Bunheads: 1.12 “Channing Tatum Is a Fine Actor”

Season 1 Episode 12
Airdate: January 14, 2013

Michelle is teaching an evening adult tap class. I mean, it’s a tap class for adults, it’s not about dancing while nude or anything. After the class ends, Sasha arrives. She wants to practice for awhile because she would rather not be home while her parents are divorcing. Her parents should have separated months ago. Her dad is gay so it’s not like they are going to be able to reconcile. A marriage counselor is out of the question.

The next day, Talia calls Michelle to set her up on a blind date with a man who will be in Paradise. He’s a friend of Talia’s senior citizen sugar daddy. Michelle is going to agree to it because it beats spending another night with Crazy Saleslady, her only friend in town. Paradise is a place without much to do, and I imagine all the businesses are closed by 7, so they usually just watch Netflix at CSL’s place. It would still be an OK way for Michelle to spend her time except CSL wants to watch Tokyo Gore Police every night.

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Carl, the boy Boo is more or less going out with, will be home from summer camp soon, so before he arrives, Boo wants to do all the lady maintenance she has put off. However, Carl surprises her by showing up early as she is leaving dance class. Carl has been away all summer at Jewish camp, so is desperate to be near an attractive girl. Carl invites her to have dinner with his parents and gives her a bow and arrow he says he carved himself (i.e. bought at a gift shop) because Boo likes The Hunger Games. It must be weird if you’re, like, an older man who has been into archery for 30 years and you go to the archery range one day to find a whole bunch of teenage girls are there. And by weird, I mean a golden opportunity for pussy.

CSL tells Michelle she is has been evicted from her clothing store because her rent is too damn high. Michelle agrees to let CSL keep her merchandise in her house for the time being. I wonder why CSL can’t keep them in her place? Does she live in her store? Then where is she living now? The many questions about CSL.

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The next day and school has begun. The four girls and everyone else are mesmerized by a couple of cool new students who arrive on a moped. The girl has a bouquet of flowers. That’s weird, but everyone in this town has done something weirder.

CSL bangs on Michelle’s door. Michelle was sleeping because it’s 1pm and Michelle is not a functioning adult. CSL needs to shows a special customer her clothes. So Michelle stands by as CSL brings another person into her home and then is told to make coffee.

Back at school, the girls obsess over the glamorous new kids. They don’t approach them, they just spy on the couple and share intel. The girl speaks several languages and the boy plays the violin, piano and keytar. They are named Cozette and Frankie. They change their clothes in the middle of the day, too. The girls watch as Cozette does a spin in the hallway and one skirt falls off to be replaced by the skirt unearth it. This marks her third wardrobe change. It must fell bulky when it’s 9am and she has several layers of clothes on.

Boo is nervous about meeting Carl’s parents, so makes the mistake of going to Michelle for advice. Michelle says the secret to getting along with his parents is to not be herself, instead say and do whatever will make his folks like you more. Boo really shouldn’t have gone to the unmarried 36-year-old for help on guys.

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The dinner is at a Chinese restaurant. Carl’s mom and dad are very Jewish. The mother is played by Alex Borstein, who was the harp player in season 1 of Gilmore Girls. She is best known as the voice of Lois on Family Guy. She was also on MadTV, which she should be ashamed about.

Anyway, the dinner is awkward. Boo is too nervous to function. Carl’s mom asks Boo if she likes pork but Boo doesn’t know whether it would please her to say yes or no. A Jew asked her about pork, so Boo thinks it must be a trick question. Boo also can’t give a straight answer to whether her family skis because she can’t tell whether the mother hates skiers. Carl’s mom then asks Boo about her ethnic background, wondering if she is Polish or something from Eastern Europe.

Boo: Do you like Eastern Europe?

Carl’s mother: Depends on the era.

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Michelle comes home to find that CSL is hosting a re-opening party for the store in her house. Michelle doesn’t like all these people here and I doubt any of them like that Michelle never vacuums. Michelle tells CSL to come to an agreement with her landlady, but CSL is nervous about negotiating, so Michelle agrees to go with her.

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Over at school, the girls watch Cozette lie on a blanket and drink wine outside. She’s pretty badass to be drinking alcohol on school grounds. Normally, kids who do that would be dressed like ‘50s greasers, not fashionable Eurotrash.

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The girls want to know more about the new couple, so get Ginny talk to Frankie. She finds out that they moved here from Germany. That makes sense. Someone from Germany would be weird enough to fit right in at Paradise. The boy made a drawing of the girls. Ginny asks about it, but he walks away without explaining. This mystery just gets more mysterious! It’s like Lost. He probably was inspired to draw the four girls who keep following him and his sister from 20 feet away and are always peeking at them from a doorway.

Carl has dinner at Boo’s house with her family. I believe this is the first appearance of Boo’s dad. Boo’s mother is happy with Carl because he brought dessert. Carl knows how to win over fat people. When Carl and Boo are alone she is all, “Yes! I’ll marry you! And I would love to give you children.”

Let me explain. When Boo excused herself to go potty at the Chinese restaurant, she overheard Carl’s mom talk about what a flake Boo is. Carl defended Boo by saying he might marry her someday. So Boo spent the time in between seriously fretting about whether to accept his proposal. Of course, Carl never actually proposed, and tells Boo he only told his mom that so she would stop giving Boo such a hard time. Jewish mothers will only understand a message if it’s delivered in overly exaggerated terms. Carl says he likes Boo but they are too young to think about marriage and kids; he still has to graduate college and then law school and med school. Also, Boo needs to get on some anti-anxiety meds. God damn it Boo, you are turning into an Overly Attached Girlfriend.

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Michelle sits down with CSL’s landlady. It’s PARIS!!!!! There have been so many Gilmore Girls cameos and we finally get Paris! Her name here is Millie, but she acts like Paris. She is all business and plays hardball, saying the rent increase is reasonable and another business is interested in the space. And then Michelle learns Millie is CSL’s sister. There is bad blood between them because CSL seduced Hubbell away from her. Huh? She thinks that? Hey, remember, in the first episode, CSL though she and Hubbell were meant to be even after he married Michelle? It seems that she isn’t the only one in her family with an unhealthy obsession with Hubbell. I hate to even speculate on what minor action CSL did that Millie would interpret as seducing Hubbell away. Maybe CSL bought him coffee one time.

Michelle identifies herself as the woman Hubbell married, and somehow gets out of that encounter without having a fork jabbed into her eye.

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The girls walk to the dance studio. Of course, they spend the time talking about Cozette and Frankie. So it’s a surprise when they see Cozette inside dancing. She is really good, too. This is that thing where a TV show starts the new season by introducing a new character who makes a big splash and has talent that threatens the already established characters. I’m certain it’s a TVTrope, but if I go to that site, I’m going to lose the next two hours browsing it.

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A paper airplane hits Ginny. She unfolds it to see a drawing of one of Mad Ludwigs’s castle with a fold out message instructing her to destroy this. Frankie threw it to her from the balcony. Back when Ginny learned that the new pair came from Bavaria, she was excited because that is where the crazy king built all those expensive and unnecessary medieval castles in the 1800s. This is Frankie’s hipster way of saying he likes her.

It’s night. Sasha is alone in the dance studio. Michelle finds her when she comes back from her blind date. We were not shown any of the date, which is fine because Michelle’s dating life is not interesting.

Sasha’s mom arrives. She was out looking for Sasha to tell her that she ands Sasha’s dad are officially splitting up. Her dad leaving for San Jose with his boyfriend and her mom is going to move back to LA. Sasha will have to decide which parent she wants to move with. “You have a choice, Sophie,” says her mom. I’m not going to count that as a reference because Carl’s mom would throw a Jewfit if she heard someone belittle the Holocaust. Sasha wants to stay in Paradise. I assume this means Sasha will end up living with Michelle. Which is good because Michelle could use someone to look after her.

Grade: B

Cultural References:

  • ABBA
  • Bob Barker
  • Ray Bradbury
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Fahrenheit 451
  • Franny and Zooey
  • The Hunger Games
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Gelsey Kirkland
  • Fiorello La Guardia
  • Ludwig II of Bavaria
  • Donald O’Connor
  • Natalie Portman
  • Elvis Presley
  • Rachel Ray
  • Condoleezza Rice
  • The Rockford Files
  • Channing Tatum
  • John Wayne