably are not. And CSG is still around the house. She is cleaning. NEG just wants a free maid. NEG is on the phone with the Dalai Llama’s people. No, she really is. NEG hugs CSG and they talk about how Hubble loved her. NEG lets CSG call her mom. Melissa is right there.

Melissa takes a walk. Some guy who parked his RV on their property asks her to walk his dog, so she does. Her friend from Vegas calls and she informs her about Hubble. “You have the worst luck with men!” her friend exclaims.

Melissa goes to a bar. She orders a margarita and exchanges snappy banter with the bartender. It’s totally normal in an Amy Sherman-Palladino show, but in real life would be flirting.

Melissa starts getting calls from the memorial’s caterer as well as a sitar player. There are now 500 planned guests. One of NEG’s nutjob friends finds Melissa to say NEG is acting “screwy”. NEG must be REALLY screwy because that is coming from a friend who is going to create a nude sculpture of Hubble, so of course needs Melissa’s input. I saw half an episode of Portlandia, so I am pretty sure this is a spot on depiction of how people from that region are.

The students in the ballet class still aren’t sure if NEG is going to show up. One of them could walk 30 feet and ask her. But none of them do because teenagers are kind of lazy like that. Given that this is the Pacific Northwest, I think it is believable that NEG would just not show up for her job and not bother to tell anyone.

Melissa finds NEG meditating. Melissa says the memorial is getting too elaborate. “None of this is your concern,” says NEG. She wants Melissa to butt out, dismissing her as “his wife for 24 hours”.

The students are still in the dance studio. How long have they been waiting? Finally one of the girls, Sasha, goes to the main house and peers into the front window. I think they aren’t allowed in the house. She sees NEG sitting around sad. So Sasha goes to Melissa. “Do something!” she cries. So Melissa does!

Every student but the four have left. They cry about skipping class to see a Mark Wahlberg movie. This clip was shown on The Soup and commented on by Kylie Minogue, who is, like, half the size of Joel McHale. They had a 12-year-old girl on later who was the same height.

Anyway, Melissa rallies the girls to call the people who were close to Hubble. How four teenager girls would know who those are is a mystery.

NEG makes phone calls to cancel the memorial. Booboo is at the door. Notice that they have a conversation, but NEG does not let her inside. The kids really are not allowed. NEG suddenly realizes she forgot about the class. Booboo says she backed up the toilet in the dance studio, so NEG goes to fix it.

She sees a trail of candles leading up to studio.

Inside is a small gathering of people and the dancers on stage. This is Hubble’s memorial. The students dance to a Tom Waits song Melissa found in his stuff. It is very heartfelt.

Afterward is the food. You had to sit through the dance if you wanted the snacks. The show again ends with the Melissa and NEG drinking beer. Sasha asks if Michelle is leaving. “I don’t know,” Michelle replies.

Hubble’s lawyer, Jerry, talks to Melissa and NEG. Jerry says he knows Melissa wears a size 9 shoe because Hubble told his friends things like that a lot. Hubble had a foot fetish. Jerry tells them Hubble amended his will to give the house and all his property to Melissa. WHAAAAAT??

Grade: A

I thought that Hubble’s death at the end of the pilot was merely a cheap tack on, but this episode dealt the aftermath really, really well. Turns out it was an important moment in establishing the premise of the series. Forgive me, Madame Sherman-Palladino, but I underestimated you. You can understand why, you’re on ABC Family, after all—the network of low expectations.

Melissa Drink Count:

  • Bottle of wine
  • Margarita (with refills)
  • Bottle of beer