Bunheads: 1.09 “No One Takes Khaleesi’s Dragons”

Season 1 Episode 9
Airdate: August 13, 2012

Michelle goes to a coffee place where the customers read in line because they know how long the queue will always be. Another small town quirk she is not prepared for. The man behind the counter is Kirk! OMG! If you don’t like Bunheads, maybe you can at least have fun spotting all the actors from Gilmore Girls who show up. He sells fair trade organic, like a lot of overpriced coffee places, but goes the extra yard by making peace symbols in the foam. He prides himself on haven beaten French and Italian coffee people to win many awards. “Your mom must be proud,” Michelle says sarcastically (she would never genuinely praise anyone). “I have two dads—,” Not Kirk corrects her, “don’t assume.” Yeah, but one of them is the bottom. You call him mom.

Not Emily Gilmore is auditioning girls for the lead in The Nutcracker. She is brutal and girls are falling down under the stress. “Your killing dancers!” says Michelle. “My child is dead. Why do these girls’ parents get to have it any better?”

Michelle learns that her old friend Richard is the choreographer for a touring company. Many years ago when they were mere little people in a chorus together, they agreed to help each other out if one of them made it, and compared to being jobless and living in her late husband’s broken down guest house, Richard is Bill Gates. Michelle calls him, but can only reach his secretary. I am surprised Michelle knows what a secretary is and didn’t think it was Richard’s wife.

Michelle finds Melanie and Ginny hiding in the bushes outside. They say they are staying out of NEG’s sights so she cannot force them to audition. No one can compare to Sasha’s past performance, but that will not stop NEG from working dancers to death one-by-one until she finds a suitable replacement. They should just go home. As soon as I said that, they do, they get a ride from Melanie’s angry brother. Boo is also there but she doesn’t get a ride and it’s unclear if she was in the bushes.

It’s some other day. Richard hasn’t returned her call, so Michelle calls his assistant again while she is in line at Not Kirk’s coffee place. She accidentally knocks over a bunch of empty cups. Based on how the other customers react, this is going to be the lead story in next week’s paper. Michelle picks up the cups but then knocks over that big metal pot thing I think it used to make espressos. Everyone is aghast! That machine is invaluable to Kirk’s award winning coffee that takes 40 minutes per cup to make! The townsfolk are going to force her wear a scarlet letter for this.

At the coffee place, NEG called Michelle to ask her to open the dance studio today, as Michael has taken her out to brunch/old people sex. Michelle claims she is busy but NEG replies she can’t be busy as she is unemployed. NEG is quick like that. Michelle arrives to open the studio, but Crazy Salesgirl already did. NEG also called CSG to open it in case Michelle forgot, which was a good idea.

Carl and Boo arrive early to rehearse their Astaire-Rogers dance. Boo wants Michelle to leave. In private, Boo says she cannot compare with how sexyhot Michelle is. “I kind of like Carl,” Boo confesses. “But nobody knows, including him.” Michelle agrees to stay away. However, Carl is cold to Boo. That’s ridiculous. This may be my fourth vodka and tea talking, but Boo is sexyfine. If she was over 18, I would totally poke the side of her bum with my index finger and then run away giggling. Yes, she is that sexyyum.

NEG is fucking pissed that she has not found a girl who can dance The Nutcracker like Sasha, so pulls a boy dancer into the studio and forces him to tryout. Even dance instructors don’t consider boy ballet dancers to be men. 🙁

Michelle tries to call Richard a third time. She again only gets his secretary, but thinks she hears his laughter in the background. What the hell, Richard? We were bros!

Michelle returns to the coffee shop and is gleefully surprised to see no line for once. But Not Kirk is still slow to make her coffee, which causes Michelle to throw a fit and be all like, “Who cares if you won awards for making coffee?! All you do is make fucking coffee so make the fucking coffee!!” Michelle is a failed dancer, so has a physiological need to belittle anyone else’s accomplishments. At least we find out that Not Kirk does indeed call one of his dads mom “so it’s not confusing”.

Michelle is looking forward to next week when a big new supermarket will open and she can get her coffee there. However, one of the townsfolk informs her the supermarket will not be built due to a zoning issue brought forth by The Association for the Preservation of Keeping It Real in Paradise. That is its name and I am certain groups with that name exist in real life in towns like Paradise, which also exist in real life.

Sasha has quit dance to become a cheerleader and joins the squad to cheer for a basketball game. Boo, Ginny, and Mel arrive to watch the game, but really to watch Sasha. Charlie sits down with them. Mel wants her brother to fuck off but Ginny has a big crush on him after learning he thinks she is sexysweet.

Something kind of weird happens. When cheering, Sasha starts coughing. Since Ginny can’t remember to breathe when she is in Charlie’s presence, she crowdsurfs (no she does) down to Sasha to talk about things. Sasha suddenly goes into a feminist spiel to her fellow cheerleaders about how cheerleading only encourages the patriarchy. You can say anything is bad under feminism by saying it encourages the patriarchy.

By the way, I love that the cheer team is more diverse than the dance academy.

Since the supermarket will not happen, neither will the Astaire-Rogers dance which was meant to be performed at the grand opening. Boo wants to talk to Carl about this. Carl tells her he is done with dancing. He has also been talking to another girl and hits it off with her. He is going to give up dancing to move to a West Bank settlement with her after graduation.

Michelle wants that giant supermarket to be built, so she can get her coffee brewed at another business. I mean, an actual business. Not some guy who serves coffee in between surfing the internet, and takes a big bag of money over to an accountant on the evening of April 14. Of course, most accountants in this town are probably hippies as well, so will be like, “Dude, I bet you got, like, 500 bucks in there. Put that down to the government.”

Michelle plans to call a town meeting to get the supermarket approved. She hands flyers to the sexyhunk shirtless bartender who works at Boo’s restaurant. This is the first Shirtless Bartender has heard of the supermarket because he does not read the newspaper. “All good things happen outside of paper,” states SBT. “You ever seen a baby dear born in the paper?” No, he really said that. He concludes their conversation by saying, “The truth is nuts.” The only people who say that are nuts.

Ginny confesses to Melanie that she is lusting for Charlie. Melanie tells her she cannot date Charlie, because Boo still has a crush on him. It does not matter than Charlie does not like Boo. Charlie is off limits. “It’s bra code!” Melanie says. Melanie is my favorite character.

Under different lies (bachelor party, bris, etc.), Michelle lures various citizens to the dance studio for a meeting. I am sure this as formal as the town of Paradise’s government operates. Michelle accuses the anti-supermarket folk of being “scared of progress”. But the naysayers hold firm. They are all, “We like being quaint just fine.”

Meanwhile, Boo and Carl have a talk in the dressing room. Boo admits she likes Carl. Carl assumed she did not like him because her friends keep say she doesn’t. They kiss just as Melanie and Ginny find them. Ginny says this is great as it means she can date Charlie. But Boo is like, “You know I have a crush on Charlie.” Which is great for Carl to hear. Boo sends mixed signals like a motherfucker.

The supermarket is still blocked. Michelle should have promised the townsfolk the supermarket would include medical marijuana dispensary. That would have swayed the people of Paradise. Wait, now that I think about it, a town like Paradise would have two dozen medical marijuana stores already. SBT helps put away chairs and wants to take her surfing. Michelle thinks she is too old to spend time with him/not die surfing.

Sasha sits in the bleachers while her cheermates (I say it’s a word) practice. Michelle joins her to say and she had a rough home life, too and understands that things are stressful at home, but Sasha will be out of their in two years. “Life is unfair,” she tells the teen. “Deal with it.” Michelle ends by saying it would be a mistake to quit ballet. What Michelle said got through to the young one, because the two go on to insult the cheerleaders’ jumps. I did not know ballerinas and cheerleaders had a rivalry. The only ballet class in my hometown was for girls under 8. And cheerleading wasn’t much of a deal since all the cool girls played basketball.

Michelle sees that someone has left her a coffee maker. Of course, Michelle has no idea what to do with it. She’ll probably start a fire. I am sure she has used coffee filters before, but only to increase the purity of bottom shelf vodka.

Grade: B

Cultural References:

  • Matthew Brown(?)
  • Bright Lights, Big City
  • Dumbo
  • Footloose
  • Anne Frank
  • Grey Poupon
  • Jake & Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • Hugh Jackman
  • Dennis Rodman
  • Rogaine
  • Sasquatch
  • Simon Le Bon
  • The Sound of Music
  • Psycho
  • Starbucks
  • Tennessee Williams


Kelly Bishop, who plays Not Emily Gilmore, has a stage and film career going back to the ‘60s. Someone on Tumblr posted screenshots of when she was a guest star on a 1976 episode of Hawaii Five-O. Those eyes are amazing. She is sexyold.