Bunheads: 1.14 “The Astronaut and the Ballerina”

Season 1 Episode 14
Airdate: January 28, 2013

After getting literally three requests to continue recapping Bunheads, I am going to get on it.


A man named Jordan is teaching the class. Or as much as you can refer to someone as a man when he teaches ballet. He’s pretty hard on the dancers. He yells a lot, puts girls in time out and locks others in the dressing room. He’s like an effeminate drill sergeant.

Michelle enters but only to surf the internet. I don’t know what is going on here.

Boo has to take a phone call from her mom, who is frantic about something. She probably wants to know if Boo has heard any news concerning if the rumored Arby’s franchise is going to open. Boo’s mom prays for it every night.


Melanie is not in class because she has joined roller derby at Cozette’s request. Man, she already quit ballet once to join the cheersquad. She probably doesn’t like ballet that much. It was just the only after school activity in town for a long time.

Also, I assume roller derby was added to the show because Amy Sherman-Palladino recently saw Whip It.

After roller derpy, Mel goes to dinner with her dad. Ginny and her mom join them. Mel’s dad is dating Ginny’s mom, who is crazy because her ex-husband is getting remarried this week. Mel’s dad should bail on  this crazy broad. He could do better. He looks like Henry Winkler.

The parents excuse themselves to have sex in the bathroom. Ginny asks Mel where she has been but Mel does not tell her about roller derpy. The girls swipe some wine.


Michelle apologizes to Guidot, the oceanographer/bartender, by giving him a copy of Finding Nemo. They go on a date, and by that I mean Michelle sits at the bar while Guidot works. Later, they walk to her house but are surprised to find Michelle’s brother, Scotty, sitting on the porch drinking a beer. Apparently, he is played by Sutton Foster’s real life brother, also a theatrical actor. They are like the Gyllenhaal siblings of theater, except they don’t suck at acting. Scotty recently divorced his fourth wife after, like, a month of being together. The reason had something to do with finding out the pretty eyes he fell for were the result of colored-contact lenses. He was a fool to not realize there are no blue-eyed Koreans. But seriously, this Scotty guy is such a mess that it makes perfect sense he and Michelle are siblings.

Scotty is going to be living with Michelle for a while.

The next morning, Scotty brings Michelle coffee and mentions that the coffee guy hates her. That guy is Kirk from Gilmore Girls, but doesn’t appear in this episode. Man, what gives? It’s not like the actor had another obligation. That company where you text a question you need an answer to appears to have gone out of business.


Michelle teaches class this time. I wonder what Jordan’s deal is. Maybe goes from town to town to offer his services as a ballet consultant. Boo arrives with a gaggle of children, one of whom is named Beaver (a much dirtier name now than in the ’50s), because her mother has decided to quit raising children. Carl soon comes to take them and later, he and Boo and the annoying little ones eat at the oyster restaurant. This is good practice for how miserable Boo and Carl will be when they have a family of their own.

Michelle and Scotty go to the same restaurant. Scotty wants to find another wife. Scotty, you have an addiction.

Of course, they get really drunk.


Roller derpy time. I have no idea how this game works. They are on skates, so is it a race? Does the last person not to be knocked down win? Or is a ball involved? Not that it matters. Women’s sports are never real sports. It’s true. We had to create softball because real baseball is too difficult for women.

Mel goes from roller derpy to ballet. Ginny is going to be a bridesmaid in her father’s wedding, but is worried her mother will sabotage it. Ginny relates this to Mel Brooks and the “Two-Thousand Year Old Man” bit, which no actual teenage girl has heard of. Meanwhile, Frankie is drawing her again. He probably masturbates to his drawings. His sketchpad is really sticky.

Scotty watches Michelle teach. He expects her to make him dinner after she is done with class. And we start to see why his marriages never work.

Back to roller derpy. Mel needs a roller derpy nickname, so Cozette and Frankie dub her Cleosmacktra. I would have gone with Margaret Smashtcher, but either is good.


There is another ballet class. I don’t know if there are two a day or this is the following day, but Jordan is back teaching. He is a hardass again and singles out the one blonde girl who is three feet shorter than everyone else.

Jordan: Margaret, how old are you?

Margaret: 10.

Jordan: 10? I thought with that attitude of yours, you were 6.

Boo intervenes. Fresh off having to deal with three children and a whiny Jew boyfriend, she takes control of the class by giving Jordan a stern talking to and a time out.


Ginny calls Boo. She is in her bridesmaid’s dress while the bride is jumping on a trampoline. The wedding photos are being taken today, and Ginny is worried her mother will sabotage them and needs Mel here to act as security, I guess because she is so tall. But Ginny doesn’t know where Mel is and no one goes to ballet anymore. Boo offers Ginny a juice box to calm her down.


Mel is surprised to find Ginny at the roller derpy. Ginny tracked her down and now the secret is out! Ginny has a punch stain on her dress, because her mother pulled off a successful attack. Ginny’s mother has a mental illness. A lot of people in this town appear to be mentally ill. In the ‘60s, some hippies probably convinced the town council to put small amounts of LSD in the water supply and no one has turned the machine off.

Ginny is mad at Cozette for getting Mel into roller derpy and taking her away from ballet. Man, the group is breaking up. Kids move on. It happens. In middle school, I had a secret club with three other boys. We went to the attic to take Polaroids of eachother’s penises. But when we got to high school, everyone eventually left the club for one reason or another; Jeff got a girlfriend, Steve’s family moved to Seattle, and Clint went to juvie for burning down his house. Then it was just me alone with a camera. I was really upset, but learned to get over it. People grow up and move on and that’s life. I still keep those old Polaroids in a shoe box for the memories.


Michelle is sick of her brother. He does not respect her new job but she tells him this is her life and also she never graduated high school. The two siblings admit that they are both irresponsible losers but place the blame on their mother, who Michelle has not spoken to in 12 years. They step outside and play ukulele.


The episode ends with Jordan in the studio pushing himself to do a jump/spin thing. Where does he live? Maybe Fanny adopted him.

Cultural References:

  • Mikhail Baryshnikov
  • Mel Brooks
  • Casablanca
  • Angie Dickinson
  • Judy Garland
  • John Gotti
  • The Graduate
  • Macbeth
  • Margaret O’Brien