Bunheads: 1.08 “Blank Up, It’s Time”

Season 1 Episode 8
Airdate: August 6, 2012

Not Emily Gilmore is back to teaching today, so Boo brought her flowers. After Charlie failed to notice her, Boo has given up on boys. Melanie and Ginny can tell she picked them along the highway and warn her that NEG will beat her to death with that boutique if Boo gives it to her. No, that’s actually pretty close to what Mel and Ginny said. So Boo throws the flowers away. A tiny little redhead also brought flowers. She is not given the same warning. She is not part of the Friendship of Four, she is disposable.

Michelle wants to use NEG’s kitchen as, unlike hers, it is a working kitchen. There is a black guy making breakfast. “Hi I’m the black guy in town. Name’s Guy Black.” No, his name is Michael and he’s a special friend of NEG. Michelle can’t react to the idea of NEG having a man over with anything more than the maturity of a middle-schooler, so starts stammering how they will all have breakfast together which will lead to a three-way. “Doesn’t get much more kinky than this,” Michelle says, then realizes how embarrassing she sounds and leaves.

In class, three of the girls watch Ginger Rogers on TV. The little redhead is there. Boo even dances with her a little. Are they adding a fifth girl? That’s too many.

Sasha dances with a boy named Jordan. They are practicing the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers dance they will perform in two weeks for the opening of a grocery store. NEG talks about their upcoming shows, then rants about cheerleading. NEG is crotchety like that. She sees that Sasha has tan lines from a day at the beach, which violates NEG’s rule that her dancers staying out of the sun. As NEG always says, “You can’t be my pal unless you are pale.” Twenty years ago she didn’t have to, but nowadays she follows up with “I don’t mean that in race way.” Sasha is all sassy back to NEG. NEG doesn’t like her tone, so gives the Ginger Rogers dance to Boo.

NEG invites Michelle to see a play in Los Angeles. The title is ____ Up It’s Time. The blank is a swear word that cannot be printed on the ticket. Michelle can’t figure out what filthy term would fit into that title, as none seem to make sense. Dude, I bet it’s Fuck Up It’s Time. See, it works if there is a comma. Imagine it this way: Hey you Fuck Up, It’s Time to get a job.

Or it might even bee “ass.” Get your Ass Up, It’s Time to get a job.

Anyway, Michelle and NEG are at the theater, but Michelle has to force her way past a fat woman to get to her seat. Why does Michelle need to make everything an argument? Luckily, NEG brought some wine in a sippy cup. Michelle is probably cranky because she hasn’t had her wine today. Michelle had to drive all the way here from however far away Paradise is, and you are normally expected to be sober when operating a car. Michelle has some wine and they discuss what a bitch Sasha is.

Then we go to Sasha. She is at a table at the one restaurant Boo works. It is the only restaurant in town, it seems, and is insane in how varied it is. There is a bar, then a sushi bar and seems to have different tables depending on what time of the day it is. It looks like it is an outdoor café right now. And if it is, there is a cabinet full of cups they leave outside. To make up for getting her Ginger Rogers dance, Boo made Sasha a Special Brownie that is special because it is topped with whip cream, a cherry and tabasco. Boo is the only person in California who would make a “special brownie” without marijuana. She is going to disappoint a bunch of people in college if she ever brings her special brownies to a party.

Boo asks if Sasha is mad about the Ginger Rogers dance. Sasha says no. Boo replies that she must be mad because the dance meant a lot to her. “People change Boo!” shouts Sasha. “People CHANGE!” Boo lowers her eyes and asks, “I didn’t make you mad at me, did I?” then retreats. This is why I always think of Boo as a puppy dog. You can totally see her tuck her tail between her legs.

Michelle and NEG find the play confusing. At the intermission, Michelle gets up to use the ladies room. She drank a lot of wine. I don’t want to explain her whole neurotic plan to use the restroom while spending the shortest amount of time in line, but only gets out of the ladies room when the play has restarted. So Michelle has to stand in the back. The director is next to her, and he hates his job.

Michelle: Director?

Director: Yes and suicide victim.

Michelle: Michelle, hi.

Director: I wish I was.

Michelle is turned on by cynicism and quick wit so they hit it off. NEG says she should sleep with him because at the very least, he might get her work. Considering all the stupid things Michelle has done, it would be the best decision she ever made.

Over at dance class, NEG informs Boo that Jordan has left. So now Boo is paired with Carl. Carl is smitten with Boo, but it is not mutual. He is three feet tall and possibly Jewish, so that is two strikes.

That night, Boo is waitressing. Carl and his parents are at a table. Carl runs up to her and talks about how his parents have not been having sex. Maybe he thinks talk like that will make her horny.

Michael made another breakfast for NEG. Michelle joins them. It is a big meal. Like, that would be the total amount of food laid out for the complimentary breakfast in a small hotel. Maybe Michael expected more of his bitches to arrive, but it’s just him and NEG.

Michael excuses himself to check up on his bitches. Michelle asks why NEG never married Michael after her husband left. NEG explains that they discussed it, but a ten-year-old Hubble threw a fit. Way to give into a child’s temper tantrum. You know, when the South threw a temper tantrum over slavery, Abraham Lincoln didn’t give in to their whining. He gave them a spanking…with the US army. And that is why he is our greatest president, and NEG can eat breakfast with Michael.

Anyway, Hubble’s dead, so I think NEG is free to marry Michael.

In the studio, Boo and Carl practice dancing together. Boo is in a dress and Carl wears a t-shirt with a tuxedo print. Boo is finally charmed by Carl after he brings her favorite drink, toilet water, and her favorite toy, an old shoe. Boo is impressed that Carl knows so much about what she likes. He probably just read her Facebook profile.

The director invited Michelle to LA to see the play again. The director still hates his life, and I guess that is a big turn on for Michelle, because they have sex in a hotel room. The post-sex talk is about their past acting careers; the director bitches about living in New York but never getting on Law & Order and Michelle tells about a tampon commercial. Suddenly, Michelle can’t stop crying about Hubble, the last man she gave her cooch to. “How did you meet?” the director asks. “I was a showgirl in Vegas and he drove from California every week to see me perform. Then he’d leave me gifts at the casino or my apartment. He’d even come into the dressing room—full of women by the way—to give me flowers and ask me out. He did this for a year before I said yes. We got married that night.” “Wow, that is creepy.” “Yeah, I guess it kind of is. I never thought about that before.”

In dance class, Boo and Carl are dressed to rehearse their dance. Carl is wearing a real tuxedo this time, though I think it may be a lady’s tux. Ginny and Mel don’t know that Boo kind of likes Carl now, so pull her away when it looks like he is trying to flirt with her. That happened all the time when I tried to talk to girls in college. Now I know why!

Sasha arrives late to class. She is dressed all in black with some blue in her hair. NEG demands Sasha stop this malarkey but Sasha is all like, “I don’t need your stupid rules! You can’t tell me what to do! I’m going to be a cheerleader!” I love that Sasha’s form of rebelling is dressing punk and goth in addition to sunbathing at the beach and joining the cheer squad. That’s not how being a goth or cheerleader works, but if she manages to pull both off at the same time, she’ll be the most awesome teenager ever.

NEG doesn’t have the patience for her star student’s grand plan to befriend and then unite two polar opposite high school cliques, and has had enough. NEG orders her, “Get out!” And with that, Sasha quits the class.

“What about show season?”

Shut up, Tiny Tim!!

Grade: C

Sasha is all angst-ridden because her parents are splitting up because her dad is a fruit. Or it’s her time of the month. Or she is just an all-around bitch. Either way, as her mom and dad tend to ignore her, it’s apt that she is rebelling against NEG, the authority figure most involved in her life.

Still, I wish Sasha’s whole situation wasn’t relegated to the background of the show, and this episode. It looks like it will be an important on-going storyline, so we should have seen more her mom and dad than just a few meager seconds in two episodes. Her home life should have been shown way more than that, because keeping it away from the viewer makes Sasha’s recent transformation come off like way less of a big deal than it is supposed to be.

I like Boo, but we’ve had too much of her already and the whole Carl thing wasn’t particularly interesting (by the way, ever notice how often Hollywood has something about an unattractive Jewish guy romancing a blonde woman? Turns out it’s a Trope.). Sherman-Palladino and her team need to reassess which scenes they make a priority. We’ve gotten more time spent on masturbation jokes about Charlie than Sasha’s family.

Cultural References:

  • Fred Astaire
  • Book of Mormon
  • Family Guy (Stewie Griffin)
  • Frank & Ernest (supposed originator of that Ginger Rogers quote)
  • Jesus Christ, Superstar
  • The Kardashians
  • The Killing Fields
  • Knoxberry Farms
  • Matt Lauer
  • Law & Order franchise
  • “Michael, Row the Boat Ashore”
  • Nutcracker
  • Ed O’Neil
  • Eugene O’Neil
  • Panama Canal
  • Katy Perry
  • Ginger Rogers
  • The Sound of Music
  • This is Spinal Tap

Michelle’s Drink Count

  • marshmallow vodka (offscreen, swiped from NEG’s stash)
  • wine (one sippy cup)